Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka - Southeastern PADuring December 3 and 4, Philadelphia received a visit from Maciej Golubiewski, Poland's Consul General in New York City. The first stop was at the Associated Polish Home (APH) in Northeast Philadelphia where he was hosted by the Polski Uniwersytet Ludowy (PUL) and its president Dr. Eng. Janusz Romanski.
Hosts Poland's Consul General Maciej Golubiewski in Philadelphia
(December 3-4, 2017)
1. At the Associated Polish Home (l. to r.) - Hon. Consul Debbie Majka, Consul General Maciej Golubiewski and his wife Agata, Janusz Romanski
2. At the City Representative's Office (l. to r.) Peter Obst, Philadelphia City Representative Sheila Hess, RP Consul General in New York Maciej Golubiewski and his wife Agata, Hon. Consul for SE Pennsylvania Deborah Majka, President of Citizens Diplomacy International Siobhán Lyons
3. At the Polish American Cultural Center (l. to r.) Pol-Am Congress President for SE PA Michael Blichasz, Consul General Maciej Golubiewski and his wife Agata, Theresa Romanowski, Hon. Consul Debbie Majka, Janusz Romanski
4. Inside the Kosciuszko House (l. to r.) Janusz Romanski, president of the engineering organization Polonia Technica and PUL; Jolanta Roman, president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation; Consul Maciej Golubiewski and his wife Agata; Marie Hejnosz, coordinator of volunteers; Sylwia Czajkowski, a volunteer guide at the house; Sara Falch an NPS Ranger; and Hon. Consul Deborah Majka.
5. At the Kosciuszko House entrance (l. to r.) Hon. Consul Deborah Majka, Jolanta Roman, Consul General Maciej Golubiewski, Sylwia Czajkowski, Marie Hejnosz, and Janusz Romanski.
RP Consul General Maciej Golubiewski in Philadelphia
The Consul's hour-long presentation to Polonia dealt with the coming 100th Anniversary of Poland's Independence which will happen in 2018. The Consul spoke about some of the ideas for celebrating this anniversary and sought participation and support from the assembled group of about 80 interested listeners. One interesting possibility for marking this important anniversary in Pennsylvania is the Independence Day Commemoration program supervised by Lt. Governor Mike Stack. The Lt. Governor's office organizes these observances for various ethnic groups at the State Capitol. There is the opportunity to display the flag, information, and have a social event with food and music. In addition, during the ceremonies, the Lt. Gov. presents an official declaration from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to a designated representative of the country being commemorated.
It should be noted that the PUL will celebrate its own 100th Anniversary in 2019. This venerable Philadelphia institution conducts a series of lectures in the Polish language from October through April of every year.
After the question and answer period which lasted over an hour, the Consul conversed with individuals and answered additional questions on a wide array of topics, from passports and visas to support for cultural projects.
On Monday, the Consul, accompanied by his wife Agata and Honorary Consul Deborah Majka, met with City of Philadelphia City Representative Sheila Hess and President of the Citizens Diplomacy International group Sibohan Lyons. Under discussion were commercial and educational exchanges. Philadelphia also happens to be a sister city to Torun in Poland. Educational exchange for high-school students takes place under this program. An event, with visitors from Torun is planned for April 2018.
The next stop on the Consul's tour was the Polish Cultural Center located on Walnut street just two blocks from Independence Hall. Here the Consul was received by Michael Blichasz, President Polish-American Congress for Southeastern Pennsylvania and Theresa Romanowski. Michael toured the Consul through the museum display devoted to famous Poles and World War II history. He pointed out several portraits painted by the recently deceased Walter Cichocki. Michael also mentioned that the display was especially designed to teach American tourists, who visit often, about Polish contributions to world history.
From the corner of 3rd and Walnut Streets it was a short walk to the Kosciuszko Memorial, the house where our hero of two continents resided. In this museum, maintained by the National Park Service (NPS) one can see a display explaining Kosciuszko's important role in the American Revolution. In addition there are period artifacts and a reconstruction of the room where he lived from Nov. 1797 to May 1798. The Consul was glad to learn that Philadelphia Polonia continues an annual celebration of Kosciuszko's birthday, and that individuals from Polonia serve as volunteer guides at the house. Joining the tour that day were: Hon. Consul Deborah Majka; Jolanta Roman, president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation; Janusz Romanski, president of the engineering organization Polonia Technica and PUL; Marie Hejnosz, coordinator of volunteers; Sylwia Czajkowski, a volunteer guide at the house, and Sara Falch an NPS Ranger.
Before returning to New York, Consul Golubiewski stated that he very much enjoyed the visit and would return to Philadelphia as a "tourist" as soon as circumstances permit. We hope to see him soon in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.