Joel Samuel Polack was born in London, England on 28 March 1807 to Soloman and Sarah Polack. Originally from Holland, the family had settled in Ireland and then England where Soloman was a successful painter and engraver. Polack worked for the War Office (Commissariat and Ordnance) for four years, serving in South Africa and in Mauritius, before leaving to travel in America. In 1830 he joined his brother Abraham in New South Wales.
In 1831 he arrived in New Zealand and settled in Hokianga, exploring the surrounding area as well as Poverty Bay and the East Cape. In 1832 he moved to Kororareka (now Russell) in the Bay of Islands, establishing a successful general store. In 1835 he built New Zealand's first brewery. Critical of Busby's weak administration he signed the 1837 petition requesting the British government assume responsibility for the protection and government of European settlers.
He returned to England in 1837 and the following year his Kororareka store (which had been used against his wishes to store military and naval explosives) was destroyed in an explosion. He fought unsuccessfully for years for compensation. In 1838 he appeared before a House of Lords Select Committee advocating planned colonisation of New Zealand. (He believed that unorganised European settlement would destroy Māori society.) He wrote two successful books based on his experiences in New Zealand, which he also illustrated. These books are an invaluable insight into pre-colonial New Zealand.
Polack returned to New Zealand in 1842 but his store was destroyed again in 1845 when Kororareka was sacked by Hone Heke during the Flagstaff War. He moved to Auckland (the new capital) where he operated a bonded warehouse and branched out into shipping, profiting from trade with California. From 1845 to 1848 he was even the vice consul for the United States of America.
In 1850 Polack left New Zealand for California. He settled in San Francisco, where he married Mary. He died on 17 April 1882 (28 Nisan 5642) and was buried in the Laurel Hill cemetery. In 1946 they were moved to the Cypress Lawn cemetery.
Gaining Ground ; Jovial Students and Enthusiastic Faculty Form the Crux of Life at Galgotias University in Noida. Here's a Glimpse of Their Achievements and Future Plans
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