Turner's Polish White Eagle Club reopens after 2014 blaze
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Turner's Polish White Eagle Club reopens after 2014 blaze

More than a year after Canberra's Polish White Eagle Club was gutted by a fire, the club begins a new chapter with an official reopening this Saturday and president Barbara Alwast​ said there is a lot to be excited about.

A string of bad luck saw the club in Turner close its doors last year, after a fire gutted the kitchen.

Polish Australian Club president Barbara Alwast.  The club will reopen this month after it was razed by a fire police believed was deliberately lit in January 2014.

Polish Australian Club president Barbara Alwast. The club will reopen this month after it was razed by a fire police believed was deliberately lit in January 2014. Credit:Matt Bedford

At the time police said the fire was connected to burglary at the club 10 days earlier but police have since closed the file, according to Ms Alwast.

Despite the tumultuous year in the club's history, Ms Alwast is feeling positive about its future.

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Polish Australian Club president Barbara Alwast.

Polish Australian Club president Barbara Alwast. Credit:Matt Bedford

"At long last the club is finished," she said.

"The club looks beautiful, it looks modern but it still has that Polish accent."

The community has rallied around the club, with several organisations including the Croatian Club, Alliance Francaise​, Canberra Musicians Club and the Turner Bowls Club offering their venues to host the club's functions or to help raise donations.

"We are really very thankful to everyone, the whole community in Canberra, not only the Polish people but to everyone," Ms Alwast said.

"We must admit it's like one big family, which is wonderful. If anything happens everyone's ready to help."

The club has already booked engagement parties, weddings and birthdays which Ms Alwast said would help them get back on their feet.

The ACT government has even allowed the club to defer its rates for a year.

"These sort of things don't happen very often when your club burns down," Ms Alwast said.

It hasn't been easy though. The club had to wait 10 months before they could collect their insurance which delayed reconstruction until December.

During this time, Ms Alwast said Canberra's Polish-Australians and community at large lost "the place where they love to meet and they lost a good restaurant".

Ms Alwast said the restaurant - the Polo - is back serving Polish food and Polish beers but it is the official opening on Saturday people should be excited for.

"From 7:30 til late we are having a big party in the club and people are invited to come and join us," Ms Alwast said.

Since its destruction, the club's committee has seen a small group of young members join their ranks which Ms Alwast is excited about.

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