• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland
  • NEWS

  • 26 April 2017

    On April 25, 2017 New Zealand celebrated ANZAC Day. On that day the Katyn Day was also commemorated. Wellington’s Polish celebrations were organised by the Polish Combatants’ Association (SPK).

    Dozens of people, including representatives of several generations of the Polish Community, attended the ceremony at Dom Polski in Newtown. In his speech, Polish Ambassador Zbigniew Gniatkowski said:

    The fate of the Pahiatua Children is interwoven with the fate of the officers murdered in Katyn, whose tragedy we symbolically commemorated at the church of St Mary of the Angels’ Church, a home of the Katyn plaque for the last 40 years.  Poland is grateful to the Children of Pahiatua that they have preserved the Polishness: language and culture, maintained the faith of their ancestors. We are also proud of your successes and contribution to the welfare of New Zealand.


    Ambassador Z. Gniatkowski and the President of the SPK Marian Ceregra decorated a dozen of SPK’s members with the Crosses of the Combatants and the SPK badges for their activities.


    In the morning, in the newly opened Church of St Mary of the Angels, Ambassador Gniatkowski and the SPK delegation laid a wreath at the Katyn plaque. Special Mass on the occasion of ANZAC Day was concelebrated by Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington and Father Barry Scannell, parish priest of St. Mary’s. The Wellington Polish Community has been closely connected with this church for several decades. In 1977 the Katyn plaque was installed here with the soil brought from Katyn. Masses for Poles were regularly celebrated. Following the July 2013 earthquake this neo-gothic church had to be closed due to required works aimed at anti-seismic strengthening of the structure. The church opened its door in time for Easter 2017. The participation in the ANZAC Day mass by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Consul as well as members of the Polish Community, including the SPK colour party, was a symbolic return of our community to the church of St Mary of the Angels.


    On the day,  Ambassador Gniatkowski participated in the national celebration of ANZAC Day in Wellington, attended by Governor General Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister Bill English, representatives of the New Zealand Army and veterans, diplomatic corps and numerous Wellingtonians. The Polish Ambassador, on behalf of Poland’s authorities, laid a commemorative wreath, paying tribute to the soldiers killed during World War I and other fronts.


    ANZAC Day celebrations were also held in other cities. The Polish Honorary Consuls Winsome Dormer and Bogusław Nowak participated in the local commemorations in Christchurch and Auckland respectively, as did the members of Polish Communities around New Zealand.



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