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Michael Polak appointed Honorary Dutch Consul in Montreal

Fredericton post also filled

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

OTTAWA - The consular representation of the Netherlands in Montreal, Quebec, has entered a new phase with the recent appointment of Honorary Consul Michael P. Polak. A lawyer by profession, Michael Polak is the Montreal born son of Dutch immigrant parents Judge Max Polak and his wife Celine, a daughter of well-known illustrator Jo Spier. Until recently the city had a permanent Consulate General.

Montreal has been part of the Dutch consular network since August 1879 when local merchant Stephen B. Heward was appointed Vice Consul to service the then emerging bilateral trade between the Netherlands and the Dominion of Canada. At that point, the new appointee personally had been merchandise from the East and West Dutch Indies and Japan for over twenty years.

Montreal was not the first consular post in Quebec. This honour went to the Province’s capital Quebec City (1870) while the Saint John, New Brunswick already had such a post in 1868. All three posts were part of the Toronto-based Consulate General jurisdiction, which was managed by the Amsterdam-born English banker’s son Benjamin Homer-Dixon. The Toronto post was opened by Homer-Dixon in 1862, who served till 1895.

In addition to Montreal, Fredericton, New Brunswick also has a new Honorary Consul. Matthew Tweedie’s appointment took effect on the same day as the one for Michael Polak.

Neither of the two posts are equipped to handle applications for Dutch passports and/or visas.