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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NEWS

  • 3 November 2017

    Veterans, Canadian officials, Members of Parliament, representatives of Polish diaspora and friends of Poland took part in the celebration of the National Independence Day and Polish Armed Forces Day in Ottawa on November 2, 2017.

    - As ambassador of Poland I would like to emphasize that we are grateful to Canada for playing an extraordinary role in our nation’s story. It was exactly 100 year ago when the Canadian authorities organized a training camp, called “Camp Kościuszko” in Niagara-on-the-Lake for over 20 000 volunteers who wanted to fight for free Poland during the I world war. When the II world war erupted and the independence of Poland was once more violated Canada was yet again willing to help us. A recruitment center was established in Windsor and a training camp in Owen Sound – said ambassador Andrzej Kurnicki. - We are proud that Poland and Canada are once again allies who join forces within a NATO combat group in Latvia and our soldiers train regularly together – he added. Ambassador Kurnicki also thanked Polish defense attaché col. Cezary Kiszkowiak whose mission in Canada comes to an end this year for his hard work and dedication.

     

    Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne was a special guest of the ceremony. In his speech he talked about the Polish-Canadian economic cooperation and new possibilities of trade and investment growth between the two countries. - We are grateful for Poland’s support in the process of negotiations and ratification of CETA agreement – said minister.

     

    The celebration was co-hosted by Member of Parliament Peter Fonseca and the Polish-Canadian Parliamentary Friendship Group. Mr. Fonseca emphasized in his speech a tremendous input of Polish diaspora into Canada’s history.

     

    Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Defense Gordon Venner talked about very good Polish-Canadian military cooperation as for more than three years Canadian soldiers stationed in Poland strengthening NATO’s eastern flank.

     

    There was a special awards ceremony also held during the evening. Ted Opitz was awarded with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for outstanding merits in developing Polish-Canadian military cooperation within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Ted Lojko was honoured with the Silver Cross of Merit for outstanding contributions to the Polish community in Canada. Ms. Helena Kusiak was decorated with the Sybir Deportee Cross, awarded to people deported and imprisoned in the gulag, camps and places of dispatch. Ms. Kusiak was deported with her entire family to Siberia, where after her father's death, she  struggled with her mother to survive working hard in the forest. Lieutenant General retired D. Michael Day, former Deputy Commander of Headquarters Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, was awarded with the Bronze Armed Forces Medal by Polish Minister of National Defense, for supporting Polish Armed Forces peaceful activity in the international community.

     

    Guests gathered at the celebration had a chance to listen to a concert of Polish songs performed by Anna Hejnar with accompaniment of Judith Ginsburg and piano concert of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Fryderyk Chopin and Krzysztof Komeda music performed by Paweł Kowalski.

     

     

    col. Cezary Kiszkowiak welcomes Ms. Ewa Konopacka, WWII veteran
    col. Cezary Kiszkowiak welcomes Ms. Ewa Konopacka, WWII veteran
    from left: I counsellor Łukasz Weremiuk, honorary consul John Szumlas, ambassador Andrzej Kurnicki, honorary consul Zygmunt Potocki
    from left: I counsellor Łukasz Weremiuk, honorary consul John Szumlas, ambassador Andrzej Kurnicki, honorary consul Zygmunt Potocki
    from left: col. Cezary Kiszkowiak, consul Aleksandra Kucy, I counsellor Łukasz Weremiuk, Agata Kurnicka, ambassador Andrzej Kurnicki
    from left: col. Cezary Kiszkowiak, consul Aleksandra Kucy, I counsellor Łukasz Weremiuk, Agata Kurnicka, ambassador Andrzej Kurnicki
    ambassador Andrzej kurnicki welcomes Mr. Zbigniew Pierścianowski, WWII veteran
    ambassador Andrzej kurnicki welcomes Mr. Zbigniew Pierścianowski, WWII veteran
    speech of Andrzej kurnicki
    speech of Andrzej kurnicki
    speech of Andrzej kurnicki
    speech of Andrzej kurnicki
    speech of Peter Fonseca
    speech of Peter Fonseca
    speech of Peter Fonseca
    speech of Peter Fonseca
    speech of Gordon Venner
    speech of Gordon Venner
    Ted Opitz receives decoration
    Ted Opitz receives decoration
    Ted Lojko receives decoration
    Ted Lojko receives decoration
    gen Michael Day receives decoration
    gen Michael Day receives decoration
    Helena Kusiak receives decoration
    Helena Kusiak receives decoration
    speech of Ted Opitz
    speech of Ted Opitz
    concert of Polish songs performed by Anna Hejnar
    concert of Polish songs performed by Anna Hejnar
    piano concert performed by Paweł Kowalski
    piano concert performed by Paweł Kowalski
    piano concert performed by Paweł Kowalski
    piano concert performed by Paweł Kowalski
    speech of minister François-Philippe Champagne
    speech of minister François-Philippe Champagne
    from left: Andrzej Kurnicki, Agata Kurnicka, François-Philippe Champagne, Peter Fonseca
    from left: Andrzej Kurnicki, Agata Kurnicka, François-Philippe Champagne, Peter Fonseca
    guests gathered at the celebration
    guests gathered at the celebration

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