The keynote address was
The evening preceding the convention opening included a brief business session followed by a film presentation and a Welcome Reception. 2nd VP Peter Obst introduced the film, a documentary after 4 years in the making, by Jolanta Chojecka, which premiered in Poland last year – the most authoritative and complete documentary of Gen. Pulaski’s life and times. ACPC was one of several major sponsors supporting the film. Those wishing to obtain a copy on DVD (both English & Polish versions on one disk) may reference the ACPC website: www.polishcultureacpc.org.
A highlight of the Convention was the event commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Polish craftsmen in the Jamestown Settlement. Joining the ACPC at the site where the ceremony took place were the National Medical & Dental Assn. (NMDA) and the National Advocates Society (NAS). The ceremony began with an invocation by Msgr. Stanley Milewski who was joined by the assemblage in prayer. Rev. Timothy Whalen, Chancellor of Orchard Lake Schools, followed with a spiritual message about the moral and religious values that these early Poles introduced to our country. ACPC president Thaddeus Mirecki and NAS president George R. Szymanski, who also represented NMDA at this event, each laid a wreath at the historic bronze plaque, which was donated by the Polish Falcons of America in 1958, and reads in part: FIRST POLES/LANDED IN JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA/OCTOBER 1, 1608/ARRIVED ABOARD BRITISH SAILER/“MARY AND MARGARET”
A large throng of the members of the three national organizations as well as many onlookers had gathered to witness the moving ceremony. Presidents Mirecki and Szymanski addressed the crowd, reciting the rich historic contributions the Poles made here and their amazing exploits, e.g., organizing the first industry (making/blowing glass products) on American soil; producing soap and tar; building the first lumber mill; digging the first fresh water wells, and initiating and winning the first labor strike in America for civil rights. The latter victory won for the Poles the privilege of voting equally with the British settlers according to a document sent by the British government, which added that “…some young men shall be put unto them to learn their skill and knowledge therein for the benefit of the country hereafter.” Thus the Poles were officially recognized as our first teachers in trades and perhaps we can even rightfully refer to them as the “Fathers of American Industry.”
Following this moving event, the participants were free to tour and explore
The Board was privileged to enjoy a luncheon presentation after a business session by Ms. Meg Huebeck, Deputy Director, Youth Leadership Initiatives, University of Virginia Center for Politics.
A concert, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Marcella Kochanska Sembrich, featured mezzo-soprano Justyna Di Biaggio, who won ACPC’s Sembrich Vocal Competition last year, accompanied by ACPC’s Music Chairman Jaroslaw Golembiowski. What a spellbinding concert! Ms. Di Biaggio’s singing enthralled the audience with varied and delightful presentations from the works of Chopin, Mozart, Moniuszko and G. Bizet. Among the favorites was Bizet’s Sequidilla from Carmen as Justyna’s eloquently vibrant voice and her flirtatious presentation beguiled the rapt listeners, firing their imaginations to seeing Justyna at a full production of the Carmen opera itself. In contrast, her presentations of Moniuszko’s tranquil Kotek and Piesn Wieczorna were conveyed in lilting and softly caressing tones.
Ms. Di Biaggio’s performance was enriched by the performance of Mr. Golembiowski at the piano. There was truly a dynamic interaction of the vocal and piano renditions, with many in the audience expressing the view that this concert was among the very best in our Sembrich series. Additionally, Mr. Golembiowski offered piano presentations of his compositions, Zdrowas Mario Op.61, , , and Menuet at Ten O’clock from Op 113. His masterful performance seized the audience’s rapt attention and won energetic and prolonged applause to demonstrate the listener’s appreciation for his enormous talents. The stirring concert closed as the audience rose simultaneously rendering thunderous applause for an outstanding performance by both artists.
During the course of the convention business sessions, 2nd V.P. Peter Obst reported the following on a program that he and Director Paul Bosse have been developing: “For the second half of 2009, Iwona Stefaniak, head of the
Jacqueline Droleski submitted the names of the nominees for election and they were all accepted by acclamation: Auditor – Marie Hejnosz, Philadelphia; Directors – Sharon Brzostowski, DC; Jacqueline Droleski, Elmira NY; Alicia Dutka, Chicago; Alice Lech-Laning, DC; Robert Maycan, Chicago; Mary Pearlman, DC. Nominating Committee –
Following the elections, Dr. Charles F. Merbs, Professor Emeritus at
Awards Banquet & Ball: A full account of the annual awards and the recipients will be submitted to the Polonia press in a separate article.
Convention 2009: “The Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford has the honor to host the 61st Annual Convention of the American Council for Polish Culture at the Hartford Hilton Hotel in
Polonia Booth – Co-Chairs Barbara Lemecha and Henrietta Nowakowski reported that the theme for the National Conference for Social Studies to be held in
The four days spent in
The American Council for Polish Culture invites readers to join its national organization and help promote the appreciation of our great Polish culture and heritage throughout the
For full information about the benefits and privileges of membership, please visit our website www.polishcultureacpc.org or contact Membership Chair Mrs. Anna-Mae Maglaty,