CPHS : 10th Anniversary Banquet


President of CPHS Mrs. Helena Facsko

On Saturday, February 7, 2015 The Canadian Polish Historical Society celebrated its 10th anniversary within the Polish community of Edmonton. The event, organized by the President of CPHS, Helena Faćsko, along with the board and numerous volunteers was held at the Polish Hall. The theme of the banquet was the medieval times and guests were encouraged to dress up in costumes of that time period.

The banquet was attended by members of the executive board, members of the CPHS, pastor of the Holy Rosary Parish, rev. A. Sowa OMI, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Poland Parish, rev. R.Majek OMI, representatives of various Polish organizations, sponsors and Polish youth organizations. Among the distinguished guests were: John Szumlas, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland, Thomas Lukaszuk, MLA and Teresa Szlamp-Fryga, president of the Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Branch.

Program of the event

Summation of 10 years of activites and involvement of the CPHS

A number of the participants in their period costumes

While the "polonaise" dance played, the banquet began with a procession of people in historical costumes, that made its way through the entire hall, ending at the stage. The participants then sang the medieval Polish anthem "Bogurodzica" (Mother of God), which was always sung by the Polish soldiers before going into battle. Mr. Andrew Proczkowski, member of the CPHS board, introduced the MCs for the evening. They were: Thomas Lukaszuk, MLA and his lovely wife Stacey Brotzel, a local CTV personality.

The MCs

Event's facilitator, Mr. R. Proczkowski with his spouse

Blessings before the meal, rev. A. Sowa and R. Majek

After welcoming the guests, the MCs asked the Honorary Consul of Poland to say a few words. The dinner began with a special prayer and blessing of the meal by the priests in attendance. During dinner, the guests were entertained by various artistic performances in addition to a slideshow highlighting the CPHS’s activities and involvement in the community. Entertaining dinner music was provided by Ms. Ewa Mackowska, on flute and guitar and Maja Budzinska on violin.

Table 2: from left Bozena Wojno, Rysia Proczkowska, Zofia Kamela and Barbara Pruska – members of the executive board of CPHS

Table 6: Teresa Szlamp-Fryga, Ewa Miles-Dixon, Halina Madej, Lila Futerska, and Irena Bozymowska executive board members of various Polish organizations

Ewa Mackowska on the left and Maja Budzinski entertaining during dinner

MC Thomas Lukaszuk tested the audience in their knowledge of Polish history, with the winners receiving antique style candlesticks as their prize. Ms Teresa Szlamp-Fryga, president of the Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch introduced the winners of the costume contest. The prize for the best costume was awarded to Max Holko who was dressed as a knight. Second prize went to Ms. Marianna Kwiatkowska who was dressed as a medieval lady and the third prize was won by Mr. Stan Smuga who was dressed as a medieval dignitary. There were also prizes for best family costumes, which were awarded to the Konikowski family and the Tomczak family.

President of CPC Alberta Branch giving a prize for the best costume to Mr. Stan Smuga

Second prize winner Mrs. M. Kwiatkowska

First prize winner M. Holko jr.

Group prizes went to Tomczak family and Konikowski family

After dinner, Ms.Teresa Szlamp-Fryga, as one of the founding members of the CPHS spoke about the beginnings of the organization and congratulated its executive on the accomplishments of the CPHS and wished successes for the future. Other Polish organizations came to the podium to express their best wishes for the future endeavours of the CPHS.

Teresa Szlamp-Fryga – president of CPC Alberta Branch

Henry Lang – president of the Polish Combatants Association, branch no. 6

Lila Futerska – president of the Polish Canadian Society and the Men’s Club

Janusz Tomczak – president of the Magda Tomczak Children’s Aid Fundation

Stefania Kucy – president of the "White Eagle" Seniors Club

William Chodkiewicz – president of the Polish Canadian Humanitarian Society

Halina Madej – president of the Polish Canadian Women’s Federation branch no. 3

Elzbieta Sawicka – president of the Polish Culture Society of Edmonton

Lucian Trefon – member of the executive of the Polonia Choir

Irena Bozymowska – Chairperson of the Veterans Women Club

Mrs. Zofia Kamela, vice –president of CPHS, then thanked (in Polish) everyone on behalf of absent president of the Society, recounted 10 years of activities and cooperation with other Polish organizations and community Mr. Szymon Bamburak, the executive board member of CPHS did the same, in English.

Zofia Kamela conveys heartfelt thanks.

Text of the "Word from President CPHS"

The formal part of the banquet was capped by the performances of the "Polskie Kwiaty", a choral group under the direction of Jerzy Cieslik and Barbara Pruska and the dance group "Lowicz" under the leadership of Ms Ela Kapica.

"Lowicz" performed several times during the night. They showcased the following dances: the polonaise, krakowiak, the mountaineer dance, and ended the formal program with a waltz.

Dancing group "Lowicz" performing

"Polskie Kwiaty" sang for the guests

the guests are enjoying themselves

The executive board of CPHS wishes to thank all those who contributed to such a successful event.

Text: Zofia Kamela
Photos: Jacek Wojno Zofia Kamela and Andrew Proczkowski
Translation from Polish: Helena Fita