Are you of Polish descent? Do you have friends who are Polish and are looking for a good book to read? Well, look no further. Christchurch City Libraries have recently unveiled a new Polish collection. This collection is to replace the Polish Association of Christchurch’s original collection as their building was destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake.
The new collection was unveiled on the 21st March 2013 by Her Excellency The Ambassador and was attended by members of the Polish Association, their families and invited guests. Her Excellency also unveiled the first of a series of plaques commemorating the lives of famous Polish people. This is the first plaque to be unveiled in a series called “Polish Trails in New Zealand”.
This plaque marks the achievements of one of Poland’s foremost poets, Adam Mickiewicz. He is regarded as the Polish national poet, essayist, publicist and political writer, prime representative of the Polish Romantic period. He is known primarily as the author of the poetic drama “Dziady” (Forefathers) and national epic “Pan Tadeusz” (Sir Thaddeus).
An English copy of Pan Tadeusz was donated by the Polish community and accepted on behalf of Christchurch City Libraries by Carolyn Robertson, Libraries Manager. Adam Mickiewicz was often compared to Byron and Goethe, and he was also very active in the struggle to achieve independence for his homeland, spending many years in exile where he died in 1855. His remains are laid in Krakow, Wawel Cathedral.
Polish author, Alina Suchanski’s new book Alone: An Inspiring Story of Survival and Determination was also launched that evening. She read a moving excerpt from the book and told us about the inspiration for the book. The book is about the early childhood during the war of her stepfather, who was a well-known personality in Christchurch.