Press Release – New Zealand Polish Association
Polish refugee children who arrived in New Zealand on 1st November 1944 will commemorate their arrival and life in New Zealand, together with their families at the 65th reunion to be held in Wellington at the Overseas Terminal on the weekend of 31st October-1st November
The reunion will mark the 65th anniversary, to the day, of the arrival of 733 Polish refugee children and 105 adults from war-torn Poland.
We are honoured to host New Zealand’s Governor-General, Hon Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Satyanand, Parliamentary representatives, Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Archbishop John Dew and Rev. Fr. Tadeusz Przybylak from Australia.
The Polish children endured years of hardship after the ethnic-cleansing of their homeland, witnessing loved ones perish; mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and extended families, the deportation in cattle trains to the Siberian gulags, and eventual forced labour. They ‘walked to freedom’ to Iran and were transported to far-flung countries including New Zealand.
The remaining children who were invited to settle in New Zealand will be giving thanks to their adopted homeland together with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.