Celebrations marking the 140th anniversary of the arrival of
the first Polish settlers in Port Chalmers have highlighted
both their harrowing shipboard conditions and significant
later contribution to Dunedin and Otago.
The arrival of the sailing ship Palmerston on December 6,
1872, was celebrated by the Polish Heritage of Otago and
Southland Charitable Trust, at the weekend. At a Saturday
dinner in Port Chalmers, Ian Farquhar, a Dunedin maritime
historian, gave a talk highlighting difficult conditions
During a more than four-month voyage from Hamburg, passengers
were beset by sea sickness and other illnesses in cramped
conditions and several people died.
A commemorative plaque was also unveiled at the Port Chalmers
Museum by the Polish ambassador to New Zealand, Beata
She praised trust members for keeping alive the memories of
early Polish settlers, and highlighting their achievements in
helping develop Dunedin and Otago.
A related historical exhibit is being displayed at the
reopened Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.