Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Azure New Zealand

My brother visited New Zealand last year and made a fascinating discovery ...
As well as touring the whole North and South Islands, he of course visited Auckland ...
Just when he was exploring the Sky Tower and the surrounding area of Sky City he was intrigued to discover ...
... this plaque dedicated to Croatians!   It reads:

" MEMORIAL  SPOMEN PLOCA.  Between the years 1890 and 1980 this locality was the gateway and meeting place for many thousands of immigrants from the coastal regions of Croatia.  The majority being from the province of Dalmatia.  In this locality they had their homes, their shops, boarding houses, restaurants and clubs.    

Here they paused briefly before moving on to establish themselves on the Kauri Gumfields, vineyards, orchards, farms, fisheries and quarries of the Auckland province.  These streets were central to their social life where they enjoyed the company of family and friends.  This was their village, they were a Croatian people, proud of their origins and their Dalmatian heritage.  For over 70 years in recent history they shared identity as Yugoslavs.   

This memorial plaque, arranged by their descendants, commemorates their presence in this locality.  It further commemorates their courage, their relentless toil, their commitment to their families and contribution to the making of New Zealand.  

New Zealanders of their kin will remember them with respect and affection for generations to come.  This memorial was donated, and place, courtesy of Sky City Ltd, by Fletcher Construction, constructors of Sky City.      August 1997."

So, naturally my brother was amazed to find such a plaque about Croatians ... downunder!

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