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Kociewian Hafta – https://artfolk.eu/pl/c/Kociewie/25

Polish Immigration to Otago

As early as June 1859, the Otago Witness expressed interest in German Immigration, with Germans expected from Germany and Australia that summer. Waihola had already 14 among them, suggesting them to be a very industrious and sober part of the population. The German Association however, dealing with immigrants to Melbourne, advised them not to go to Otago as it was deemed too cold & the inhabitants intolerant. Though anxious to encourage German immigration to New Zealand it was requested an official report be made due to misleading statements, especially regarding the land of the Maori.  As early as 1863, a German settlement at Taranaki was seriously contemplated introducing 1000 emigrants to the Colony, consisting of 500 married couples between the ages of 20 & 40 with as few children as possible. Unfortunately with war breaking out again in Taranaki an abrupt termination was forced suggesting negotiations with Otago more suitable.

On the 20th of June, a deputation was held on the Taieri for the purpose of resuming assisted immigration, but on a larger scale.  The meeting was held between a handful of local Scottish settlers accompanied by James Allan of Hope Hill, District Members of the NZ House of Representatives including Londoner, Julius Vogel and Englishmen, John Harris, Superintendent of Otago. The local farmers stated that they were seriously crippled by the difficulty in obtaining labour and it was suggested that German immigrants in number might be obtained from some of the large shipping houses in Germany.  Newspapers informed the local farmers about the success in establishing German immigrants in settlements at Queensland & Victoria.  By the end of the sixties the New Zealand colony was in a state of economic stagnation and was ready to accept Vogel’s dramatic Financial statement of 28th of June, 1870.  Vogel persuaded the Colonial Government to borrow 10,000,000 pounds within a ten-year period between 1870 – 1880 for the purpose of immigration, resettlement, railway & road construction along with other public works. In fact the next decade saw an influx of around 100,000 immigrants to New Zealand at double the cost of around 20, 000, 000 pounds with 1000 of those being of Polish ethnicity.  A large-scale drive for immigrants not only from the United Kingdom but also from other parts of Europe was decided.  “There, it appeared that people accustomed to the woods and forests, as well as adverse climatic conditions, such as the Poles, would provide the right element to clear and farm a wilderness such as existed in many parts of New Zealand.”

Julius_Vogel,_ca_1865

Sir Julius Vogel 1866.

Poland, a country far removed from New Zealand, was divided, suffering cruelly under the rule of three hard masters—Prussia, Russia and Austria. The victorious German leaders following the Franco-Prussian war were determined to retain their position of pre-eminence in Europe.  On the 18th of January, 1871, Bismark was successful in bringing the German Confederate states together as one Germany but he saw the Slavs however a hindrance to his intense Germanisation campaign especially in the Prussian partition. He enforced a set of discriminatory laws with great vigour from 1871 to 1877 with intentional ethnic cleansing on a large-scale, particularly against the catholic church, forcing the closure of its churches & Polish schools.  The Polish language was entirely banned & prohibited to be spoken especially at all public affairs. In 1873 the name “Kulturcampf was given to the political struggle for the rights and self-government of the catholic church encountering a well organised and determined Polish resistance. Many were in fear of German conscription actuated by a burning desire to better themselves, rise above the poverty and seek freedom for the future.  Land confiscation was a possibility, leaving many extremely poor with little offer of employment. Many heard of the possibility to migrate to America but often many were diverted to places like Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia & New Zealand.  Families pooled together what little money they had for the journeys expenses, and whoever drew the short straw was on their way, not before first visiting the Parish Priest who would provide them with the necessary documents.  One had to keep their intentions a secret from the Prussian Authorities in fear of an early eviction and were smuggled out, especially those families with boys of conscription age as young as 13.  Some recall their ancestors having to walk the 570 km journey from their village in Kociewie to Hamburg.

Kociewie, Poland.

Kociewie, Poland.

At Hamburg, Germany, the company of Louis Knorr entered into an agreement to find 2,000 migrants within two years from 1871. In order to fill their quota, the New Zealand Government paid an agency fee of one pound per adult to the German sub-agents. Prior to October 1873, the migrants had to pay a fee of five pounds per cost of their passage. However because of strong competition from America, promoting free passage and land, New Zealand soon granted free passage with the opportunity to obtain land. Up until 1876 the New Zealand government had assisted immigrants here, but future immigrants from then on had to be nominated and find their own funding for the passage. Many families sent money back to Poland to make this possible although it was a heavy expense to most.

Grandfather’s Reminiscences as told to a Grandson.  Story of Jakob Czablewski from the village of Male Turze, Kociewie as told by George Shapleski of Feilding (Part One).  “In my youth one could say that I was a bit of a wanderer, having been in both Germany and Russia. I had visited the Ukraine and worked in the vicinity of the city of Kiev; traveled to Lemberg and at one time or another lived in Posen and Cracow.  Being a horse lover and brought up to work with horse teams -at planting time in the fields, as a coachman and driver, there was little difficulty in finding something, somewhere, to turn a hand at.  It was, I think, in 1861-62 a very severe and cold winter in central Poland.  I was working for the owner of a large estate, usually with horses.  Sometimes called out to act a s coachman to my gentleman employer, host to his visiting town friends.  On the Journey we were caught in a sudden blinding and blustery snow blizzard, obscuring trees and roadway.  My passengers, being rugged up and warm, were very anxious for their safety and the vehicle should not be in danger of being up set by straying from the road, producing much anxiety and numerous timid inquiries  of can you see where you are going, Jakob?” One of my numerous jobs was to accompany workmates on a horse drawn sled, through snow and slush, to the frozen over Vistula, near Starogard, to work at sawing the thick river ice into blocks, then deliver the freezing load to the master’s house where it was stacked in an underground storeroom or cellar for cooling purposes in the warmer weather.  There was always the needed warm comfortable spot out of the cold to be found with the stabled horses in the barn.  Many a time this was a haven for me.  On leaving this job, then seeking the next, resulted in becoming acquainted with my future wife.  We were married in 1863, both in our twenties.  At this time Prussian horse troops were frequently seen in the now German Poland.  There were frequent scuffles, grumbles and discontent at he subjection of our people, foreign occupancy of land, plus the added burden of providing sustenance for German army units, to which Poles were now subject to serve.  The invasion of French territory by Prussian soldiery and the occupation of Paris in 1870-71 was a trying time for many Poles, as during the many domestic upsets caused by the several partitions, steady emigration of people to France took place and, consequently, the war resulted in Polish casualties on both sides.  The desire by us to emigrate had often been talked over and the growing family responsibilities, Some prompting of friends who were in communication with relatives already settled in the Province of Otago, New Zealand, decided us to risk the great voyage.  Emigration was not favoured by Prussian authorities at this time.  Mr Julius Matthies who settled at Hokitika and was a sponsor and promoter of immigration for New Zealand Government, when visiting the country for the purpose of selecting farm workers, was imprisoned and died while in prison. “We regret to hear of the death, in Prussia, of Mr. Julius Matthies, an old resident in Hokitika, who went Home on business connected with immigration. At the time of his death Mr. Matthies was contemplating his return to Hokitika. He leaves a wife and two children resident in this town.” “Matthies— On the 7th July last, at his mother’s residence, Treptow, Pomerania, Prussia, Julius Eberhardt Matthies, late of Hokitika, of inflammation of the brain. Aged 42 years.” West Coast Times, 1 Oct 1875. The opportunity came and we joined five local families who proposed to immigrate with assistance of the New Zealand Government.  In the late spring a small party of adults and children took a ship from the Baltic port of Danzig, en route to Hamburg, and we were on our way.”  History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand J. W. Pobog-Jaworowski (1990), pg 55,56. Jakob Czablewski with families; Chajewski, Jakusz, Markinski, Max, Rosanowski & Stobba arrived in New Zealand aboard the “Lammershagen” which arrived at Wellington on 11th of July 1875. They were sent to the South Island settlement at Jackson’s Bay.

A Brother in Law from Liebschau (Lubiszewo Tczewskie) writes to Peter Barra of Waihola for financial assistance to join them in New Zealand.

Barra Letter 1

Barra Letter 2Envelope: My address is Peter Brzoszkowski in Liebschau by Rukosin – Dear Uncle and Auntie I beg you for your quick answer. Dirschau (Tczew) 20th of June, 1876. Dearest Brother in Law, We received your dear letter together with the money and we thank you for it several times. May Dear God give you a lot of luck and blessings in the foreign country and keep your children in good health, Dear Brother in Law, with the twenty pound sterling I went to the English bank in Danzig (Gdańsk) and I had to leave the cheque there for which I was given a receipt. We had to wait for the money for six weeks but we did not pay anything for the exchange transaction. Local agents wanted to charge us twenty gulden for arranging the exchange. We received your letter on the 10th of May. The cheque for 20 pounds was first forwarded to London where it was verified. However, the delay did not matter, as we received for it the full equivalent amount of 133 thaler and ten silver groszy. From the above amount I kept for myself 50 thaler and gave the remaining 83 thaler & ten silver groszy to Dusienski. Dear Brother in Law, quite a lot has changed with our plans to emigrate to New Zealand. Ships with emigrants are not departing to New Zealand any more, they are now sailing to Queensland in Australia, but we do not wish to go there. We wrote to the Agent and he replied that he can arrange the passage to New Zealand but this will cost us 111 thaler for each person and we do not have so much money to pay. Should we wish to travel to New Zealand at the old price of eleven thaler per person then the English Government will post us to work in the forest and we will be unable to live with you in the same place. Should we be able to pay the full costs of the passage, only then we will be able to join you. Johan Behrend wrote to his family and they could travel to him. These people who left in October and November all wrote that they work in the forest and that they are not together with their relatives. Both brothers Drozdowski from Liebschau (Lubsizewo Tczewskie) departed in November for New Zealand and now work also in the forest. The wife of the younger Drozdowski died after six weeks in New Zealand. This news mad us very sad. Growski from Dirschau (Tczew) also departed to New Zealand. I have given him your address as he wanted to be with you, has he arrived? Dear Brother in Law, we are very sad that at present we are unable to travel to New Zealand, especially as I have sold all my belongings. What shall I do now, when no more immigrant ships sail with the low passage fare. Dusienski has not sold his belongings. I had to leave my room, because it was discovered that I had plans to emigrate to New Zealand. Now I have to share a room with two other persons. Dear Brother in Law, we do not wish that you work yourself to death and be left without any money. This will happen should you post money to us all the time. However, should you be able in a year or two to pay for us fully paid passage tickets, then we will be sure that we will be able to join you as we wish to do.  

This letter was translated by Mr. G. Jaworkowski, with the following comments; Written in German possibly as given sentence by sentence by a Pole. Phraseology is very Polish and the writer probably had a limited knowledge of German.

Initially the Poles who boarded the ship “Palmerston” believed that they were sailing to America, as were most at the time. This is supported by many family stories and Amerika inscribed on some of the Polish Church documents I discovered. It is widely believed that many agents manipulated migrants to board their ships in order to reach their quota. In this instance it was perhaps a case of share naivety as New Zealand at this stage was very much an unknown destination. As many had relatives in America the agent more than likely told them New Zealand shared the same Pacific Ocean.  One such story I heard from the Hoffman family is that it was thought that an English test at Hamburg had possibly determined your fate.  Pass and you could enter America, a fail and it was to the colonies.   It’s worth pondering about but further research is needed.

The “Palmerston” was the second major shipment of Poles to New Zealand and the first to the Otago Province, under the scheme. The “Palmerston” arrived at Port Chalmers on the 6th of December, 1872 and carried some 105 Poles, the largest contingent to Otago. The majority of these Poles came from what was then West Prussia, ethnically the Polish regions of Kashubia & Kociewie in North Poland.  The passengers were admitted to pratique on the 23rd of December, and on the same day were sent to Dunedin aboard the “Golden Age” where they were received into the Immigration Barracks on the corner of Police and Princess Street. Here they celebrated Christmas day with much frivolity in a season quite opposite to the old country.  They solemnized the day with the christening of three infants born aboard the “Palmerston” at the Catholic Church of St. Joseph’s perched on a nearby hill-top. By the end of January the single men were easily disposed of, or found work on their own accord, however the disposal of the married immigrants was proving harder to employ. It was known that farmers and run-holders were not too keen on employing them, due to the number of children and lack of english. 28 families in the barracks by this stage were engaged on farms and stations except for the lot from Kociewie & Kaszuby, stating their being little demand for them.

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Polish Railway workers near Allanton, kindly provided by Gwen Holleyman.

Mr. Collin Allan, the Immigration Officer at the time, applied to Mr. J. Smith, Messrs Brodgent’s agent, to give the remaining families a contract on the Southern Trunk Railway.  With an interpreter this offer was agreed upon, not before it was suggested that two confident immigrants first visit the work site and report back.  In the last quarter of 1871 the Government had entered into an agreement with Messrs. John Brogden and Sons of England to build the remainder of the Dunedin – Clutha line, a portion of track across the Taieri extending a distance of 34 miles 55 chains, the contractors agreeing to complete the line by the 1st of September 1875. This large contract of necessity caused a great demand for labour and so Messrs. Brogden and Sons hoped to meet this demand by bringing immigrants from England at wages not less than 5 shillings per day. Before hiring the Palmerston Poles the English Navies being the lowest of the classes were deemed unreliable in which a riot broke out at the Henley Pub rendering it trashed. The Chinese searching for work after the gold diggings were given a go but would disappear for days after pay-day, often for recreation purposes. Having decided upon accepting Mr. Smith’s terms the families were transported in wagons to the township of Greytown (Allanton), the locality where they were to be employed, twenty-four km from Dunedin, and purchased timber to make frames for the tents in which they were to lodge. Mr. Allan also took the liberty in asking if the Government would be inclined to sell them land in the township with the view of forming a settlement there.

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Pomeranian Railway System.
It is interesting to note that the line (24) between Tczew & Starogard Gdański was completed on the 16th of January 1871.  August Plewa who arrived on the “Palmerston” was one of those platelayers in Poland.  So is it coincidental that a number of them ended up constructing the railway in New Zealand.

In order to push the line south it was essential at first to drain the Taieri. It was necessary to cut large ditches to drain the swamp before formation work could begin and the early Poles were known to work in great depths of water from early morning till dusk. At Waihola alone some 180 men were working, some on piecework, others on day labour. By the end of 1872, over 320 men were employed on the section and it was possible to see men at work along the whole 35 miles of the line.  While the works moved forward some decided to stay permanently in the Allanton area, while others moved south to the settlement at Waihola, which was regarded as a better supply for wood and water. It also provided a familiar feel of their region in the home country, which is renowned for its many lakes and forests. Here they intended to settle down permanently and send for more of their country folk to come and join them. Charles Hilgendorf, a local contractor took them under his wing and wrote on their behalf to their families back in Poland.

“A number of Germans at work on the railway near the Waihola Gorge, are spoken of by their employers in terms of high commendation. They are steady and sober, good workmen, walk to and from Waihola, (where they live) and when pay-time comes round do not disappear for a few days to recover. BH, 8 Sept 1874.

By 1874 the stream of migrants were arriving in such a flow that Provincial officials were struggling to ‘dispose’ of all migrants cheaply and efficiently. The reports of their difficulties alerted higher officials to the argument that it was more expensive to dispose of Scandinavian and German migrants than the UK migrants. The cheaper UK migrants that were pouring in could more than meet the political demands for hard-working, reproducing settlers. The flow from Hamburg could thus be halted. Vogel sent Featherston a telegram, 10 September 1874, instructing him to send 1200 migrants to Otago each month until December, “none after, except nominated or specially selected”. Between 1874 & 1880 only a further 93 fellow Poles arrived in Otago reuniting with family members.

A letter written to Francisca Switala of Allanton from her godson, Josef Willmann.

Switalla Letter1Switalla Letter2

Switalla Letter3Switalla Letter4Gruppe, 25 June 1876. Dear Aunt, Uncle and Siblings, I received your worthy letter while in the best of health and would like to express my most sincere thanks to you. Firstly I would like to send very best wishes from us all over the seas and continents to you. We were very pleased to get your letter and to learn that you are all still healthy, alive and doing well. Firstly I want to describe the same situation. Grandfather is still rather ill but he is now stronger than he was earlier. They are still much the same as they have always been. What I do not know is where old Schweder is. Behrendt has a new lodger in the room where Schweder used to live. I can not say how Behrendt and Willman are getting on, but there is certain to be the same old argument.  My father still lives in Locken with Lyskowski’s father [or: with old Von Lyskowski]. Much has changed in his [my father’s] family since I last wrote to you. He was married off three of his children. That is me. Michal [sic] and Marie. We all married last year in October. As I wrote to you in my last letter, I have married well. My wife has received a good deal of wealth: Beds and some livestock. So I am living quite happily now and so is Aniela, who is in service in Locken as a housekeeper. When I last wrote to you I was in Graudenz but there is another village this side of Weichfeld. Marie married well too. She married Wizenty Hesieki, who is steward on an estate in Locken. They have been allotted good land, have two cows grazing in the master’s [i.e. the local landowner’s] fields; a pretty house and garden for the winter and the summer costs 80 thaler, 24 bushels of rye and 4 bushels of wheat. They are doing well. Michal is well and what is even better is that he has married a girl and is living together with her parents. Soon he will be farming an allotment in Jenin. Only Father still has his problems. He is well but still having so many children and having to feed them costs a lot. He asks whether you could send him some money, if you really do have so much. He wants to come to you soon. If it were up to him he wouldn’t want to come even as far as here, but he does want to make the little children happy. At Whitsun he was here with us in Gruppe and said that when I wrote I should ask you to help him back on to his feet, since Mother is also wanting to go on a trip. My dear Aunt and Uncle, I must also tell you that when we look around here many people have gone to Australia. Your old neighbour, Witkowski, has gone. Six families have gone from Locken (Obozin) and 40 families have gone from the Kakosk (Kokoszkowy) estates. Apart from that, nothing much has happened here. The hay harvest is taking place now. There is no word about war to be heard here. Crops here are as I described to you in my last letter. I was wed twice too, first in the registry office and then in the church. The monasteries have all been dissolved and where a priest dies, no one takes his place. We hope that God’s help will all get back to how it used to be.  Now I will finish and a thousand greetings to you all from us. Parents, sibling and mother together with their wives all send their greetings. We are all in good health and no one has died. Only Huseh [?] is still sick. He has been ill in bed for two years now, and the prospects of his regaining his health look no better. One last request: do write to us again soon. Getting a letter from you is a source of great joy for us. I will write to you again too. Once again best wishes, and my wife also sends her best wishes. I remain yours affectionately, Josef Willmann. My address to Willman – Rural Delivery Recipient in Gruppe, Schwetz District, Marienwerder Province, West Prussia.

After some major setbacks the Dunedin – Clutha line was opened for service on the 1st of September 1875 as scheduled. During the years 1875-77 railway construction was in operation from the settlement of Gore towards Clinton. The line was let out in sub-contracts of a mile or so, therefore, one could see tents here and there along the route while others settled for a time at Waipahi. For the portion of the line between Gore and Pukerau the men seemed to live mostly near Gore or at the settlement of Germantown on the Pinnacle Road where a number of Poles decided to settle. In mid 1874, Johan Bucholz (via the “Palmerston”) was successful in the ballot for a 200-acre section of land, beside an old coal reserve, north of East Gore. He was soon joined by a considerable number of his fellow countrymen who had arrived in the province aboard the ship “Terpsichore” in early 1876. In total, between 20 and 30 families of various nationalities had been living in this small settlement aptly named due to the language spoken by the people who settled there. Finally on the 22nd of January, 1879 it was stated that the Main Trunk Line from Dunedin to Invercargill was declared opened. After its opening, several families followed the construction southwards while others remained in and around Greytown & Waihola.

A family reconnects, 1894.

Halba Letter 1

Halba Letter 2

Greeting from far away.  Liebschau (Lubiszewo Tczewskie), 8th of December, 1894.  Praised be to Jesus Christ.  I reach for my pen to write to you with happiness and tears in my eyes as I hear that you are alive my dear Uncle and Auntie.  I could not speak as I had tears in my eyes when the Parish Priest told me the news in his office.  Dear Uncle and Auntie, I was always under the impression that you were dead and had already ordered few masses for the repose of your souls in your memory.  Dear Uncle and Auntie, I have written to you a letter in which I posted a photo of myself in army uniform, but I received no reply.  Dear Uncle And Auntie, please answer me.  You would like to know what wife I have.  I have married Julianna Ludwichowska and my children are, Franz 17 years, Johanna 15 years who died, Anna 13 years & Michal six years. My brother Franz is in Klein Malsau (Małżewko), my brother Jakob is in Sachsliben employed as master baker, Pauline married a carpenter and Anna married a bricklayer, but I do not know any of my brothers in law.  Dear Uncle and Auntie, myself and my brother Frank, we are well.  I live in Liebschau. Dear Uncle and Auntie, please send me your photographs.  We all send greetings to you Uncle and Auntie and your son Joseph.  Peter Brzoskowski.

Letter kindly provided by Peter Chiles.

Germantown, near East Gore, had its incidents, its characters and its moments of glory. But as a settlement it was short-lived. After the completion of the main trunk line some went on to farms of their own and others followed railway construction work on the Waimea line, Waipahi-Tapanui line or the Gore-Lumsden line. Gradually as the railway employment declined the settlers moved on and took up other jobs or acquired land for themselves. The settlement existed at least until 1897, but today the site that was once Germantown covers the area now known as Whiterig and McNab along the Waikaka Valley.  Many at Waihola went on to purchase or work on small farms such as the “Adams Farm”, near Waihola and supplemented their farming income by either taking seasonal work at the Waihola flaxmills or working for the Lime and Phosphate companies at Milburn & Claredon. During the late 1880’s, a small group of experienced Poles in platelaying, such as; Barra, Jankowski, Klimek, Kreft, Orlowski & Philipowski left Waihola for Melbourne where they found work laying the Australian Southern Railway. Poles in the Allanton area found employment on local farms such as the farm of Mr. James Allan, aptly named “Hopehill”, who had taken an interest in their welfare from their first arrival.

The Poles were a tight-knit community and for a long time the young men especially, were very fearful that the German Officials would arrive and compel them to return to Prussia and serve their Military Service. It has been said that once the railway line through the Taieri had been completed, a member of each family would take turns to go down to the station early in the morning on train days, checking whether the dreaded oppressors had arrived in Dunedin. If necessary they intended to go into hiding.  Black arm bands were worn by many in defiance against the oppressors in the hope that one day Poland would be returned to its former glory.

Pomeranian Births

The majority of Polish immigrants who settled in Otago & Southland were born in the Kociewian region except for 1. Baumgardt & 2. Hoffman, who are initially from the region of Kaszuby.

Pomeranian departing

The majority of Polish immigrants of Otago & Southland departed from within the Kociewian region except for the families of; 1. Baumgardt & 2. Orlowski from Kaszuby.  Gdansk is 30 km north and Malbork Castle 15 km to the west.

From 17 ships arrived some 200 native Poles who worked & settled in the Otago/Southland region during the Vogel era. Within those 200 were some 50 families & individuals. During those early days the Byszewski family had settled in Dunedin, while the families of Gdaniec, Konkel, Kreft & Piernicki settled at Pine Hill.  The families of Bielicki, Chajewski, Dysarski, Grenc, Gurzinski, Klaas, Konkel, Kowalewski, Kreft, Pedowski, Piernicki, Rogacki, Smolenski, Switalla, Teike, Trapski, Walinski & Wroblewski settled at Greytown (Allanton).  The families of Annis, Barra, Baumgardt, Chajewski, Cherkowska, Dowalowski, Dysarski, Gdaniec, Grenc, Halba, Hoffman, Jankowski, Klimek, Kreft, Orlowski, Plewa, Reikowski, Rydzewski, Smolinski, Teike, Welnowski & Wisniewski settled at Waihola.  A small contingent left Waihola and followed the railway south and settled in around Germantown, being; Bielicki, Bucholc, Dovalowski, Haftka, Klukowski, Hoffman, Rydzewski, Szczepanski, Szulc, Tykowski, & Zykowski.  Some of the families that associated around Milton were; Barra, Halba, Klimek, Kreft, Orlowski, Plewa, Rekowski & Welnowski.  The families of Michalski, Rogacki & Teike settled for a time at East Taieri – Mosgiel and Wisniewski had a farm at Momona. It must be mentioned that surnames were often Germanized during the period of Prussian occupation, so one often has to go back as far as pre 1795 to find the original spelling as I have recorded here. Many ethnic groups saw an importance to associate themselves with a common distinctiveness. At this time many that were associated with the Catholic faith regarded themselves as Polish. Hence the coined saying; to be Catholic is to be Polish and to be Polish is to be Catholic.

Today only a few remnants remain, such as the odd sod cottage or wooden villa, to remind us of the once quaint Polish settlements.  Due to the settlers assimilating well to English society, only snippets of Polish sayings and words have remained but are fast fading in time and of course the Polish surnames, now  but known mostly in their Anglised form, all leaving a lasting footprint in time. “They were noted for their thrift, discipline, application to hard work, and drank amazing amounts of alcohol; they maintained their religious affiliations, and lived quite happily unmolested until they were ready to shift to greener pastures”.

Allanton Crowd3

Gathering at Allanton. Kindly provided by Gwen Holleyman.

This article is based on the work of much appreciated writers of early Otago & Southland and of those who were passionate about their Polish origin especially the writings of Pauline J. Morris, a descendant of the Baumgardt family of Waihola & the documented research of George Pobóg-Jaworowski.  A special thanks also to those in New Zealand & Poland that have dedicated their time and passion researching Polish heritage, especailly Ray Watembach from Waitara & Stanley Frymark of Kaszuby, Poland.

Bibliography:

Bailey M., Assisted Polish Migrants to Otago: The 1870’s, Otago University, 2000.

Beattie, H., Pioneer Recollections, Fourth Series: Mainly of the Gore Districts, Christchurch, 1997.

Bruce Herald, 1873-1874.

City Talk, “Didn’t we do well”: Otago Anniversary 1848-1998, Dunedin, 1998.

Davis, N., God’s Playground: A History of Poland, Vol. II, New York, 1982.

Hamburg Passenger Lists 1872-1879.

McArthur, J. F., Golden Reflections: A History of the Waikaka Valley, Waikaka Valley, 1990.

Morris Pauline J., German-speaking Settlements in Otago and Southland, Ch. 4., The German Connection Bade James N., 1993.

NZ, AJHR 1873 D-1.

Otago Daily Times, 1872-1879.

Otago Witness, 1859-1879.

Paszkowski, L., Poles in Australia and Oceania: 1790-1940, Sydney, 1987.

Pobóg-Jaworowski, J. W., History Of The Polish Settlers In New Zealand 1776-1987, Ars

Polish Church Records BDM.

Polona, Warsaw, 1990.

Shaw, M. S. & Farrant, E. D., The Taieri Plain: Tales Of Years That Are Gone, Capper Press, Christchurch, 1977.

St. Joseph’s, Parish Baptism Records.

Sinclair K., A History of New Zealand, Fourth Edition, Penguin Books, China, 1991.

Walsh John, Masterton, New Zealand.

Compiled by Paul Klemick.

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