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  • 4 May 2017

    Today, 4 May 2017, New Zealander Madeline Anderson turns 110. That makes her New Zealand’s eldest citizen. She is half Polish, the granddaughter of some of the earliest Polish settlers in New Zealand.

    The Polish Ambassador Zbigniew Gniatkowski met with Mrs Madeline Anderson and wished her a very Happy Birthday and congratulated on this very special and milestone occasion.

     

    Mrs Anderson was born Madeline McKenzie Orlowski in the city of Dunedin 1907, the eldest of four daughters born to John Andrew Orlowski and his Scottish wife Jane Anderson.

     

    John Orlowski was born in 1880 in the small settlement of Waihola (near Dunedin), the son of Polish migrants Augustus Joseph Orlowski (born 1840 in Gdańsk, Poland) and Francisca Paulina Annis (born 1849 in Tczew, Pomerania). They had married in 1869 in Godziszewo, Pomerania, and migrated as many other Polish early settlers to Dunedin through Hamburg in 1872. In 1899 Augustus Orlowski built a church, now located at Broad Bay, which has been used by the Polish Community of Dunedin.

     

    The Polish presence on New Zealand soil reach far back in history. In October this year the Polish Communities and the Polish Embassy in New Zealand will celebrate the 145th anniversary of the arrival of Polish early settlers, who came to Otago and Taranaki and helped build New Zealand’s infrastructure.

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