Time is of the essence when it comes to Andrew Krajewski's plan to create a Museum of the Poles in the Illawarra.
The Shellharbour resident, who runs the Polish Australian Historical Group, is working on setting up a museum within the Polish Centre at Gwynneville, which celebrates 160 years of Polish settlement in the Illawarra.
Group members have been collecting photos, old documents, medals and other memorabilia from people of Polish heritage in the region and they are keen to hear from anyone who has items they can contribute to the museum.
The group, part of Wollongong's Polish Association, is holding a traditional high tea on October 25 to raise funds for the museum.
Mr Krajewski is also writing a book on the history of Polish migration to the Illawarra.
"My intention is to write the book, open the museum and get as much memorabilia as possible just to preserve it," he said.
"I'm pretty sure in every Polish household in the Illawarra there is at least one object that is worth preserving."
Mr Krajewski said time was a factor now that the post-World War II wave of Polish migration was over: "Those people are in their late 80s and 90s and are fading away, taking their memories with them."
A public workshop held at the Polish Centre in February garnered some historical items, including a diary written in Polish by Antony Skorupa, which dates back to before World War II.
The high tea will be held at the Polish Centre, 143 Gipps Road, Gwynneville, on October 25 from 3pm, featuring classical music. Tickets cost $20. RSVP by October 23.
Tickets, information: 4225 7080 or email@example.com