Paul Klemick QSM
Paul Klemick, Board Member and a Founding member of POHOS.
Paul was born and educated in Dunedin.
He is a descendant of Polish settlers who arrived in New Zealand under the Vogel scheme of the 1870’s.
Paul followed pursuits in singing, acting & dancing from school choirs and plays to performing for the Dunedin Operatic Society. Paul was a competitive Rock n Roll dancer since 1983 and taught and coached for many years accomplishing third place in New Zealand. He was also involved in committee affairs for the Dunedin Rock n Roll Club & Otago Rock n Roll Club where he took on the President roll.
His interest in genealogy started at a very early age even before becoming a founding member of the Polish Heritage Trust in 1998. Since becoming a member of the Polish Trust Paul has taken on the roll as Historian & Genealogist. He has been involved in researching for exhibitions, presentations, locating Polish births & searching out Polish graves. In the past he has organised bus trips for members to visit the homes and graves of their ancestors.
Paul has visited Poland three times to date. His first port of call was to research and document his own birth right and cultural data which he now documented as far back as XVII century. His in debt research of his and other families that left Kociewian area for New Zealand made the opportunity of presenting seminars on this topic at the opening of the Arts & Crafts Exhibition in Gdansk, entitled “Smaki Kociewia” (Taste of Kociewie) where met with Marszalek (CEO) of Pomerania Region MR Jan Kozlowski and President (Mayor) of Gdansk, Mr Pawel Adamowicz.
In 2003 Paul was awarded the Polish medal Chwałba Grzymisława for his campaign and encouragement of the history of Polish migration to New Zealand from the Kociewian Region and later, in 2008, along with his colleagues, was awarded the Polish Gold Cross of Merit for his considerable contribution in promoting Polish Heritage to the wider community.
In 2005 Paul hosted a Tour in Europe for Polish descendants searching for their roots whereby he presented them the opportunity to visit the villages of their ancestors. This was a thoroughly satisfying engagement worthy of the substantial effort expended by Paul.
Paul was awarded a QSM for Services to Historical Research in the Queens Birthday Honours list 2022
At present Paul is researching and compiling comprehensive heritage history about the early Otago and Southland Polish immigrants ready for publication in the near future.