Our History – corrections

Input from readers is something website creators welcome, and we are no different. It means people are reading our stories—and let us know where we may have got it wrong.

In my original story about the history of Poles in Auckland, which is under the About Us drop-down menu, I mistakenly used an incorrect date for the official opening of the Dom Polski. I apologise for this. The date of the opening of the hall was 8 February 1976.

I have since updated the story to include that information, found the original plaque, photographed it, and discovered, too, that the hall was officially opened by the then Mayor of Mt Albert, Frank Ryan.

I was also chastised for not paying more attention to the past presidents of the Auckland Polish Association (APA). I know that I took a risk in mentioning names that I had gathered from various sources, and the easy solution would have been to delete them rather than include someone who was not a president. I chose instead to retain them, because a name can trigger a memory, and there is already a dearth of definitive historical records for the APA.

I still want to fulfil the request for a list of past presidents, and the years they served. Any information is helpful: it will either confirm or query a supposition. If anyone would like to help compile this list, please contact me by emailing info@poloniaauckland.co.nz, and put “past presidents” in the subject line.

Some of the original members of the Auckland Polish Association, outside the old house.

What I will defend is the way I structured the history in a way that put the current Dom Polski, and the members of the APA who were integral in building it, into the context of the entirety of Poles in New Zealand. As the editor of the website Polish History New Zealand, I am aware that Auckland’s Polish community established itself many decades after others. The Poles in Auckland who built our Dom Polski were made up from “Pahiatua children” and those who arrived in New Zealand soon after WW2. They sit squarely in the middle of the trickle of Poles who arrived in Auckland before WW2, and the increasing numbers who arrived afterwards, and who continue to arrive.

I am aware that there are still several unidentified people in the piece. I encourage anyone who can rectify this to come forward with the information, including anyone who can recognise people in the photograph here, or who knows who took it.

—Basia Scrivens