Halina Madej, long serving president of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton (Federacja Polek w Kanadzie Ogniwo #3), was elected president of the Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Society on October 27th, 2019. Delegates from across Alberta met at the Polish Hall in Edmonton on October 26th and 27th to hear reports, work in committees, and present motions and recommendations that would direct the new board’s activities for the next two years.
During the opening of the thirty-sixth convention, Honorary Consul Zygmunt Potocki (Southern Alberta) brought greetings and praised Polonia leaders and delegates from Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Grande Prairie. Mr. Potocki urged everyone to remember that the Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Society represents the entire province and not just major centres. He then introduced Marek Domaradzki, the First Vice President of KPK and an active member of Calgary’s Polish community, and presented Mr. Domaradzki with the Medal of the Centenary of Regained Independence (Medal Stulecia Odzyskanej Niepodległości). Convention attendees stood and loudly applauded Marek for his contributions to Polonia and Poland.
Honorary Consul John Szumlas (Northern Alberta) spoke about continued active support for Polish language education and the Polish Center at Concordia University of Edmonton. Mr. Szumlas recognized and thanked the Election Commission who made it possible for Poles to vote in the recent Polish elections. Members of the commission were Halina Madej (chair), Jadwiga Skowrońska, Elżbieta Malejczyk, Terese Szlamp-Fryga, and Krzysztof Baran were warmly applauded by convention attendees. John, or Janek as he is often affectionately called, concluded by thanking all the leaders and encouraged them to continue working for the community.
Delegates chose Jarek Nowinka to chair the convention with assistance from Terese Szlamp-Fryga. Both Jarek and Terese had each served as presidents for four terms. Convention committees were organized as follows: culture, seniors, financial-administration, assistance for Poles in the East, schools, and youth. The six committees
Ms. Madej plans to bring together and work with all Polonia organizations, even those who do not yet belong to the Canadian Polish Congress in Alberta. Her ambitious program includes cultivating and promoting Polish culture, history, the Polish language, and traditions. In addition, she will represent Polonia within the Canadian community and work with other nationalities. A major objective is to encourage young people to become actively involved in the community and join, or create, Polonia organizations.
The newly elected board of directors includes three members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton (Federacja Polek w Kanadzie Ogniwo #3). Jadwiga Skowrońska is Second Vice President; Alicja Tomicka is Correspondence Secretary, and Terese Szlamp-Fryga is a director.
Our warmest appreciation goes to the kitchen staff of the Polish Hall who prepared two delicious lunches and a superb supper for delegates which provided much valued time for socializing and networking.
The Board of Directors for 2019-2021:
PRESIDENT : Halina Madej
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS: Andrzej Bukowski – Calgary, Jagoda Wilk – Grande Prairie,
Stanisław Kuniec – Lethbridge
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: Andrzej Makarewicz SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: Jadwiga Skowrońska
TREASURER: Teresa Moss
SECRETARY: Alicja Tomicka (Correspondence) , Jadwiga Bartosek (Minutes)
DIRECTORS: Hanna Broniewska, Grzegorz Łojko, Jerzy Malinowski, Tomasz Owczarek
Maciej Piekarski, Wiesława Potocka, Terese Szlamp-Fryga
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Krzysztof Baran, Elżbieta Malejczyk, Halina Madej (chair), Jadwiga Skowrońska (vice chair), and Terese Szlamp-Fryga.
June, beginning of July. Supposedly summer months, but not typical in 2019. Anyway these days typical weather does not exist. Heat waves in Poland, Asia, draught in usually rainy England! And in Alberta – rain everyday…
And rain was “hanging” over us on July 6th, when our picnic was planned several weeks ago, to take place in the garden of Wiesia Środa. At 3 pm ladies started arriving, some with husbands, who soon gathered together and seemed to be happy enjoying conversation.
Ladies were also happy, carrying conversation mainly about our families, as we are mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers, so there is no shortage of subjects.
Important part of our meeting was tasting the food. Everyone of us brought something special. Especially imaginative were “witches brooms” made from strings of cheese wound around breadsticks and tied-up with chives. Host prepared traditional soup from sorrel grown in her garden. There was bigos, sausages, different salads, cakes and cherries.
We also had guests from afar, Ania Waner’s sister came from Warsaw, the other from Toronto. They had very good time and appreciated the friendly atmosphere in our organization. They were given book of poems by Urszula Kunikiewicz, published by our branch, signed by the author.
We consider ourselves very lucky, it did not rain, even though rain was forecasted, we all had a great time, we thank Wiesia an her husband Mieczysław Środa for their hospitality. Our picnic 2019 was a great success!
The members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton gathered together on April 27th, 2019 to celebrate Easter and enjoy an Easter Buffet, much like breakfast on Easter Sunday. Our organization has been celebrating such Polish traditions as “Opłatek” (Christmas Wafer) and “Święcone” (Easter Buffet) for more than sixty years.
A small group of members (Grażyna Nieradka, Jadwiga Skowrońska oraz Bożena Wojno) arrived early and decorated the room beautifully.
Halina Madej, the president of our organization, welcomed our guest, John Szumlas. Mr. Szumlas is the Honorary Consul in northern Alberta for the Republic of Poland. He spoke warmly about the role our organization plays in Edmonton’s Polish community and complimented us on the kind and cordial atmosphere in our group.
Bożena Wojno, Krystyna Sierko, Grażyna Nieradka, and Urszula Kunikiewicz prepared an artistic program including selections from Polish literature. Accompanied by classical music, they recited poetry. In addition, Elżbieta Zadora-Paszkowska read the prophetic words of Juliusz Słowacki regarding agreement and disagreement among Poles as well as the election of a Polish Pope (which happened when Karol Wojtyła became Pope John Paul II).
The poetry spoke of the Easter atmosphere, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Together, we experienced moments of reverie, regret and then joy when “Alleluja” rang out.
We fought each other using eggs, prepared by Halina Madej. Each of us tried to keep our egg undamaged in spite of many attempts to smash it. Following this lively exercise, we enjoyed some żurek (Polish sour rye soup) which is a favourite at Easter. We added our egg to the soup and enjoyed it most heartily.
Bożena treated us to some fresh homemade bread made from buckwheat that was still warm. The food was not only delicious but also beautifully served. There were hard-boiled eggs that looked like little ducks and Ania’s sweet eggs (not real eggs!), marzipan in chocolate shells. The setting, the food, the atmosphere were all exceptional!
The Polish community in Edmonton hold festive social gatherings (Oplatki) around Christmas .
The Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton (known in Polish as Federacja Polek , Ogniwo #3) held its Oplatek on January 26th, 2019. The celebration was held in the Kingsway Room of the Polish Hall. Invited guests included the pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus, as well as the presidents of various Polish organizations.
The magnificent meal was prepared by the members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton. Traditional Polish dishes were laid out on tables.
Children from the Maria Chrzanowska Polish Saturday School presented the artistic program under the direction of the school principal Agata Guzik. The program included poems and Christmas carols, and captivated the audience who sang along with the children creating a most pleasant atmosphere.
Following the artistic program, the children were invited to the tables followed by our invited guests, and the members of our organization.
Traditional Christmas Party
Traditional Christmas Party
Members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society of Edmonton served hundreds of customers at the Polish pavilion during the Heritage Festival in Edmonton’s centrally located Hawrelak Park. Delicious Polish food attracted many festival visitors. The lineups were long and never ending. As usual, our ladies rose to the challenge and provided excellent service, smiles and a welcoming atmosphere greatly contributed to the event’s success and excellent representation of Poland at the annual Heritage Festival.
Throwing crowns fashioned from wild flowers into a nearby pond or lake was one of the rituals of St. John’s Eve. In a beautiful scenery of Rundle Park and North Saskatchewan River the continuation of this old Polish tradition was a great fun. Surprisingly, some candles were burning for a long time…
On April 11th we met for the traditional Easter Breakfast where we shared eggs with everyone at the table. The Easter decorations were prepared by Jadzia Skowroński. Thank you! On this occasion we hosted John Szumlas the Honorary Consul of RP and the representatives of Polish organizations. We wished each other happiness and joy and played trying to smash the shell of boiled eggs of our tablemates.
Volunteers who worked Jan. 17th and the 18th at the casino met for supper at the Syrenka Club. After supper Joanna Dumicz presented her songs and poems. Then good wine and good company kept everyone entertained late into the evening.
March 15, 2015 Talent Show: A TO POLSKA WŁAŚNIE organized by Polish Women Federation in Edmonton and Polish Teachers Union in Edmonton.