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New Zealand's First Refugees: Pahiatua's Polish Children

House duties and regulations

House duties and regulations

With so many girls and so few Sisters, it was necessary to introduce some sort of regulations to make life easier for everybody and perhaps employ some lay staff. Sister Alexandrowicz asked the senior girls for any suggestions. They all agreed there was no need to hire additional staff and that they would do the cleaning. Moreover, they agreed that some sorts of rules were necessary for the smooth running of the hostel. A roster for general cleaning on Saturday was written up, prayer times decided (older girls privately, younger ones as a group), times for getting up and making of sandwiches.

On Saturdays, there was mending and perhaps sewing of clothes. Older girls sometimes even made dresses for the younger ones. On Mondays after work and school there was the washing of clothes. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays the older girls could stay out later to 12.30am and on other days the doors were closed at 10pm. If an older girl wished to go out with a boy, he had to be introduced to Sister Alexandrowicz and promise to bring her back himself. During the 11 years of existence of the hostel, the girls rarely broke these rules and never blatantly.