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  • To serve Poland – to build Europe – to understand the world
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  • 3 March 2017

    The Pahiatua Museum, in partnership with TV series Heritage Rescue held a grand re-opening of the museum on Friday the 3rd of March. Amongst the invited guests were the Polish community members, known as Pahiatua Children and their families, local residents as well as Ambassador of Poland Zbigniew Gniatkowski.

    The museum has been closed for five days while the Heritage Rescue team, museum volunteers and dedicated locals have been working to revitalise and expand the Pahiatua – Polish history displays in the museum. The Heritage Rescue film crew have been interviewing local and Polish community members and to gather stories.

    On Friday the 3rd of March, the doors of the Pahiatua Museum were open for the public to see the new and revitalised Polish Room with the new displays and unique elements of local history.

    Ambassador in his speech recalled the history of Polish orphans who came to New Zealand through Siberia and Persia in 1944.

     The 1st November 1944 will remain an important date and milestone in the history of friendly relations between our people. New Zealand’s war Cabinet – as one of few governments of the time – responded positively to the appeal of the Polish Government-in-Exile in London to provide a temporary shelter to Polish orphans. Polish children, saved from certain death in Soviet camps, were not only spared further war suffering, but were able to find a new home. We remember that Polish children were welcomed with hospitality and warm hearts – at the Wellington harbour and particularly here in PahiatuaOn behalf of the Polish authorities I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the people of New Zealand for assistance offered in difficult time. – said the Polish Ambassador.

     

    Thanking for the project aimed at preservation of this milestone event in the 44-years-long history of diplomatic relations between Poland and New Zealand, Ambassador said: I would like to congratulate Brigid Gallagher and the Heritage Rescue team   as well as Gilda and Andrew McKnight of the museum on this successful and valuable initiative. Thank you for your efforts focused on cultivating this part of Pahiatua legacy. I believe the young people in the community, represented today by the Tararua College, will continue this important work.

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