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 million!

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

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 Armistice, Rotterdam-Havre-Brest-New 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]

Pier 2



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.




A Third Arrival

Two Months Later


On April 8th 1927 Andrej Halaszyn aged 26 arrived on the METAGAMA , Canadian Pacific




His ship docked in St. John New Brunswick




Documentation                                                                                                                                                                       Questions prior to entry

District of Tarnopol