When I was at school in Taranaki, there were lots of kids with names like Dodunski, Stahurski or Potroz. It didn't occur to me to question why these names were so different (I had a long Scottish surname myself).My father explained that these were the Polish names of early settlers who had worked extremely hard to hack dairy farms out of the Taranaki bush.
In "A new tomorrow", Witold Domanski, tells of how, as a young boy, living in Poland at the beginning of the Second World War, he saw his family evicted from their home by the German army. They were sent to Siberia and finally escaped to New Zealand via Central Asia and Iran. The family experienced terrible heartache and hardship and were separated. Some members were reunited in Iran where they were treated with great kindness by the Iranian people. The family eventually all resettled in New Zealand where they joined a very active Polish community.
This is such a positive read because throughout their trials and tribulations, the family members show such love and care for each other and their Polish countrymen. You cannot help but be touched by the great spirit of solidarity shown by this family. They become such a wonderful asset to the New Zealand community, joining professions and embracing Kiwi culture with enthusiasm.
Title: A New Tomorrow: The Story of a Polish-Kiwi family
Author: Witold Domanski
Publisher: Tararua Publications
- Joy, Whangaparaoa Library
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