Plewa, August Railway platelayer (1847-1913) Szczerbęcin, the son of Franciszek Plewa & Franciszka Kochanska m. (30 Aug 1868) St. Malgorzata, Miłobądz, Franciszka Weronika Kostkowska (1839-1934) Knibawa, the daughter of Jan Kostkowski & Maryanna Lewandowska. Family—Mieścin; Franciszek (1869-1916) & Angelika (1871-1941). It is believed August worked on the railways in Poland. They left Mieścin for Hamburg where they set aboard the “Palmerston” 29 Jul 1872, arriving at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, 6 Dec 1872
Listed aboard was—August Plewa 24, Francisca 31, Franz 2 & Angelica 6 mths. The family was sent south to Scroggs Creek on contract work with Brogden & Sons to lay the southern railway through the Taieri. The family moved to Waihola then south to Akatore where August built a sod cottage. Here he worked for Mr Wayne as a farm labourer. Family—John Patrick (1874), August Michael (1875-1935), Joseph (1878-1944), Julius Thomas (1881-1954) & Frances (1889). The 82’ Freeholders, lists August owning 2 acres to the value of £100 at Akatore. They moved to Milton where August, a labourer, was naturalised as a New Zealand citizen on 15 Sep 1887. During one of the big floods, August & Frances were marooned in their house in Albert Street upon the kitchen table until a rescue party arrived. August died at Milton on 20 Sep 1913 aged 65. “100 Not Out!” Miltons’s Centenarian. As announced in last issue, Milton’s oldest inhabitant—Mrs August Plever, of Cargill Street—celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday, and was the recipient of congratulatory messages and telegrams in honor of the important event. The Governor-General (Lord Bledisloe) telegraphed “I send you warm congratulations and good wishes on the attainment of your hundredth birthday, and trust that you are still keeping well.” The Premier (Mr G. W. Forbes) wired; “Accept my hearty congratulations and good wishes on the celebration of your 100th birthday. May you enjoy many more years of good health.” A telegram from Mr P. McSkimming, M.P., read: “Hearty congratulations on your 100th birthday. May God’s blessing rest upon you. Sincerely trust that your lum will keep reeking for a when yet. Kind regards.” In celebration of Milton’s first centenarian a happy birthday party was held at Mrs Plever’s residence on Thursday evening, and attended by large number of relatives and friends. Amongst those present were the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr and Mrs Jas. Gray) and W. J. Cockburn. The Mayor extended official congratulations to Mrs Plever, and in happy speech on behalf the Council presented her with a handsome eiderdown quilt. Earlier in the day Mr D. McGregor (chairman) had personally conveyed official greetings from the Bruce County Council. The birthday cake was surmounted with its hundred candles, which were lit by the honoured guest. A happy evening was spent in vocal solos and community singing. Despite her advanced years Mrs Plever enjoys good health, and was able to take active part in the birthday festivities, at which she sang two songs in her native Polish language. Although official records have become mislaid with the passing of the years, it is authoritatively stated that Mrs Plever was born at Gorshaw (Poland) on March 10, 1832, her maiden name being Frances Coskoviski. When about twenty seven years of age she married Mr August Plever in her native country. About ten years later they emigrated to New Zealand, accompanied by their young family. They journeyed per the ship Palmerston, which arrived at Port Chalmers in 1872. The husband was a railway platelayer in his native country, but in New Zealand carried out general farm labouring occupations. They took up residence at Waihola, afterwards removing to Glenledi, where Mr Plever worked for the late Mr Wayne, and he built a clay whare on the site where Mr D. Gardyne’s home now stands. From Glenledi Mr and Mrs Plever removed to Milton, where Mrs Plever has since resided for about half a century. Her husband predeceased her almost ten years ago. She has surviving family of four sons and one daughter—Mrs A. Anicich (Milburn), Jack (Melbourne), August, Joseph (Milton) and Julius (Timaru). During the big flood in Milton about ten years ago Mr and Mrs Plever were marooned in their house at southern portion of Albert Street and had to spend the night uncomfortably seated on the kitchen table until a rescue party arrived. Possessed of all her faculties and able to walk without a stick Mrs Plever thoroughly enjoyed the festivities arranged in her honour. During her lengthy life Mrs Plever possesses the unique record of having journeyed only twice in a railway train—once on visit to Dunedin and the other occasion the three mile journey from Milton to Milburn. She has made five trips around the district in motor cars. Mar 1932 BH. Francisca died at Milton 7 Sep 1934 aged 95and is buried with her husband at the Fairfax Cemetery Milton.
Franz Martin Plewa m. (1900) St. John’s, Milton, Annie Pearson (1869-1934). Family—Frank. Franz worked as a farm labourer at Glenledi and died in Dunedin in Dec 1916 aged 47. Annie died in Milton in 1934 and both are buried at the Fairfax Cemetery, Milton.
Angelica Plewa m. (12 Jun 1889) St. Mary’s, Milton; Antonio Anicich Fiume, Denmark. Family—Milton; Mary Teresa, John Francis & Margaret, Akatore; Teresa Ellen, Waihola; Joseph, Akatore; Antony August, Julius Martin, Jacob Albert, Milton; Michael Raymond & Edward Luke. It has been said that they moved to Australia briefly before retuning to New Zealand around the 1890’s. The Victorian Shipping lists Antonio Anicich arriving at the Port of Melbourne aboard the “Barbarossa” in February 1898. They always took part in various activities in the district where Angelica was secretary for the Milburn P.W.M.U. and also a member of the Milburn W.D.F.F. Angelica died at her residence, Park Farm, Millburn on 10 Jan 1941 and is buried at the Fairfax Cemetery, Milton. Antonio died 10 Oct 1945.
Bruce Herald, Dunedin Public Library
Catholic Baptism & Marriage Records, St. Joseph’s, Catholic Archives, Dunedin
Fairfax Cemetery, Dunedin Public Library
Hamburger Passenger Lists
Hannagan Daphne, Dunedin, supplied family articles & documents
New Zealand Freeholders 1882
New Zealand Naturalisations
Papers Past | Newspapers Home (natlib.govt.nz)
Pobόg-Jaworowski J. W., History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, Warsaw, 1990, pages 23 & 170,
Polish BDM – Pelplin Archives