Steve Halashyn "Stefan Halaszyn"
aged 24 and his older brother Mikolaj Halaszyn aged 27 would've arrived on the Nieuw Amsterdam 1 in Halifax on February 17th 1927 having
left Danzig Poland on February 3rd of the same
year. Their ship the "
Nieuw Amsterdam 1" docked at Pier 2 in
the North End of Halifax. This pier
opened as the Ocean Terminal in the late 1800s and functioned as Halifax's
primary immigration shed up until 1928. The most famous “Pier 21” a Heritage
site did not open until March 1928.
While Pier 21 is certainly the most known Pier 2 welcomed more than twice as many immigrants 2.7
December 6, 1917
dawned clear and sunny in Halifax.
Before darkness fell, more than a thousand people would die, with another
thousand to follow. Nine thousand more would be injured and maimed in the
biggest man-made explosion the world had ever seen. Pier 2 took a heavy beating in the Explosion, but its new concrete walls
withstood the blow well enough to continue handling immigration and military
traffic for another ten years. Unfortunately today photographs are the only
remnants of its existence.
When pier 21
officially opened in 1928 the first ship to arrive was the same one Steve
traveled on in 1927. The Nieuw Amsterdam 1
NIEUW AMSTERDAM (1)
The Holland-America Line NIEUW AMSTERDAM (1) was built in 1905
by Harland & Wolff, Belfast (order #366), and
launched on 28 September 1905. 16,967 tons; 187,4 x
20,9 meters (length x breadth); 1 funnel, 4 masts; twin-screw propulsion
(quadruple-expansion engines), service speed 16 knots; accommodation for 440
passengers in 1st class, 246 in 2nd class, and 2,200 in steerage. The NIEUW AMSTERDAM was the last major
ocean liner to be fitted with auxiliary sails. 7 April 1906, maiden voyage, Rotterdam-New York. 1908,
glass-enclosed upper promenade deck. November/December 1909, refitted by
Harland & Wolff: bridge deck extended forwards to enlarge 1st class dining
saloon; 17,149 tons; accommodation for 443 passengers in 1st class, 379 in 2nd
class, and 2,050 in steerage. 12 December 1918, first voyage after
York. May 1926, passenger
accommodation altered to 1st, 2nd, tourist, and 3rd class. February
1928, passenger accommodation altered to 1st, tourist, and 3rd class. 2 October 1931, last voyage, Rotterdam-New York. 26 February 1932,
sailed Rotterdam-Cape of Good Hope-Osaka; scrapped [Arnold Kludas,
Die grossen Passagierschiffe
der Welt; eine Dokumentation, Bd. 1: 1858-1912 (2nd ed.;
Oldenburg/Hamburg: Gerhard Stalling, c1972), pp. 124-125 (photographs); Noel
Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North
Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the
Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 3 (1979), pp. 893
(photograph) and 913]. - [E-mail from Michael Palmer - 19 April 1998]
The resource Centre for pier 21 has all
of the videotaped immigrant interviews conducted by the CBC in 1927, the
year before pier 21 officially opened.
If I am fortunate to visit that area someday I will definitely pay a
visit to the centre and see what type of footage exists.
On April 8th 1927 Andrej Halaszyn aged 26 arrived
on the METAGAMA , Canadian Pacific
docked in St. John
Documentation Questions prior to entry
District of Tarnopol