With the conclusion of the Second
World War, many Poles were unable
to, or did not want to return to their
homeland for various reasons and
as such made the decision to emigrate
to Australia and begin a new life for
themselves and their families. They
were ex-servicemen and women,
displaced persons, etc. As Poles
have done for countless generations,
they began to form various
organizations to uphold their old
traditions and their identities, to
elevate their homesickness, finding solace with their own kind in a strange and at times inhospitable new land. Sport has always been a major enjoyment to Poles and as such a Polish Soccer Club was inevitable. The foundation meeting was held on 13 August 1950 at 93 Brighton Road St Kilda. The first committee was elected on 27 August 1950 and consisted of Wladyslaw Kowalik - President, Wiktor Kwiatkowski - Hon. Secretary, Franek Skowronski - Treasurer, Kazimierz Zielinski - Team Manager, Boleslaw Mlenski - Coach, Mieczyslaw Terlikowski - Team Manager. The meeting decided that the Club would be named Polonia Soccer Club... "Polonia" being Latin for Poland and the colours of red and white adopted. Polonia played its first game against JUST (holders of the World Cup) and defeated them 4:3. It was the beginning of a meteoric climb and the beginning of the golden fifties and sixties for the Club. Polonia became 4th Division Champions in their first season of existence 1951, 3rd Division Champions in 1952 and World Cup Champions in 1953. Destroying all opposition. Players, who starred in these early days and will be remembered by many were Stefan Czauderna and Robert Zablocki, pivot for the Victorian team that played the touring England team in 1952. Stasek Galecki was the best left wing in the State at the time and Augus Dziura, a fine goal scoring center forward.
Please Note: This page is constantly being updated with new information. The information above is as accurate as possible as of 12 November 2014.
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During these early years, Polonia was fortunate
to have amongst its ranks, the dynamic figure of
Ted Lezon, a person gifted with explosive energy
and controversial temperament which gave the
Club plenty of drive and lift and who to this day
is still an influence to the present. In 1956, Ted
Lezon was entertaining officials of the Polish
Olympic Teams and jokingly said "What about
Polonia getting some top class players from
Poland", that remark set the ball rolling, Dr
Charles Walker, who was present at the time
, had influential connections in Poland and the joke became reality. On the 13 June 1959, the first five of a long line of Polish stars arrived in Melbourne. They were Roch Dronia, Ryszard Szczepanski, Kaz Szygalski, Marian Gasior and Viktor Janczyk. Polonia secured approval to play its matches at Maribyrnong at the old Tracy Speedway venue and in an effort to assimilate with the local community renamed themselves "Polonia Maribyrnong Soccer Club". They remained at this venue until 1992, at which time they moved to the Polish Sports & Recreation Centre Albion where facilities were created for their permanent stay.
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