POHOS chairpersons report 2018
Polish Heritage Trust of Otago and Southland
1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to present my Annual Report on the activities of the Trust which took place during the last 12 months. These activities benefited the local and wider New Zealand communities in many ways, while we were working steadily, towards focusing on our Trust’s objectives, specifically:
- Enriching New Zealand society by promoting cultural and spiritual awareness of Polish heritage in New Zealand
- Supporting the maintenance of historical properties of Polish heritage in New Zealand
- Co-operation with other historical trusts and organizations
- Supporting and encouraging cultural, educational and economic links and exchanges between Poland and New Zealand
This year the following events took place:
April – May 2017
I must start this report by thanking Anna McCreath Munro for taking on the job of our trust’s secretary and doing the mammoth task of looking through and sorting the huge amount of files left by Russell Chiles. A lot of time throughout April & May was also spent by Anna and Cecylia bringing up to date our contacts and members files. This is an ongoing effort as some of the contacts are only postal addresses and we are not sure if our letters are reaching the right addressees.
I am very proud to inform all our members that the co-founder and Honorary Board Member of POHOS John Roy Wojciechowski received the Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit award from Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand.
On the 10th of July, whilst in Krakow Poland, Cecylia Klobukowska met with the City of Literature representative Justyna Jochim at the Jagiellonian University, Poland’s oldest and most prestigious university founded in 1364. Cecylia was presented with a book called “The Jagiellonian Library, A Bibliofile’s Treasure House” to be donated to the City of Dunedin as a sister City of Literature. In return, Cecylia Klobukowska and Joanna Bramley, the author, presented the biographical book about the Forresters, (father and son) botanists and scientists, travelling with Captain Cook, discovering the shores of New Zealand to Jagiellonian Universithy in Krakow.
The Polish Community in Christchurch celebrated 145th Anniversary of first Polish settlers arriving in Canterbury. POHOS was represented By Anna McCreath Munro, Corran Munro, Alastair McLaren and Cecylia Klobukowska in her dual role as a Board Member of POHOS and Chairperson of Polish Federation in New Zealand.
1st of November, All Saints Day is observed in Poland by visiting graves and honouring the dead. The Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust members paid tribute to relatives, friends and early Polish settlers at Allanton Cemetery.
After a couple of year’s gap, we managed to pack-in two exhibitions in Dunedin’s Community Centre, both in one calendar year. The first, in March 2017, which celebrated Polish Theatre Posters and the second, in November, celebrating our perception of a White & Green Christmas. The theme “White & Green Christmas” was, as usual, showcasing the two cultures of Poland and New Zealand. The Community Gallery walls were decorated with huge posters depicting snow and winter scenes in Poland and typical barbeques on the sunny beaches in New Zealand. Several Christmas trees were decorated in different styles, as were tablesettings of typical Christmas dinner tables, in traditional Polish style and Kiwi style. The exhibition was a great success with more than 500 visitors and money was raised for POHOS from both a raffle and sales of hand made Christmas decorations. We must make special mention of our 3 star attraction Christmas trees; the first one, created by Pani Czesia Panek decorated with traditional Polish handmade paper cutting decorations, bright and colourful; the second created also by Pani Czesia Panek, was a totally white Christmas tree decorated with extremely intricate crochet (tatting) stars, bells and angels; it left all our visitors in total awe and wonderment of Pani Czesia’s amazing handcraft skills; the third tree admired by our visitors, was a New Zealand tree packed full of the most beautiful elegant and stylish decorations created by Anna McCreath Munro. Thank you all for your extremely hard work in preparing and manning the exhibition.
The New Zealand premiere of Secret Sharer, 2014, a Anglo-Polish romantic thriller based on Joseph Conrad’s 1909 novel, was screened in the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, it was very well attended and our customary cake and tea served afterward was much appreciated by the audience.
The Foresters’ Plaque.
The continuation of the action of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Wellington “The Polish Trails in New Zealand”, a POHOS proposal had been rewarded by a wonderful ceremony in Manapouri on the 12th of December, whereby, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the work of father and son team, pioneering Polish scientists, Johanan Reinhold and J. Georg Forresters, who were on Captain James Cook’s second southern expedition. Present at the ceremony were the Polish Ambassador Zbigniew Gniatkowski, the Honorary Polish Consul for the South Island Mrs Winsome Dormer, Joanna Bramley, author of the work on the Forresters, President of the Federation of Polish Organisations in New Zealand, Mrs Cecylia Klobukowska, the Mayor of Southland, Mr Gary Tong, a local councillor, as well as members of the Otago/Southland Polish and local community.
Christmas Carols are always a great joy for the Polish, Broad Bay and international communities. Our Church was packed, full of kids, the Julian Schep family provided music and Peter Hayden was the master of Ceremony.
March was a very busy month for POHOS members with a visit from the Polish Ambassador, Zbigniew Gniatkowski and, Consul General, Agnieszka Kacperska.
Friday, 16th of March;
POHOS and Dunedin Chamber of Commerce organised, what turned out to be a very successful meeting between the Ambassador and Dunedin leading businessman and representatives of the Otago University. Old were confirmed and new contacts established for our future co-operation. The perfect end to the day was light dinner at Etrusco attended by the Polish Ambassador, Polish Consul General, the Honorary Consul, Winsome Dormer and Board Members of POHOS.
Saturday, 17th of March:
Cecylia and I had great pleasure witnessing a wonderful ceremony of our dear friends Eleonora & Bronislaw Szukiel receiving medals from the Polish Ambassador acknowledging their 60th wedding anniversary. All the best to Eleonora and Bronek from us all. Congratulations and many more years of happiness.
Sunday, 18th of March;
Sunday Mass was a magnificent celebration of the 70th anniversary of Mary, Queen of Peace, the Historic Polish Church relocated from Waihola to its present location in Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula. We were lucky to have the Polish Ambassador Mr. Zbigniew Gniatkowski and, the Polish Consul General, Mrs Agnieszka Kacperska, join us as well. After the mass, celebrated by Father Gerald Aynsley, all of the congregation moved on to the beautiful garden ajacent to the church and enchanting old house of Valerie and Paul Dyer for a Barbeque. Thank you for your hospitality.
Ongoing and future projects:
- Improvements to our website
- “Street name” project
- Expanding our Membership
- Piano recital by Rafal Lustchevsky
- Setting up a Kindergarden for the growing younger generation
preparing for a big celebration in November 2018 for 20th Anniversary of POHOS.
I would like to acknowledge support we received from:
- The Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
- The Broad Bay community
- The Polish Embassy in Wellington and especially the Polish Ambassador to New Zealand, Zbigniew Gniatkowski
- The Honorary Polish Consul for the South Island and Honorary Member of POHOS Winsome Dormer from Christchurch
- All the members and friends of the Polish heritage of Otago and Southland Trust specifically:
- Pani Czesia Panek for the incredible amount of work put into preparing for the Christmas Exhibition and her tireless help during the Exhibition
- Anna McCreath Munro for her unceasing effort in negotiating with our local Council “Polish Street Name project
- Monika Wrukowska Gamble and Bozena Haug for their work on our website and Facebook
- Cecylia Klobukowska for her unfaltering and ever enthusiastic help with all POHOS projects and also for her work as a Chairperson of The Polish Federation in New Zealand.
- Last, but not least, a heathfelt thank you to the families of our board members, who stood by us, actively and physically helping us with our projects: Corran Munro, Chris Gamble, Alastair McLaren, Gemma Dzikiewicz, Keith Rozecki-Pollard
Finally, my great gratitude goes th the current POHOS Board members
- Secretary, Anna McCreath Munro
- Treasurer, Monika Wnukowska Gamble
- Lisa WWarrington
- Krzysztof Dzikiewicz
- Paul Klemick
- Carolina Meikle
- Bozena Haug and
- Cecylia Klobukowska
I am very proud of the Trust’s considerable achievements as a result of hard, conscientious and totally voluntary work of all Members of the Board and Polish Community.
I look forward to the year 2018 and to particularly to our celebratation of our 20th Anniversary in November.
Recipient of Gold Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland
Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust
24th April 2018, Dunedin New Zealand
The Polish Heritage of Otago & Southland Charitable Trust
Chairperson ..... Ewa Rozecka-Pollard
Phone ......+64 3 477 5552
Secretary ..... Anna McCreath Munro
Phone ..... +64 3 464 0053
facebook ..... Poles Down South