People's History Series 2014: Polish Refugees

People’s History Series 2014: Polish Refugees

The People’s History Series continues this Wednesday 29 October at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, at 12:30 pm. The presentation connects with the story of the several hundred Polish children who arrived in Wellington as refugees in 1944. The speakers and topic are:

Mr Stan Manterys: Refugees and Immigrant Workers in Wellington


Mr Zdzislaw (Eric) Lepionka: The Arrival of Polish Refugees 1980-1983

This is the story of New Zealand’s post World War II venture into the unknown area of accepting refugees and migrants, during the period of a shortage of labour in New Zealand. Stan Manterys and Eric Lepionka were two of the 733 Polish child refugees brought here in 1944 for the duration of the war. Most remained in New Zealand, but lack of English and cultural differences made assimilation challenging. In this lunchtime talk, Stan and Eric draw on their own experiences to discuss the challenges of starting afresh in a new country.