Teresa Broszczyk (1963-1964)
Barbara Czapska (1964-1971)
Bożena Pogorzelska (1971-1977)
Ludwika Lester 1977-1979)
Barbara Czapska (1979-1981)
Bolesława Kempa (1981-1985)
Barbara Czapska (1985-1989)
Krystyna Grzegorczyk (1989-1993)
Irena Kowaluk (1993-Present)
M Antkowicz; H Almonajtis; T Broszczyk; E Buczek; E Bodel; Z Beer; B Czapska; M Cisak; A Czapracka; M Czerniawska; K Czernecka; J Dmuchowska; M Dziendziel; M Drelich; Z Dzierbicka; W Dudkiewicz; F Firyganek; H Graff; F Gębka; F Gauden; W Górniak; K Grzegorczyk; J Grabek; T Grabek; T E Grabek; A Hajduk; G Hapka; M Jabłońska; M Karsznia; M Kądziąłka; P Kohl; I Kowaluk; J Kostrzyńska; T Kobylec; M Kolabińska; J Kramarczuk; I Krawczyk; S Kohątek; A Kremzer; B Kempa; J Kowalska; B Kowalska; W Krzysica; M Klimek; B Konopielko; M Kraśnicka: J Lachowicz; I Leszczyńska; L Lester; A Łącka; J Łaszczak; L Mejgło; M Matkowska; M Modzelewska; J Michałowska; W Mackonis; I Malinowska; Z Michalewicz; G Małecka; D Markiewicz; K Matuszek; W Moszko; K Ola; H Ostromecka; S Ozon; K Orłowska; M Osińska; B Pogorzelska; I Pogorzelska; J Przysiężnik; A Puzinowska; G Pikuła; A Pisko; A Pasieczna; W Peter; K Polowska; Z Pisz; K Połacik; B Pragłowska; K Rybak; S Ryndak; Radwańska; I Rosińska; H Soszyńska; J Sierpińska; B Śmietańska; J Śmietańska; J Szóstakiewicz; A Szóstakiewicz; J Scholz; J Shephard; J Sworzeniowska; M Środa; A Tokarska; I Ulicz; A Wiśniewska; Wysocka; K Wróblewska; Walczak; H Waiser; A Williamson; I Williamson; J Winiarska; R Woźniak
This book that forms the basis for this web site was first and foremost a record of 40 years of community service. The ladies who form the Polish Ladies Circle in Hobart (Koło Polek w Hobart) have contributed to the life of the local Polish community greatly. They have been able to combine their work in the community with careers, homes, family, and the onset of their twilight years.
I would like to let everybody know that their work and their faith in their own ability to serve has not diminished and continues to bear fruit. Their contribution has always been a positive one. They have given generously to charitable institutions as well as to the Polish community. I believe that they have fulfilled their obligation to future generations by preserving the venerable traditions of their homeland.
Women (Polish women), have always played a heroic role whether in their homeland or in exile. We endeavour to follow the paths of truth and beauty. Beauty by giving freely of our time and energy to others and by preserving our Polish traditions. Truth because we adopt as our role model the quiet, modest and radiant stance of Our Lady, Mary. She guides us in our personal and community life.
An important part of this book are the numerous recipes that our members have contributed. It is our hope that by doing this we can pass on our traditional Polish cuisine to our children and grandchildren. When preparing our recipes we have endeavoured to use local products as much as possible.
The hospitality which we learned from our grandmothers and mothers and which we wish to pass on to our children is amongst the most noble of our Polish traditions. The ladies who taught us how to colour eggs and bake cakes live fondly in our memories as do those who showed us time honoured methods of cooking pączki. Many of them are no longer alive. We cherish their memory and thank them for such generous gifts.
The recipes that have been included in this book have been prepared by the members who are still active in the Ladies Circle. In addition I wish to thank Mr Janusz Antkowiak and Mr Andrzej Kowaluk for their work in the production of the original book.
The formation of the Polish Association in 1950 was a seminal event in the life of the Polish Community in Hobart. It marks a beginning to organised community life. Women were involved in almost every aspect of this life almost from the beginning. It was not until 7 July 1963, however, that the Polish Ladies Circle was formed.
The first meeting was held in the Polish Hall and the name “Koło Polek w Hobart” was formally adopted. The goals of charitable, cultural and social work were also articulated. Assistance for the Polish School was a priority as was collaboration with the Polish Association in Hobart.
From the outset the Ladies Circle added enthusiasm to the life of Polish organisations. Fairs, dances and buffets were organised. Theatre performances provided a welcome relief for the Polish community. We took part in the Blue Gum Festival and entered candidates for the role of Festival Queen. We participated in the Village Fair that was held annually in the Botanical Gardens. A handicraft exhibition was organised in the Polish Hall. The photographs of Mr J Małcharek were put on display, Dr Wojtowicz gave lectures on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, well known author Andrzej Chciuk read from his novels and our own Krystyna Jackiewicz featured in a poetry evening. Launceston artist A Szołomiak exhibited his paintings and sculptures.
The Ladies Circle provided funds for a baptismal font and a chalice for St Therese’s Church in Moonah. The provision of benches to kneel on was organised for each pew.
Another project involved the purchase of cooking equipment for the Polish Hall. This included a table, an oven and a refrigerator. Christmas functions where different ethnic groups decorated a Christmas tree in the traditional manner of their country were organised by the Ladies Circle in the Hobart Town Hall. These “choinki” for children brought recognition and praise from the broader community.
We took part in discussions about Poland and our most famous daughter, Marie Curie-Skłodowska organised by the Toastmistresses Club. Fashion parades were organised. We baked 1500 cakes to raise funds for the Multinational Culture Park in Hobart. This park belongs to all of the ethnic groups in Hobart. A Dinner/Dance and other fundraising events were organised to purchase two external pacemakers for the Tasmanian Cardio-Thoracic Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital. A cheque in the sum of $6,000 was presented to Dr David Hill for their purchase.
We have also raised funds for research into cancer, heart disease and other illnesses by the Menzies Centre of the University of Tasmania. Some of our most successful fund raising took place for Poles living in the former Soviet Union. We sent 24, 20kg packages for the needy and a sum of $2,000 to help build a chapel at Katyn.
Recently we played an active role in the appeal made by the Polish Church for funds to assist the victims of serious flooding in Poland. Our efforts raised $1,000 for this purpose. To assist the Kosovar refugees who were given temporary residence in Tasmania we took donations of wool and children’s toys. We also raised a sum of money with which we purchased large bags to hold the goods that had been donated by people of goodwill and generosity all over our state.
We have provided financial assistance to the Fund for Assisting Polish Schools in the East (Fundacje Pomocy Szkołom Polskim w Wschodzie). This organisation was established in Poland to provide text books and other learning materials for Polish Schools that were established in what was the Soviet Union.
We provided financial assistance to the Eucharistic Congress. Funds that we raised for this cause were handed over to Cardinal H Gulbinowicz, the Metropolitan of Wrocław during his visit to Hobart. We purchased a ciborium for the newly built Chapel at Rosary Gardens Home for the Aged. We donated a sum of money for the purchase of beds at Glenview Homes. The Ladies of the Circle knitted woollen blankets for our countrymen resident at Glenview Homes.
The Polish Ladies Circle took an active role in celebrations held for the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2. These celebrations were held over three days. A luncheon at the Polish Hall, a Commemorative Mass at St Joseph’s Church and a Ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph were all scheduled to celebrate this significant anniversary. Our president was a member of the organising committee for these events and also for celebrations associated with the 50th anniversary of the arrival of post war immigrants to Australia. The Immigration Department with full co-operation from the Polish Association and the Polish Ladies Circle oversaw these celebrations. Representatives of ethnic groups and local dignitaries were honoured guests.
The stance of the Polish Ladies Circle has always been to support a free and independent Poland. We have endeavoured to support the Polish Association in their efforts to bring this about. To this end we raised funds to support Solidarity in its struggle against communist oppression.
The Polish Ladies Circle has always tried to support the broader Polish Community in a caring way. We regularly visit our countrymen when they are in hospital, especially when they are lonely with nobody else to care for them. In the past we made trips to the Royal Derwent Hospital a couple of times each year. These visits were always preceded by a Mass. Afterwards lunch and small gifts were provided for the patients. We also make visits to Homes for the Aged. Large numbers of cakes are always baked for these occasions. Our president is a member of the Welfare Committee. She was also a member of the Committee that formed an agreement with Glenview Homes and Rosary Gardens. As a result Poles are given special care in their facilities.
Each year we donate prizes for our local Polish School. We also provide financial assistance to other organisations including the Polish Association, the Polish Radio Programme, Radio 92 FM, the Church Committee, St Therese’s Parish, Oberek Dance Group, the Polish Scouts, children in India, children in Poland, the School for the Blind in Laskach, Poland, and the Albertine Sisters in Warsaw. We made a generous donation to assist with the rebuilding of St Stanisław’s Church in Rome and provide aid to Polish Catholic Missions in New Guinea. We give financial assistance to those who lost their homes through flood and fire. We organised supper for numerous Annual General Meetings of the Polish Association and other Polish organisations in Hobart.
The Polish Ladies Circle is proud to say that they have never received any financial assistance from the government. Every cent that has been raised for the many charitable causes that we have supported has been the result of hours of work on our part. The generosity in terms of time and effort of our members is truly remarkable. For this I thank them.
Our fund raising methods are many and varied. For some time we ran a small shop. We organise picnics and festivals. For many years we have organised a traditional Polish Easter Table (Stół Wielkanocny). The first Easter Table was organised by the ladies in their very first year as an organisation and it has become an annual event.
The table is covered with a large white table cloth and decorated with greenery. Traditional painted eggs and a paschal lamb are placed in the centre, the lamb holding a banner displaying a golden cross. This cross symbolises the victory of Christ over death. The table is always resplendent with traditional Polish dishes. These include various Polish sausages (kiełbasy), hams, brawn and other smallgoods. Homemade horseradish sauce (chrzan) is also included. Polish cakes including babki, kołacze, pierniki, makowce and serniki, and slices (mazurki) are also available. An official greeting from the President of the Circle opens the proceedings. A performance in keeping with Polish Easter traditions provided either by the students of the Polish School or members of Polish Scouting follows. The most important event, however, is the Grace, and the blessing of the table and all of its contents by our local Polish Chaplain. All of the dishes on the table are then offered for sale. Anybody who is hungry is able to purchase food from a buffet run by our members.
We are proud of the fact that two of our members attended the third Worldwide Conference of Polish Women’s Organisations in Cracow (Kraków).
Each year we hold a trip for our members and their families. In December, to prepare for the Christmas period, we get together to share the Lenten Host and sing carols at our Annual Christmas Luncheon.
It is truly difficult to list all of the activities of the Polish Ladies Circle. Our secretary takes minutes of all our meetings. Our treasurer ensures that our accounts are kept diligently and accurately. Our caterer looks after our equipment and keeps the cupboards clean and ready for when they are needed. Our presidents have always planned and prepared projects that are put to meetings of all our members. The ladies consider proposals carefully and gladly volunteer whenever they are asked.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and solidarity of our members and the energy of our presidents we have achieved a lot. We meet monthly with a spirit that is always one of co-operation and enthusiasm, and an atmosphere that is pleasant and congenial. We take turns to prepare a light supper that is enjoyed by all at the conclusion of the meeting.
Our work is characterised by a desire to assist the needy. Our moral stance is that of the Church and its representatives on Earth. Polish culture and values are dear to our heart. We aim to uphold our Polish traditions in a way that is honourable, and which reflects a love of others and is consistent with a Christian way of life. This is our aim both in our family and community life.