Polish honour for heritage advocate

Built in Waihola by Polish settlers in 1889, the Mary Queen of Peace was moved to Broad Bay in 1948 and yesterday it held its first Christmas Mass since being restored by Dunedin's Polish community. Photos: Gerard O'Brien
Built in Waihola by Polish settlers in 1889, the Mary Queen of Peace was moved to Broad Bay in 1948 and yesterday it held its first Christmas Mass since being restored by Dunedin's Polish community. Photos: Gerard O'Brien
Honours are not usually announced until New Year's Eve but for one Dunedin heritage advocate acknowledgement came early.

Founding member of the Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust Cecylia Klobukowska has been awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

Since migrating to New Zealand with her husband, Wojciech, and two children in 1986, Mrs Klobukowska has been an advocate for Polish heritage and culture in Otago.

Founding member of the Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust Cecylia...
Founding member of the Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust Cecylia Klobukowska, of Dunedin, with Polish ambassador to New Zealand Zbigniew Gniatkowski, is all smiles after receiving the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland at the Mary Queen of Peace, Historic Polish Church, in Broad Bay on Christmas Day.
Making the occasion even more special was that she was presented with the award in the Church of Mary Queen of Peace in Broad Bay, built in Waihola by Polish settlers in 1899 and moved to its present site in 1948, after it held Christmas Mass for the first time since it was restored.

''I receive this on behalf of all the Polish trust members, because what has been achieved in the past 20 years, it would not be possible without the help of everyone.''

The Polish ambassador to New Zealand, Zbigniew Gniatkowski, was on hand to bestow the award.

''When I first visited Dunedin about four years ago and was taken to the Polish cemetery at Allanton and I realised how dedicated the heritage group are and how much work they have put into recognising those early settlers.''

Created in 1974, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is awarded to people who have rendered great service to Poland.

It is granted to people of other nationalities as well as Poles who live in other countries.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

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