Historical information

Many displaced people who migrated to Australia after World War 2 brought similar tubs with them as part of their luggage. The tubs were valued by the migrants because they were used for washing clothes and other laundry items, and for bathing children and even adults. The tub in our possession was brought out to Australia in 1950 by the Pierzak family who eventually settled in North Sunshine, Victoria. The following story about the Pierzak family has been provided by the daughter Halina Wlodarczyk (nee Pierzak).

The father Stanislaw Pierzak was born on the 26th of July 1916 in Zbrza, and the mother Teodozja (Teodozia) Szalas on the 5th of March 1919 in Goleciny, both villages in the Kielce district of Poland. In 1940 they were both taken by the German Army to work as slave labour on farms in Germany. Stanislaw worked in the Saxonia area and Teodozja near Dillingen. The work was hard, and when Teodozja contracted pneumonia she was told that she would not be given any food if she did not work.

After the war the displaced persons, as they were called, were settled in various barracks and camps organised by the United States Army. Stanislaw and Teodozja married in Gablingen, Bavaria, Germany, and Halina was born in the camp at Gablingen in 1949. The displaced people were given the choice of several countries if they wanted to migrate from war torn Germany, and so the Pierzak family chose Australia. The Pierzak family set sail from Naples, Italy aboard the ship General M. B. Stewart and arrived in Sydney on the 17th of April 1950. The men and women had to stay in separate quarters, and many passengers were so sick that they did not think they would survive the journey.

In Australia they lived in migrant camps in NSW at Bathurst, Orange, Parkes and Cowra. To pay off their fares to Australia migrants were required to work under contract for 2 years. Stanislaw Pierzak worked in Broken Hill NSW returning to visit his family every 3 to 4 months. The son John was born in the Red Cross building at the Parkes camp in 1952.

In 1953 the whole family moved to Melbourne and lived in a converted garage in Victor Street, North Sunshine. In 1954 the family bought a bungalow on a block of land in Compton Parade, North Sunshine, where eventually they built a house. Stanislaw Pierzak worked at Steelweld in Ashley Street, Braybrook travelling there on his bicycle, while Teodozja Pierzak found work at Smorgon in West Footscray. Stanislaw and Teodozja Pierzak lived in North Sunshine for the rest of their lives, and Mrs Pierzak always said that Sunshine was the best place in the world.


Tubs like this which belonged to displaced people were highly valued possessions and are of historic significance. They were brought out to Australia after World War 2 by many migrating displaced families. The tubs were used for washing activities in the camps in Germany, and the migrant camps in Australia, and also when people lived in bungalows in Australia before they built houses with laundries and bathrooms.

Physical description

Oval shaped galvanised iron tub with two rigid handles, one at each end. The top of the tub is larger than the base. The galvanising is deteriorating in some parts which show a whitish appearance. There are some small dents, and a few chips in the galvanising where surface rust has appeared.

Inscriptions & markings

The number 70 is stamped on both sides.