Living Leeside: Polish couple glad they put focus on Bandon

From Poznan to Bandon, Polish couple Kris and Anna tell Roisin Burke why they love the West Cork town
Living Leeside: Polish couple glad they put focus on Bandon

Anna and Kris Tritt in front of their new studio in Bandon, PhotoEire.

Immersed in the Bandon community for the past 16 years, Polish couple Anna and Kris Tritt feel very much a part of Cork.

Kris, Anna told The Echo, was the driving force behind their move from Poznan to Bandon, all those years ago.

“Kris wanted to emigrate, things were hard in Poland, economically and from a lifestyle perspective, but he wanted to work in his profession, as a chemist, wherever he went.” Anna explained that Kris sent 1,500 CVs around the world, looking for a new job and he got two replies, one from Acorn Water Ltd in Bandon and another from a company in New Zealand and he had to make a choice.

“New Zealand was tempting,” Anna said, “but there was a lot to consider, visa, distance, our parents, it would have been a big step and very far away. Cork on the other hand was just a two-hour flight.” 

Kris moved over to Bandon and Anna followed three months later with son Jan.

“Those three months were hectic, finishing up with work, posting parcels, handing over the apartment, there was a lot happening.”

Anna and Jan moved over to Bandon and for the first year or more, Anna worked in SuperValu, before finding work in her field as a chemist with Eli Lilly in Kinsale.

“We love it here, we would never consider leaving, Bandon is a lovely place.” Something that brought out the generosity and kindness of the local people was when Jan, Kris and Anna’s son, died in a tragic accident while lifeguarding in Poland on his summer holidays at the age of 18.

“It was very strange, he fell from a pier, into shallow water, there was no one around and no one knows what happened. It was categorised as a tragic accident.”

While this was an extremely emotional experience for Anna and Kris, the local community rallied around them, offering them a great deal of support in their time of turmoil.

Both Anna and Kris are accomplished photographers and their son Jan had followed in their footsteps showing a keen eye for images.

“He had made a name for himself as a photographer, he used to take shots for all local events, we didn’t realise he was as well-known as he was.”

Anna said the support they received from their friends, neighbours and from Jan’s school was amazing.

“We never expected it, parents, friends, the reaching out was huge.” Jan’s school Hamilton High School and Jan’s classmates fundraised to put a bench on the school grounds, with his name on it and his gym buddy organised a weightlifting competition in Jan’s name as he was a passionate weightlifter. This event became an annual occurrence and this year will be the fifth running of the competition.

Anna and Kris Tritt celebrating Anna's birthday recently.
Anna and Kris Tritt celebrating Anna's birthday recently.

After the phenomenal kindness shown to them, and their then two-year-old Ansel, Anna and Kris decided to give back to the community by sharing their photography skills.

“I wanted to stay busy,” Anna explained, “and we wanted to help, so we got involved, photographing fundraising events, like lip-sync battles or dance competitions.”

The couple got involved with the local hospital, as well as Jack and Friends Support Centre, an organisation that supports families with autistic loved ones.

“Whatever big is happening in Bandon, we are there to capture the important moments and people’s emotions.”

In the last month, Anna and Kris, opened a photography studio on the main street of Bandon, PhotoEire.

“It got to a point where it was now or never. The studio is in a great location and we are very happy.” The dynamic duo offers all kinds of photography services from family photos to modelling, weddings and everything in between.

Another budding photographer in the family is Ansel, now seven.

“We don’t push, but he likes to take photos and he had a good eye,” Kris said, “At weddings, I often ask people can I take a photo and they often say ‘no, I’m not very photogenic,’ etc, but when Ansel asks everyone says yes. They think he is so cute, this little boy with a camera, they never expect him to take a professional photo and they are always surprised with the results.”

With absolutely no doubts about their decision to move to Ireland, Anna and Kris told The Echo, they love everything about Ireland.

“If you ignore the rain, everything is perfect and that’s pretty good!” Kris said laughing.

Bookings for Kris and Anna’s new photography studio Photoeire can be made on Facebook and Instagram @Photoeire, on online www.photoeire.com 

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