American Council for Polish Culture - 71st Annual ConventionWarsaw, Poland Sept. 6-8, 2019
Reconnecting with our Heritage
(l. to r.) Debbie Majka - past ACPC President, Mark Dillon - new 2nd VP, Raymond Glembocki - new ACPC President
at the Herbert Hoover memorial near the Old Town in Warsaw
Photographs by Cecilia Larkin (158) view photograph Set 1
Article about Prof. Marta Ptaszynska by Jaroslaw Golembiowski view article
Convention Program Book by Dave Motak (28 pages) view program as a .pdf file
Reconnecting with our Heritage: The 2019 ACPC ConventionReport by Peter Obst
The convention this year took place at the stately and historic Hotel Bristol in the old town part of Warsaw. Participants, of whom there were 21, started arriving at mid-day on Friday which was a beautiful warm day more reminiscent of June than of September. Walking into the lobby one could see the Glembockis, Ted Mirecki, Matt and Carolyn Meleski, Barbara Lemecha and Tom Payne. Some of our members then ventured out to look around the old town and buy some knick-knacks at the souvenir shops. Later a bus took the entire group to the Stary Dom restaurant for an excellent meal. Located on Pulawska street, the restaurant has interiors modeled on the wooden manors that the Polish szlachta would build on their country estates.
The following day started with introductory greetings and singing of national anthems led by Debbie Majka. Then a number of reports were given, including one by Cecilia Glembocki about the next National Conference for the Social Studies to take place in Austin, TX on Nov. 22-24, 2019. Dr. Adolf Juzwenko gave an interesting talk about the Ossolineum Library and Archive in Wroclaw, and plans for its development. At lunch we were joined by our old friend Mr. Boguslaw Winid who now serves as an advisor to RP President Andrzej Duda.
At the evening awards banquet we were served roast duck and entertained by a duo of young cellists, Mateusz Blaszczak and Wojciech Bafeltowski. They were superb (so was the duck). Awards were given to: Jolanta Kessler Chojecka (DeRosen Award), Prof. Marta Ptaszynska (Cultural Achievement Award), and Marianna Eckel (Founders Award).
On Sunday morning light rain swept over the capital and most of the convention attendees went to mass. The Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists had a wonderful mass on its main gilded baroque altar accompanied by organ music.
Mark Dillon presented a program on the Gray Samaritans: How YWCA Women Aided Poland after WWI, and Hanna Bondarewska told us about her play about Helena Modrzejewska entitled Lady (based on the Shakespearean play Macbeth).
The elections to fill the main positions in the ACPC organization were held. The new president is Raymond Glembocki; Jaroslaw Golembiowski is the 1st VP; Mark Dillon the 2nd VP; Tom Payne became the treasurer; and Marcia Lewandowski continues as the recording secretary.
With the rain having subsided, the group then marched over to Herbert Hoover Square, to place a commemorative wreath. Before he became president of the United States Herbert Hoover headed the great famine relief that came to Poland's rescue from the hunger after WWI and the Bolshevik War in the 1920s. It was remarked that the stone marker which mentioned this singular event was rather dark and dingy, and that some cleaning effort may be undertaken. A week later one of the conventioneers, who happened to be in the area, noticed that this marker had indeed been cleaned!
The convention ended with the group paying a visit to Powazki Cemetery where we paid respects to Polish heroes who fought for freedom of the homeland, among them Ryszard Kuklinski. It is often said wistfully that Col. Kuklinski was the "first Polish officer to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)."
The event that closed the ACPC 2019 Convention was a piano concert at the feet of the Chopin statue in Lazienki Park. Though the air was a bit cool with the first stirrings of autumn and acorns were dropping from tree branches, the musical event was a satisfying experience.
The visit to Warsaw gave us an excellent opportunity to reconnect with our Polish roots and say hello to our friends in Poland. Those who had a few minutes of time also visited the Dom Spotkan z Historia (House of Meetings with History) next door to the hotel. It hosted an exhibit on the American Space program, with many excellent historical photographs and another about Polish American Diplomatic Relations (100th Anniversary in 2019). In this exhibit, one could learn about Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle Jr. who was US ambassador to Poland during WWII, and the already mentioned famine relief headed by Herbert Hoover.
Those of our members who took the opportunity to combine ACPC activity with a visit to Poland appreciated this chance to travel and get a new perspective on the country of our heritage that never fails to surprise (positively)!
Photographs(Cecilia Glembocki = CG, Peter Obst = PO, Mark Dillon = MD)
(l. to r.) Ray Glembocki, Tom Payne, Debbie Majka at the officers' table during the convention (PO)
Barbara Lemecha arrives at the Hotel Bristol (110 pts. for style!) (PO)
Green Light for the 2019 ACPC Convention (PO)
Trolleys were a convenient mode of transport - when running! (PO)
Chopin's Heart at the Church of the Holy Cross (CG)
Statue of Marshal Jozef Pilsudski at Belweder Palace
near Lazienki Park (PO)
Chopin Concert at Lazienki Park (CG)
(Sept. 8, 2019 - cloudy)
Poster for the Chopin Concert Series in the Park (CG)
The stone on the day of the wreath-laying
(Sept. 8, 2019) rainy (PO)
The stone approx. 2 weeks later
(Sept. 20, 2019) sunny (PO)
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (CG)
Memorial plaque to RP President Lech Kaczynski (PO)
Ryszard Kuklinski's Grave at Powazki Cemetery (PO)
Cecilia Glembocki presents on the National
Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) (PO)
(l. to r.) Tom Payne, Ray Glembocki, Debbie Majka (CG)
(l. to r.) Hanna Bondarewska and Barbara Lemecha (PO)
(l. to r.) Mary Flanagan with Jolanta Kessler Chojecka (CG)
(l. to r.) Peter Obst and Barbara Lemecha (PO)
Barbara Lemecha at "Pretty Things" (Piekne Rzeczy)
Honor Guard at the Presidential Palace - statue of Prince Jozef Poniatowski (PO)
(l. to r.) Ted Mirecki and Dr. Adolf Juzwenko (PO)
(l. to r.) Peter Obst, Ray Glembocki, Carolyn and Matt Meleski (CG)
Convention Agenda and Deliberations (PO)
(l. to r.) Ted Mirecki presents award to Jolanta Kessler Chojecka (MD)
(l. to r.) Cecilia Glembocki and Marianna Eckel (Founders Award) (CG)
(l. to r.) Rose Kobylinski and Andrzej Urbaniak (PO)
Dom Spotkan z Historia (House of Meetings with History) (PO)
Boguslaw Winid, Advisor to RP Pres. Andrzej Duda (MD)