2019 December Medley

Polish National Song and Dance Ensemble


Currently touring the USA and Canada with a spectacular concert to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Poland regaining independence.

Concert in Milwaukee
December 18, 2019, 7-9 pm
Basilica of St. Josaphat
tickets online or in the
Basilica’s gift shop

A portion of the ticket sales goes
toward Basilica’s organ restoration

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In January 2020, viewers of PBS cooking and travel programs will get a chance to explore the wonders and secrets of Polish cuisine from different regions across the country. The Flavor of Poland series has 13 episodes to be broadcast on all of over 340 PBS stations around the nation.

In Milwaukee, the series is scheduled to air on Saturdays at 3:30 pm starting on 1/11/2019 (WMVS) and on Sundays at 10:00 am starting on 1/13/2019 (VMVT).

Two performances of Śląsk in Chicago:

Holy Trinity Polish Catholic Church
December 20 at 8pm, tickets online

St. Ferdinand Catholic Church
December 22 at 10:30am, tickets online

Performances of the Polish National Song and Dance Ensemble “ Śląsk have been described as one of the most dazzling spectacles in the world! Named after the Poland’s region called Silesia, the group was founded in 1953 by Stanisław Hadyna to preserve and showcase the unique folklore of Upper Silesia, Cieszyn Silesia, and the Beskid Mountains. While this scope was quickly expanded to include other regions of Poland, no other group presents folklore of Polish highlanders better than “Śląsk“. Over the years, Śląsk has earned worldwide recognition by visiting 44 countries on five continents and giving over seven thousand concerts to an audience of over 25 million – including the group’s patron Pope John Paul II. The ensemble performed in all European capitals as well as major cities throughout Africa, the United States, Australia, China, and Japan.



Polish Independence Day
and Veterans Day celebration
Poland In a Year of Anniversaries
of Enormous Consequence
1979, 1989, 1999

Irena Frączek reports……….

“Today, one hundred and one years after Poland was reborn, Poland is free and independent, and because of NATO, it’s security is guaranteed by the other 28 NATO member countries… With this freedom, independence and level of security and self determination, Poland has created one of the most dynamic economies in Europe.”

2019 EVENT
photo gallery

In these words, filled with pride and appreciation for Poland’s achievements, current President of the Polish American Congress (PAC) America Division, David Rydzewski, set the upbeat tone for the 2019 celebration of Polish Independence Day (Narodowe Święto Niepodległości) and the American Veterans Day held in Milwaukee area annually since 1997.

Poland has the fastest growing economy in Europe with unemployment at a 28 year low, skilled labor force educated in the extensive system of universities and technical schools, and over 300 R&D centers established to facilitate cutting edge innovation.

Among hallmarks of Polish economy is Aviation Valley, a cluster of over 160 aerospace & aviation companies, along with a booming yacht-building industry (Poland is now Europe’s second largest manufacturer of yachts) and strong auto-making industry. A new Central Airport to be constructed between Warsaw and Łódź can become the largest in Europe.

Mr. Rydzewski’s praise for the Polish economy (see details to the right) were music to the ears of over 200 guests gathered in the beautiful banquet hall of the Polish Center of Wisconsin. Welcoming them in the facility built to reflect the “Polish tradition of gracious hospitality” was Steven Chybowski, the President of the Polish Heritage Alliance managing the center. In a brief overview of the alliance’s activities, Mr. Chybowski noted that in 2020, it will be 20 years since the center opened its doors after 13 years of hard work that went into erecting it. And this was just the first one of many anniversaries recognized on that day.

Another praise for Poland’s economy experiencing 28 years of growth uninterrupted even by the latest recession came from Piotr Janicki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. He shared also the joyous news about Poland joining the 38 countries already participating in the Visa Waiver Program (going into effect on November 11, 2019) and substantial increase of direct flights from Poland to Midwest (to 15 per week starting in 2020). These developments are expected to strengthen the economic, social and cultural exchange between our countries. Among anniversaries of great importance to contemporary Poland, Consul Janicki noted:
     ● 100 years since the re-establishment of the USA-Poland diplomatic relations (1919);
     ● 20 years since Poland joined the NATO alliance (1999);
     ● 15 years since Poland became a member of the European Union (2004).

In the main speech of the day, David Rydzewski extolled a few other memorable events that helped Poland on its quest for freedom and prosperity:
     ● 75 years since the Polish American Congress was founded (1944 in Buffalo, NY);
     ● 40 years since Pope John Paul II made his first historic trip to his homeland (1979);
     ● 30 years since Solidarity movement won an incredible election victory over the Communist
     regime and the Solidarity-led government began to build a prosperous Poland;
     ● 20 years since the Polish American Congress, nationally and in Wisconsin, played a vital role
     in helping Poland’ s entry into the NATO alliance (1999).

After the invocation given by Deacon Theodore Gurzynski and an elegant luncheon ending with the well-deserved applause for the cooking staff, the focus shifted to the commemoration of our veterans. In her short remarks, Nellie De Baker, the Wisconsin State Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, and National Vice Commander, made a heartfelt appeal to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made to win the Poland’s independence, and to never forget the heroic fighters for freedom, their families, and all those who continue to serve in the USA and in Poland.

The event’s MC, Mark Pienkos (Past President of PAC WI Division, Presently Polish American Congress National Vice President for Public Relations) introduced one of those fighters “For Our Freedom and Yours” (Za naszą i waszą wolność) present at the ceremony in person. Ted (Tadeusz) Cisek participated in the Operation Market Garden as part of the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade. In September 2019, he returned to Arnhem and Driel at the invitation of the Dutch government for events organized to pay a 75th Anniversary tribute to those Polish soldiers.

Ted Cisek was a 2001 recipient of the Congressman Clement Zablocki Award traditionally presented to the recipients during the Independence Day/Veterans Day Luncheon. In 2019, another four deserving individuals joined the group of nearly 100 past recipients of this distinction, and assisting the honorees were PAC member Karen Więckowski, PAC Recording Secretary Derek Zarzeczny and PAC Sgt. at Arms Hank Kulesza:



Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 Newsletter

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