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Membership insignias of Polonia Sports Club mounted on grey woollen fabric with a red felt backing. Parts include a brooch to be worn on jacket in two parts linked by bronze-coloured ring. Top part rectangular piece of metal with red enamel on the front and 'LIFE MEMBER' printed in silver. Bottom part red and silver shield depicting warrior mermaid and the words 'POLONIA ADELAIDE'. A second Brooch to be worn through button hole, cylindrical bar with red and silver shield depicting warrior mermaid and the words 'POLONIA ADELAIDE'. A Tie pin design mounted on wire with with red and silver shield depicting warrior mermaid and the words 'POLONIA ADELAIDE'. A Fabric patch normally placed on jacket pocket in the colours of red and white shaped like shield and featuring warrior mermaid in white embroidered on red wool. White and red embroidered edging surrounds her and encased at the bottom the word 'POLONIA'. All made by A J Parkes, Aust-wide.
This collection of club badges are significant, not just for its reflection of the importance of sporting life to Polish Australians, but because the badges on this insignia were created by A J Parkes, a company who has produced medallions and badges Australia wide since its formation in 1896. Polonia soccer club was significant within the Polish community of South Australia. Such clubs, provided a meeting opportunity for community groups, where they could converse in their native language and share other cultural experiences, such as traditional food. In the mid-1990s, Soccer Australia (the governing body for the sport) attempted to shift soccer into the Australian mainstream and away from its association with migrant roots. Many clubs across the country were required to change their names and badges, with Polonia being renamed Croydon Kings.

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  • Title: Membership Insignias
  • Provenance: Donated by Polonia Sports Club, Croydon Park. All made by A J Parkes, an Australian producer of badges and medallions. The Polonia Sports Club has existed since 1950, formed by Polish Australian founders Alek Cmielewski and Karol Metanomski, with the name stemming from the country of Poland. It was one of many clubs in South Australia which sprung up in post-war Australia as a meeting place for communities of Displaced Persons who came here from their war-ravaged homelands to start a new life. Polonia started up in the Adelaide Hills because of the concentration of Polish migrants living at the Woodside migrant hostel. The club played at various parks across Adelaide until 1956, when a long-term lease was secured in northwest suburb of Croydon Park. The playing field was levelled by volunteers with shovels and rakes because they couldn't afford a tractor! Many players were brought directly from Poland to play for the team. Men were keen to migrate as Australia because offered greater opportunities than their homeland. They were sponsored by a local Polish businessman, and would secure manual labour jobs.
  • Subject Keywords: Sport, Documents
  • Rights: No known copyright restrictions, CC-BY-NC, photographer: Rachel Harris

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