The 'Tiki Times' was a hand- printed and illustrated newspaper produced weekly at prisoner of war camp E535, Milowitz, Poland from August 1944 to January 1945. Milowitz was a coal mining camp where 500 New Zealand POWs worked alongside Polish miners, together with a few English, Spanish and Cypriot prisoners.
The editor and driving force was Jack Gallichan, a journalist for the Manawatu Evening Standard after the war. The 'Tiki Times' included snippets of information gleaned from prisoners letters from home, humorous (and otherwise) incidents in the life of POWs, verse, political discussions and beautiful artwork. This was originally the work of Max Wallace, but towards the end of its publication, John Phillips drew some magnificent illustrations.
When the POWs at Milowitz were sent on a forced march westwards as the war drew to a close, Jack Gallichan packed up all the issues of the 'Tiki Times' in a backpack and carried them for three months until he was able to hand them to a wounded POW who took them to England. After the war Gallichan oversaw the printing of the 'Tiki Times' and distributed it to the men who had been prisoners at E535.
This is the first issue of the 'Tiki Times'. Wishful thinking induces us to believe it will be the last. If future events bury us again in obscurity, these few pages will, at any rate, serve as an epitaph to something attempted. And if in future, over your pots of "Waitemata", you sometimes remember our brief appearance at E535, we shall ascribe it to, and wonder at, the excellence, and the potency, and the quantity, of the beer you have consumed. So here, gentlemen, is our first edition, dedicated to the wire that has surrounded us for so long, because it has made us all realise what a wonderful place is New Zealand, on whose shores we hope you will soon see the old Tasman toss its breakers. Cheers!!!
Believe us, it is no cotch getting this paper out. We like doing it but what about some of you fellows helping us out with contributions. Some of you can write prose, some can write verse, some can record a humourous moment. If you feel like helping us in this way we assure you your help will be greatly appreciated. Hand your efforts to any member of our staff as published elsewhere in this issue. Now what about it chaps. Schreiben pieronia !!!
I'm a miner, very minor on the lager-grube stroll
To the "arbeit" very "kleine," via the "schale" down the hole,
To the "kohle" where the "steiger" makes me"chep-chep" with a Pole,
Where the "ruche," noisy racket; fills the "filey" with its sound,
While the "stempel," may nothing crack it, keeps the roof from off the ground,
And sanity, we lack it, seems a shilling in the pound
Where they "brent" stopping "arbeit," till the shot lets off its boom
With a bang and our hearts might cease to beat, impending doom
When our "lampes" hissing carbide go out and all is gloom
Then the "chep-chep" "raus" the "kohle," let the Fuehrer have it all,
For the Red Man, Russian roller, has poor Adolf by the ball,
And German rage will smoulder if the output is to fall.
Working, watching hours pass so we can leave the hole
Then the changing, and the showers, washing bodies black with coal,
Then fresh as withered flowers, we do the grube-lager stroll,
To our barracks feeling shattered like a broken window pane
Feeling sore, and bruised and battered. So to sleep to rest the brain,
To get up once we've had it, and do the whole damn thing again.
Here is some N.Z. news, coaxed, gleaned and filched from recently arrived mail by our news scouts:-
At the Ellerslie Easter meeting there was a wet track and popular opinion was all astray. The Easter Handicap was won by Sleepy Fox (Williamson) coupled with Foxola, by five lengths from Lord Chancellor (Wiggins). Hot Pursuit (Bagby) was third.
The Great Northern Oaks was won by Royal Duchess from Royal Glory and Chevalita.
The Champagne Stakes was won by Gay Chat from My Bonny and Navios.
The Mangere Steeples was won by The Dozer, and in the Nolan Handicap of 1 1/2 miles Te Hinemoa won from Jeff and Town Survey.
At the Avondale meeting the big race, the Foley Memorial of 1 1/2 miles was won by Te Hinemoa from Expanse and Water Vixen.
At Riccarton the Great Easter Handicap was won by Master Dash from Pilora and Lord Advocate.
The Great Autumn was won by Sunny Boy with Moutora Bond and Fox Haven filling the minor places.
W. J. Broughton is out of his six-months' suspension and is now the leading jockey, from H. N. Clutterbuck. Sally Lux paid £75 for a win at Trentham. For illegal riding at the Stratford Meeting, N. Holland was suspended for two years. A. E. Ellis is now almost recovered from his fall at Ellerslie. Kindergarten was beaten in the Wellington Cup by Don Quex. The result was a big surprise to Kindergarten's connections! The Cup carried a £5000 stake. Check!!! When Lord Chancellor won the Auckland Cup at Christmas he was favourite and paid £2-0-6.
This will settle all arguments:- Wellington's new cemetery is situated at Glenside, between Tawa Flat and Johnsonville. Personally we don't want to know where it is.
One of the lads in Room 8, Barrack 2, has a pamphlet giving full details of the Government's post war rehabilitation schemes for returned men. He will let you see it if you are interested.
Ben Roberts the new Minister of Agriculture has decreed that the number of breeding sows must be increased by 10,000, that dairy herds must be increased and that an extra 50,000 acres will be ploughed for wheat.
Thirty-six tons of N.Z. chocolate are on the way to Kiwi P's O.W. You should get 4 ozs. of that, surely.
Nelson's apple and pear output topped the list this year.
From the South Island come complaints that the rabbits here increased this year by 16%. They must have had a roll call.
In North Otago there were very heavy rains at Easter-time.
The Waikato experienced a very dry spell in March and April.
The output of coal in N.Z. recently dropped considerably. "Chep-chep peronia!"
It is rumoured that the 51st Scots Division has relieved the Yanks in N.Z. Does your girl-friend verify this?
Teddy Warner has retired from the teaching profession in Lyttelton and was presented with a cheque for £50. He had 37 years in the profession.
Sapper Reg. Hollows, 8th Field Coy. Eng., who was a P.O.W. in Italy, is now reported in Switzerland.
Bill Dervan, prominent Auckland boxing announcer died recently. He was also an hotel proprietor.
The Mayor of Invercargill has returned home from overseas service. J. R. Hannan.
At the Anzac Day parade in Napier, Colonel A. S. Wilder, of the 25th Bn., addressed the gathering.
And here is a little local gossip to finish off with:-
The bank in Sosnowitz has been closed. Someone has made a strategic withdrawal.
One room in this camp has a shield which they give to the man who tells the tallest story. We think Bluey Harvey must hold it, for he is in the revier.
Why when you are losing all those vegetables at the gate, don't you all unite and sing, "Yes, we have no bananas."
And, as you rise up the shaft at the end of a shift, what could be more touching than a rendition of that beautiful hymn "Nearer my God to Thee."
From Omsk to Tomsk it's not so longsk
And its not so long to here-ski
So sing this songsk, it won't be longsk
Before we'll all be freeski.
Don't tell us the British move quickly — it's taken them nearly nine hundred years to get into Normandy - 1066 and all that.
A young man who came from Lanzer
Was asked to define the word "Panzer"
"It's a number of tanks
Advancing with clanks"
Was his witty intelligent answer.
So Terry's got himself a new job - "Sheehan" us off to work!!!
Do you notice all the crops being "stooked" in the neighbouring fields. We 'didn't think they had any "stukas" left.
It's just as well for him that that fellow who wakes us in the morning is learning boxing.
You all know John. He plays the piano we "pinched" off the Tommies. Let's tell you all about him.
He was born in Wellington on May 31st 1911, was educated at Scots College, Wellington, and at New Plymouth Boys' High. He entered the Bank of N.S.W. at Palmerston North in 1928 and later served in branches at Dannevirke, Bulls, and Wellington. Coal deposits never interested him in those days.
As a relaxation he claims to play a mediocre game of tennis, and tennis rackets, we assure you, are the only rackets he is interested in.
He loves music, and singing, and favours both light and heavy classical pieces. He has composed several pieces of music, and while P.O.W. in Italy, occupied a lot of his time in this way. One of his compositions has been put over the air in N.Z. At present he is writing a Te Deum for publication at the end of the war.
He enlisted in the army at Wellington in 1940 and left N.Z. with the 6th Field Regt. in August of that year. He fought in Greece and the Western Desert and was captured in November, 1941. He worked for five months and was 'collected' by the Germans when the Armistice was signed and sent to Stalag VIIIA at the end of Sept. 1943. Since then the grubes here claimed him.
He plays the piano for us and we like to listen, for music like his really does have charms. Good Show, John.
He was born at Christchurch on Oct. 24th 1917, was educated at the Waimairu Public School and on leaving school took up farming. In 1934 he left the South Island for Wellington. Saw the error of his ways more than likely. In Wellington he was employed by Bond's Hosiery until the outbreak of war. During this period he took an active part in all the Labour Party's political campaigns, and is a member of the Right Hon. Peter Fraser's Electoral Committee in Wellington Central Electorate. Peter Fraser only fires the bullets. He confesses that he was a leading agitator for the party at meetings of the National candidate, Will Appleton.
He joined the army in Sept. 1939, and was later posted to the 19th Bn. He saw action in Greece, and Crete, and was taken prisoner in Crete. Since then he has been on mining parties with a different kind of "poll" from the one he used to help Peter Frazer to top. At E.75 he took a very active part in organising the Welfare of the camp.
He is interested in Rugby and Hockey, and has an ambition to return to N.Z. to continue his activities in the political world with the object of ensuring a long reign in office for the Labour Party.
[I favour John A. Lee myself. Anything to start an argument. Ed.]
This popular feature has the following staff, or have we got popular in the wrong place:-
Printer:- Max Wallace
Business Manager:- Terry Sheehan
News Scouts:- Jack Wright. Danny Hogan
You should know the composition of your Camp Committees. Here they are:
President:- H. Daniell
Secretary:- J. Fleming
Treasurer:- I. Stevenson
Committee:- Messrs. Todd, Sheehan, Dunford, Cockburn, McCowan, Harvey.
Chairman:- D. J. Taaffe
Secretary:- H. Daniell
Committee:- Messrs. McNeil, Todd, McKinney, Cockburn, Sharpe, Dunford, Davies.