On 4 July 1965, Dr Eugenia Czochanska and Krystyna Wojciechowska Brooks called a meeting of all the Polish ladies living in the Wellington region. The meeting was held at the Polish House, 257 Riddiford St, Newtown, Wellington.
The purpose of the meeting was to establish Koło Polek, the Polish Women’s League, an organisation which would aim to enhance the social and cultural life of the Polish Community in Wellington. Their initiative was very well supported with about 60 ladies attending the meeting. The inaugural meeting was chaired by Romualda Waluszewska. The first chairwoman of the Polish Women’s League was Teresa Zalewska and the first committee consisted of 13 members, who represented the following areas – Berhampore, Island Bay, Kilbirnie, Lyall Bay, Miramar, Seatoun, Thorndon, Wellington Central and the Hutt Valley.
The activities undertaken by the Polish Women’s League were varied and numerous. In order to secure the necessary funds to run events and meet its charitable objectives in New Zealand, Poland and other countries, the committee organised dinners, social evenings and various other functions.
Since its inception more than 40 years ago through to today, the Polish Women’s League has worked hard to foster Polish traditions and culture in the Wellington Polish Community.
Due to the advancing age of the members of Koło Polek, the number and range of activities organised have changed over time. However, within its limitations, Koło Polek still manages to support various charitable organisations and activities throughout New Zealand. In addition, they hold annual events including Christmas Carols for Senior’s, picnics, trips, and social afternoons throughout the year which feature guest speakers, discussions on a range of topics, members’ recollections of their trips to Poland and other fun activities.
Koło Polek holds regular meetings where the committee updates members on their current and upcoming activities.
The Polish Women’s League consists of 70 members, mainly Polish born or of Polish descent, as well as a few members of different nationalities. All women with Polish connections are welcome to join the Polish Women’s League.