Letter from Helena Fagan – President of the Polish Association in NZ Inc.

11 April 2020

Dear Members and Friends of the Polish Community,

Paschal Greetings

On behalf of the Polish Association in New Zealand Incorporated, I would like to wish you, your friends and families the very best for your paschal celebrations this very different year.

In the words of the ancient curse, we find ourselves living in interesting times.  Just when instinct bids us draw near, the Association has been obliged to postpone or cancel all its events and activities. Even before government required it, we did this gladly because the health of our community must always come first. 

These days are particularly trying for our people. Whether you find yourself in the midst of Pessach or the Easter Triduum, our beliefs and traditions, and the ability to share them with those we hold close, are hallmarks of our cultures. 

Many will be missing services.  In our household the annual race to get the Easter basket finished and to church in Petone on time for blessing is an annual observance that, for all its stress, I miss terribly. Tomorrow the extended family cannot gather at our table.  My father will spend yet another day alone.  All of us are going through something similar.

For members of the Polish parish who have celebrated Easter together at St Joachim’s, Berhampore for the better part of 50 years, there is an added sadness.  As many of you know, the church property was sold to developers and is now scheduled for demolition.  The cancellation of church services followed shortly by Level 4 lockdown, meant there was no opportunity for us to gather for a final good bye to this place of worship.  Once services are allowed to resume, Polish services in Wellington will take place at the chapel of the Home of Compassion in Island Bay. 

Even in lockdown, there are things we can do to support each other.  If you are isolated in any way and could do with support from another member of our community, please contact us on association@polishcommunity.org.nz.

Similarly, get in touch if you can help.  Could you drop groceries to someone in your neighbourhood once a week?  Could you spare half an hour for a chat with someone who misses their mother tongue?  Maybe you’re an experienced parent who would be happy to be a contact for someone feeling stranded with young children without the support of play group or kindergarten?  Or an expert baker who can provide tips to those of us who are finally home enough to give their own sourdough a go?  Whatever it is, let us know and we’ll do our best to put you in touch.

The Association’s executive will meet this Thursday evening to talk about what we can work on during lockdown.  As always we welcome the contribution of ideas.

Yours with warmest wishes for good health and God’s blessings,


Helena Fagan