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Danuta and Andrzej Olszewski with siblings Alicia Collins and Lilian Olszewski in Kingaroy on Sunday … Andrzej joined his sisters as an Australian citizen . . .

. . . and as they were in Brisbane in February 1962; Danuta, 13; Andrzej, 11; Alicia, 9; and Lilian, 5

January 29, 2020

Back on Australia Day in 1962, four young English immigrants clapped eyes on their new homeland for the first time … 58 years later, they came together again in Kingaroy for a very special celebration.

On Australia Day 2020, Andrzej Olszewski, who now lives in Nanango, officially became an Australian citizen, joining his sisters Danuta, Alicia and Lilian as dinki-di Aussies.

The four arrived in Fremantle on board the “Castel Felice” on January 26, 1962.

Despite the Polish names, they were from Bradford in Yorkshire.

Their first meal in their new country was fish and chips, which has become an Australia Day ritual for them ever since.

The youngsters continued on board the ship to Sydney and then boarded a train to Brisbane where they were snapped by a photographer from the Brisbane Telegraph.

Danuta and Lilian travelled from Brisbane, and Alicia from Bribie Island, to be with Andrzej for his citizenship ceremony on Sunday, conducted by South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell during the official Kingaroy Australia Day activities.

Andrzej was one of 16 people who became Australian citizens during the event at Kingaroy Showgrounds; and one of 27,400 across the country who became true blue on Sunday.

Kingaroy’s Australia Day activities began with a blessing by local Catholic priest Fr Chukwudi Chinaka followed by a hot brekkie served up by Kingaroy Lions at a Bush Poets Breakfast.

Julee-Anne Bell sang the National Anthem and cadets from the 135ACU unit mounted the flags.

Drivers taking part in the three-day Kings Royal speedway event brought over their cars for display, including a fully restored LJ Torana which came second in Australia in Modified Productions in 1987.

Paul Geritz explained that the car, which will be used to promote speedway in Kingaroy, had been rebuilt as a tribute to Noel and Stephen (“Chook”) Geritz.

All the old favourites were at the Australia Day event, too … a coo-ee competition, thong throwing plus lamington and pie eating.

Also helping out on the day were members from the Kingaroy QCWA, Kingaroy Quota, Rotary and the Kingaroy Men’s Shed.

The “new” Australians welcomed to citizenship at the Australia Day ceremony in Kingaroy on Sunday

Cadets from the 135ACU unit mounted the Queensland and Australian flags next to a portrait of the Queen

At the Poets Breakfast … Marie Shaw, Fr Chukwudi Chinaka, Bernadette Upton and Carol Fleischfresser, all from Kingaroy

Nathan and Shannon Hartley also shared some Aussie poetry

Bush poet Dan Rutley recited some classic Banjo Paterson

Maija Lindbergs, from Toowoomba, was helping Maggie Livett, from Nanango, get into the holiday spirit

And there were scones and damper prepared by members of Quota and the Kingaroy QCWA … Lorrie Pegrem was helping to share the brekkie treats around

The judges for the coo-ee competition were all ears … Australia Day Ambassador Emeritus Professor Ken Donald AO, vocalist Julee-Anne Bell and Kingaroy Australia Day co-ordinator Cr Danita Potter

The coo-ee competition podium … Jesse Morey, Kingaroy (3rd); Scott Henschen, Ironpot (1st); and Tommy Beil, Taabinga (2nd)

Paul and Tracey Geritz with their fully restored LJ Torana speedway racer

Serving up brekkie … Norm Jackson, Malcolm Clifford and Chris Robins

South Burnett Young Citizen of the Year Brenna Prendergast with South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell … Mayor Campbell introduced both Brenna and Citizen of the Year Mark Beil to the crowd

Kingaroy Girl Guide Maggie Livett shows her winning style in the (no hands allowed) lamington-eating competition

Lamington competition winners …. Maggie Livett, Nanango (1st), Josh Fearby, Kingaroy (2nd) and Anatoli Kuchtin, Kingaroy (3rd)

And they’re off … competitors in the pie-eating competition rush to take their first bites

Winner Josh Freeman, centre, from Kingaroy, set a cracking pace

Pie-eating competition winners … Scott Collier, Kingaroy (2nd), Josh Freeman, Kingaroy (1st), and Jeff Montebello, Blackbutt (3rd)

Junior thong-throwing champs … Lilly Timmins and James Salmon, both from Kingaroy

Senior thong-throwing champs … Aimee Freeman and Neil Salmon, both from Kingaroy


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