Archives for December 8, 2018

Polish American Congress Michigan Division leads the State of Michigan in celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regained independence

The Polish American Congress Michigan Division, as a leading Polonian organization in the State was a host to numerous initiatives, projects and celebrations related to the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regained independence.

One of the biggest accomplishments of our division of PAC was creating billboards that were placed at two busy crossroads of Metro Detroit. The billboards educated commuters about Poland’s 100th anniversary of regained independence. The idea was originated by the late Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski (President of the “Piast Institute”). After his untimely passing, PAC-Michigan decided to make this reality. The billboard created by PAC-MI read: “100 years of Poland’s Regained Independence. 1918-2018. Thank You America! We honor Armistice Day November 11 PAC of Michigan”. The wording was placed on a white and red background, and featured the Polish and American flags. One of the billboards (a digital one) was placed on Hall Road, just east of Van Dyke; the other one on E.14 Mile Rd., near Dequindre Rd. Commuters were able to see the billboards throughout November and part of December.

Just as the billboards were created to educate the public about Poland’s history, another project served as a similar tool. Our division published a special pamphlet “Poland’s Road to Independence” which featured facts leading up to the historical date of November 11, 1918, and featured key historical figures who had the biggest impact on Poland’s regaining independence. The booklet was distributed at various events, often during non-Polonian social gatherings.

The Polish American Congress – Michigan Division has also produced colorful pins, bumper stickers and decals- memorabilia for our members and the general public, to display or wear proudly, as a patriotic gesture and another way of educating the public.

The centennial was also the theme of this year’s Polish Day Parade in Hamtramck on Labor Day, which PAC-MI sponsors annually, and was highlighted with a beautiful themed float for many to view.

The culmination of our year-long celebrations came on November 11, when our Division hosted an elegant banquet at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, MI. Representatives of almost all Polish-American organizations were present, as well as dignitaries from U.S. and Canada. Mr. Richard Walawender, recently appointed Honorary Consul of Poland in Detroit, gave the banquet’s keynote address. A State Senator, a Michigan Congressman, and the Michigan Governor’s Office, presented tributes and Proclamations. The event’s program also included presentations by the Polish Scouting Organization of Michigan, “Rodacy” Polish Folk Ensemble and Adam Mickiewicz Polish Language School (whose students depicted roles of famous Polish historical figures). Among other points of the program, the award-winning choir “Filarets” performed a variety of patriotic songs, particularly the Legionnaire ones of that era, inviting guests to join in the singing. Including all program participants and guests, we had well over 300 persons in attendance.

Interesting exhibits accompanied the banquet festivities. Dariusz Klepko (of Polish American Numismatic Society of Michigan) along with his daughter, Julia, prepared a display “The Greatest Poles and other Leaders who helped free Poland 100 years ago” which featured numismatic related items. “12 Heroes of Polish Independence” was a special display (created with the help of the Polish-Slavic Credit Union in NY) presenting the most instrumental figures in the fight for Poland’s independence. Zdzislaw Foryś shared many items from his private collection of Jozef Pilsudski memorabilia, while Jerzy Barycki, President of Polish Canadian Congress – Windsor-Chatham Chapter, shared a power point presentation “Polish Army Camp in Canada during World War I”.

Kudos go to the banquet committee, under the chairmanship of Ann Bankowski, for working tirelessly to make this event a great success!

Condolences to the Family of Former President George H.W. Bush


As President of the Polish American Congress, and on behalf of the PAC Executive Committee, our PAC members, Polish Americans throughout our great country, as well as our many friends, I extend my deepest sympathies to the President George H.W. Bush Family upon his passing.

The death of the 41st President of the United States brings to mind the many times President Bush supported Poland’s quest for freedom.

As we say farewell to a decorated World War II veteran, as well as a consistent fighter for freedom during the Cold War, I wish to thank President Bush for his support of the Solidarity Movement that resulted in Poland becoming free in 1989.

Polish Americans stand in unity with Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, who recently noted after President Bush’s passing the following words spoken during the Solidarity era. These words ring true today as they did in 1989:

“Today, to those who think that hopes can forever be suppressed, I say: Let them look at Poland. To those who think that freedom can be forever denied, I say: Let them look at Poland. And to those who think that dreams can be forever repressed, I say: Look at Poland! For here in Poland, the dream is alive.”

During his long career in public service, Mr. Bush traveled to Chicago and visited the Polish National Alliance headquarters. He was warmly received. As Vice President, Mr. Bush also attended the funeral wake for Aloysius Mazewski, Polish American Congress and Polish National Alliance President. For his genuineness and caring support, we are very grateful.


Frank J. Spula

President, Polish American Congress