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ACROSS THE GLOBE
DUDA: POLAND WANTS TO MAINTAIN CLOSE TIES WITH U.S. (Radio Poland) Polish President Andrzej Duda said Poland wants to maintain close relations with the new U.S. administration.
During a meeting with the diplomatic corps in the presidential palace, Duda said that “the transatlantic bond brings tangible benefits to partners on both sides of the Atlantic.”
In his speech, Duda also focused on the problems of the European Union. “Today we need to reflect on the principles of European integration. To ensure balance between preserving the unity of the EU on the one hand and the social need to influence the course of European affairs on the other,” Duda said.
The president also said that “it is of utmost importance... that all decisions taken by the Warsaw NATO summit are implemented to the full extent: both on the military level, as well as the political one.”
KNYSZ NEW CATHOLIC LEAGUE CHAIRMAN. Dr. Walter Knysz was chosen to succeed Fr. Philip Eichner as the new chairman of the board of the Catholic League.
Knysz holds a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Detroit. The founder of several dental business companies, one of his achievements is the establishment of a global provider of dental insurance; another is his founding of a dental practice management company. More recently, he launched a franchise agreement with independent dental practitioners, providing an array of services.
Knysz is past chairman of the “Leading the Way” campaign, and has been active for years serving on the board of Ave Maria University. He has also served the Thomas More Law Center.
GEORGIA PRESIDENT CONDEMS DESTRUCTION. The president of Georgia has accused Moscow of a “deliberate act of vandalism” after reports that Russians destroyed a historic Polish church and bulldozed a nearby cemetery in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.
“In order to build a military training ground for the armed forces of the Russian Federation, a 19th-century church and historic Polish cemetery was destroyed,” said President Georgy Margvelashvili. “This is a deliberate act of vandalism, which violates the provisions of international law, including the Hague Convention of 1954.”
Margvelashvili called on the international community and UNESCO to intervene over what he described as “illegal actions by the occupying forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Georgia.”
The “Echo of the Caucasus” website reported that the Polish cemetery and church were established at the end of the 19th century near the village of Cabal.
A local official told reporters that a large group of Poles lived in the area in the 19th century.
BUYS CZARTORYSKI FAMILY ART COLLECTION. A significant private art collection, held by the Czartoryski Family Foundation, that includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Renoir, will be owned by the Polish government under a recently-signed agreement.
The celebrated family collection contains 593 valuable works of art which include Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine” (“Dama z gronostajem”) and Rembrandt’s “Landscape with the Good Samaritan.”
“Lady with an Ermine” is one of the most important works in all of western art. The painting passed into Polish hands when it was purchased in 1800 by young Prince Adam Czartoryski during his tour of Italy. It was a gift to his mother, Princess Izabela Czartoryska, an avid art collector and founder of the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow.
Piotr Glinski, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister of Culture who signed the purchase agreement, said the impetus for the acquisition by the government was to ensure that the works of art continue to receive proper care and that they remain in Poland forever.
ACROSS AMERICAN POLONIA
SPRINGFIELD — Promotion of the Pioneer Valley’s Polish heritage will get a boost, now that Governor Charlie Baker signed the Polish Heritage bill.
The legislation will form a special commission to report on the research, preservation, and celebration of the region’s Polish ties.
Based on legislation originally sponsored by Reps. Peter Kocot of Northampton and John Scibak of South Hadley, the resolve creates a 10-member commission to “promote public support and funding of Polish cultural preservation activities in western Massachusetts” and “compliment activities that acknowledge the contributions people of Polish heritage have made and continue to make to the Pioneer Valley and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
The group will also “evaluate the public and private resources available to preserve and research Polish language, history, culture, genealogy, music and the immigrant experience.”
The first Polish immigrants reached Chicopee in 1880, Northampton in 1886, and Ludlow in 1892, according to Springfield Technical Community College’s “Our Plural History” website. Many of the region’s early Polish residents worked in mills and factories, and as hired hands on local farms.
According to the resolve (H 4562), the commission will be comprised of three members of the House to be appointed by the Speaker, including two Polish American representatives; two senators, appointed by the Senate president; three officers of Pioneer Valley Polish heritage or genealogical groups, appointed by the governor; a member picked by the Polish Discovery Center in Chicopee; and one recommended by the chair of UMass Amherst’s Slavic Studies Department.
Rep. Kocot filed a similar bill last session that was never reported out of House Ways and Means.
— Sam Doran/SHNS
ST. PAUL. February 25, 2017. Bal Karnawalowy. The Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market St. 6:00 p.m.-midnight.
This carnival ball honors a pre-Lenten celebration dating back several centuries in Poland. Highlighting the Bal is an award ceremony recognizing strong contributors to the work of PACIM and the Twin Cities Polish Communities. The formal event also includes a multi-course dinner, dancing to live music, and a silent auction.
Each year, PACIM honors an individual or organization who excels in promoting and supporting efforts to preserve Polish culture and heritage, thereby enriching society with the best of Polish traditions and ideals.
See www.pacim.org for details.
BUFFALO — PACWNY Kulig Winter Festival. Sun., Feb. 19, 2017. Chestnut Ridge Park, MacKinnon Lodge. Noon-5:00 p.m. Sleigh rides offered from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Live Polish folk music; Polish food and beverages; outdoor activities; face painting and crafts for children. $25 adults (includes sleigh, food, hot beverage, entertainment); $15 adults without sleigh (food, beverage, entertainment); children under age 10 free. Ticket information call (716) 864-6110.
BUFFALO — 20th Annual Pączki Day, sponsored by the Polish Heritage Dancers. Sun., Feb. 26. Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral, 6298 Broadway, Lancaster, N.Y. 1:00-7:00. Performances by the Polish Heritage Dancers, live polka and dance music by Special Delivery, homemade Polish food, theme basket raffles, crowning of Pączki king, queen, prince, and princess, and paczki. $8.00 advance. $10.00 after Feb. 24. This is the PHD’s most important fund raiser of the year. For tickets and information, call Michelle at (716) 983-5084 or Debbie at 681-3526, or visit www.phdofwny.com.
NEW YORK — The Honorable Slawomir Platta was sashed as grand marshal of the 2017 Pulaski Parade. The ceremony was held Jan. 19, 2017 at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland.
According the General Pulaski Memorial Parade Committee President Richard D. Zawisny, the number of people voting for this year’s grand marshal was one of the largest in recent history.
Platta said he hopes to expand the event’s outreach. In addition to unifying Polonia, he sees it as a way to demonstrate Poland’s influence in the United States and across the globe. The New York attorney said he plans to add events around the annual show, including a concert with popular performers in Central Park following the parade.
This year’s parade will be held Sun., Oct. 1. The day’s activities start with a Parade Mass at 9:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Parade Breakfast at 10:30 a.m. at the 3 West Club. The parade will march up 5th Avenue (from 39th to 56th St.) starting at 12:30 p.m. A precursor to the parade is the annual banquet, this year being held Sept. 23 at the Marriott Marquis.
The Kosciuszko Foundation is currently accepting scholarship applications for the Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Scholarship in the Natural Sciences. One scholarship in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded to an undergraduate student for full time studies in the U.S. for academic year Fall 2017-Spring 2018.
Eligible applicants are United States citizens of Polish descent and Polish citizens who have legal permanent residency status in the United States and who evidence exceptional talent in the natural sciences. Qualified applicants will have a minimum GPA of 3.5. The Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Scholarship will be awarded for tuition towards undergraduate freshman, sophomore, junior or senior year of studies. The Natural Sciences include studies in physics, chemistry, geology, biology, and other sciences that study of the physical world.
Applicants must complete the on-line application form, submit an essay, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, proof of Polish descent, photo/headshot and a $35 application fee. For more information on eligibility, selection criteria and a full list of supporting materials please see: www.thekf.org/kf/scholarships/tuition/science. Applications and supporting materials are accepted through March 10, 2017.
The Kosciuszko Foundation is a 501 c (3) not-for-profit organization whose mission focuses on supporting higher education among Americans of Polish extraction and on educational exchanges between Poland and the United States. Each year the Foundation awards grants and scholarships via Tuition Scholarships for studies in the United States, Year Abroad scholarships for Polish language studies in Poland, Tomaszkiewicz-Florio Scholarships and Wisconsin Study in Poland Scholarships for summer language studies at the Jagiellonian University, Graduate/Postgraduate Study and Research in Poland Scholarships and Exchange Fellowships to Polish citizens for research and teaching in the United States.
CHICAGO — The Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation is accepting applications for the Majer & Lakowski Families Memorial Scholarships. Scholarships will be granted to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in either engineering or business administration at a public state university or college. Preference will be given to juniors, seniors and graduate students.
The amount of the scholarship will be equal to the total annual tuition charge, not including fees, for a student classified by the institution involved as a state resident. That amount will also be awarded to a student classified as a state non-resident. Applications can be obtained at www.paccf.org, by written request to PACCF, 5711 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60646, emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (773) 763-9942.
Deadline to apply is March 15, 2017.
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