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Special Events
October is Polish American Heritage Month
in San Diego

Previous Events:

Stanislaw Deja Piano Concert
International Award-Winning Polish Pianist

Sunday, June 19, 2005
St. Peter's Episcopal Church Parish Hall
334 14th Street, Del Mar, CA
Click here for more information

The 1st San Diego Polish Film Festival was a tremendous success!
Thanks to all who made this event possible.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park
Click here for more information

Balboa Park - Organ Pavilion     October 6, 2001

On October 6th 2001, The Polish American Heritage Group of San Diego presented a program of events to recognize the achievements and contributions of Polonia and Polonians. The program, which began at 10 a.m., was held in the Organ Pavilion in San Diego's Balboa Park. The event aimed to provide information and historical displays as well as presenting entertainment with traditional Polish song, dance and food. This program was the first of a series in San Diego, and were followed by the 6th Annual festival at St. Maximilian Kolbe Polish Mission in Pacific Beach, October 13 and 14, and an annual heritage dance presented by the North County Polish American Social group on October 20th at Lake San Marcos. These activities have been organized this October to promote Polish Heritage Month.

www.PoloniaSanDiego.com and Gene Swick Productions sponsored the Heritage Celebration. Victor Byczkiewicz acted as Master of Ceremonies. Alexander Kapitanski, who is known as “The Flagman”, beautifully decorated the stage at the Organ Pavilion. Mr. Kapitanski, who is now in his seventies, has been decorating events with flags since he was eleven years of age. His background and achievements will be featured in another issue. Peter Metlicki of West Los Angeles provided the DJ, musical interludes, and music system.

The opening ceremonies were highlighted by the singing of the National Anthem by Master Chief Melanie Leketa from the United States Navy. The singing of the Polish National Anthem, Jeszcze Polska Nie Zginela, followed this. Tomasz Ostrowski performed the blessing for the success of the event. Ben Marchant, a member of the Mayor‘s Protocol Office, read a proclamation from the City of San Diego that was signed by the Mayor, who was unable to attend. Tim Ryan who represented Governor Gray Davis presented several other acknowledgements. Other presenters included Howard Wayne of the 78th Assembly District of California, and Vikki Baldlong, representing Councilman Brian Maienschien from the 5th District. Letters of acknowledgement and recognition were also received from Susan A. Davis, Congresswoman, 49th District of California; David G. Kelly, Assemblyman, 80th District; Byron Wear and Scott H Peters, Councilmen of the 2nd and 1st Districts of the City of San Diego.

The Vislanie, a San Diego based dance and music group presented five superb numbers: Krakowiak, Domino Polka, Sleeping Kujawia, Swirswir Mazur, and the Bestkid Polka. Marysia Leu is the director and choreographer of the group, which is managed by Victor Leu, who also acts as their Master of Ceremonies.

One of the principal purposes of the event was to honor outstanding members of the Polonia and the following Armii Krajowe (A.K.) veterans: Tomasz Ostrowski, (also a Knight of Malta); Marian Grzecinik; Zdzislaw Sujecki; Halina Polak; and Witold Plonski.

Other honorees included C.J. “Pat” Paderewski, recently selected for the prestigious Polonia Award; Alexander Kapitanski, decorator of the event; Brigadier general John Wisniewski (USAF Ret.); and Richard Bukowski, Polonia Activist who was single-handedly responsible for 3,500 letters of support for Poland's entry into NATO. General Wisniewski will be featured at another event in the future.

Dr. Janusz Supernak then treated everyone to the singing of “The San Diego Song” which he wrote and composed. He was then joined by the “Songs From the Heart” duo consisting of Casimir Wisniewski and his beautiful daughter Hanna. Together, they performed a medley of folk songs. Hanna also spoke briefly about her Polish heritage.

The activities at the Organ Pavilion were followed by a special display of Polish History (1939-1945) in the Balboa Park Club, Santa Fe Room. The display was prepared by Michael Dutkowski, Vice President of the Polish American Congress (PAC) and former President of the Southern California Division of the PAC.

Victor Byczkiewicz, Jr videotaped the event. Special thanks to the Planning Committee and volunteers: Art Ballantyne, Pat and Ginny Paderewski, Tony Brock, and Gene Swick, for all their dedicated hard work. www.PoloniaSanDiego.com would also like to express gratitude to the sponsors of the event: Jacob Kappeler of T&H Prime Meats and Sausage of San Marcos, Richard and Carrie Bukowski, Victor Byczkiewicz, John Fagan, Pat and Ginny Paderewski, Gene Swick, and Cottage Café who catered the event.

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