SIR PAUL EDMUND STRZELECKI – HISTORY EXHIBITION (ADELAIDE 19.05.2023)
(Welcome by Marysia Thiele, Polish journalist and writer in South Australia)
Welcome everyone and our guests to today's Official Opening of the exhibition "Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki: Australian Explorer, and Irish Humanitarian." Thank you for coming.
The decision of The Parliament of the Republic of Poland to declare 2023 the Year of Paul Edmund Strzelecki, inspired us to create this exhibition for the annual May South Australia's History Festival.
Visiting this exhibition, you will learn about Paul Edmund Strzelecki scientist, explorer, and Humanitarian. But who was the man? Well, he was one of the most handsome gentlemen of the 19th century, famous for his romantic, never-fulfilled love for Adyna Turno, and a hero of a few 19th-century books. In 1840, Lady Jane Franklin wrote of him to her cousin: “Count Strzelecki a Polish nobleman … is so gentlemanlike, elegant, so very clever, so accomplished, so full of fire and high spirited, and friendly, only a little bit sarcastic, but not too much so. He will be the brightest star in your galaxy of acquaintances”.
This exhibition covers Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki’s four years of scientific explorations in Australia and three years of his philanthropic deeds in Ireland where he saved thousands of lives during the Irish Potato Famine, among them over 200,000 registered children and an unknown number of adults, as they were not registered.
In 2015, my husband and I attended a week-long celebration of a Gorta Mór in Dublin, where Paul Edmund Strzelecki was commemorated with a plaque. Thus he entered on the list of benefactors of Ireland, and his name entered the pages of school textbooks.
As you stroll around the exhibition I would like to draw your attention to the map by Paul Edmund Strzelecki from 1842, one of the first coloured maps in the world. The last time it was presented in full dimensions was over 150 years ago. Thanks to Ted Dudziński, today, we will be the first people in the world to see a copy of this map on a 1:1 scale.
Now I would like to thank those whose assistance has made this Exhibition a reality. I would like to thank Ted Dudzinski, the curator of the exhibition and technical producer of the 13 posters of the ‘Australian Explorer”, for his passion and constant support of my research, and his extensive patience.
Thanks to the courtesy of Mr. Zdzisław Leliwa from Poland, the curator of the website mtkościuszko.org.au, who electronically forwarded to us the Ireland posters commissioned by the Embassy of the Polish Republic in Dublin, Ireland, we can learn about Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki’s humanitarian work in Ireland.
Thanks to Kościuszko Heritage Inc from Sydney for letting us use their resources.
And lastly, my thanks to the editors of the English texts of the ‘Australian Explorer’ part of the exhibition.
Finally, paying respect to the older generation of the Polish community in Australia, the English texts were translated into Polish. Thus the Exhibition is in English and Polish.
It will be appreciated if you sign the exhibition memorial book, before departing tonight
And an important reminder. Show your talent! Don't miss entering our International Competition 'In the Spirit of Strzelecki' with $25,000 of prizes to be won.
Once again, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the presentation of the exhibition 'Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki: Australian Explorer and Irish Humanitarian’. I hope you will enjoy the exhibition.