Story of 700 Polish Children, which runs 18 1/2 minutes, was produced by Geoffrey Scott and Oxley Hughan. It was directed by Kathleen O’Brien and the cameraman was John Blick. It has had its television “premier” from AKTV2 and will be seen later on other channels.


The new life of 700...

Towards the end of World War II, 700 homeless Polish children were adopted by New Zealand. Theirs was a moving story, but What has happened to them? A film, produced by the National Film Unit, introduces several of them as they are now, twenty years later, and ends with their children-born New Zealanders.

The immigrants, established in a variety of occupations years ago became New Zealanders. Between four and 14 years old on arrival, they were young enough to fit into the New Zealand way of life. Some are sought out at work by the camera crew-a bank clerk at his counter, surveyors on a road, builders on a construction site, a medical Student at college, an engineer in charge of a reading project.

All seem to be doing well at what they want to do, but they speak as individuals.

Newsreels of the children landing in New Zealand in 1944 are a highlight. They include the cordial welcome by the Prime Minister at the time, Mr Peter Fraser, servicemen, civic representatives and many others, and give some striking Close-ups of the children’s reactions-some shy, some gay, some full of wonder.

The final scenes introduce a few of the 700 with their families at home or on outings. Among them is a reunited family of three generations: a brother and sister, their parents, who came over from Poland 17 years later, and the grandchildren.

From New Zealand TV Weekly, July 10, 1967

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