The celebration of Poland’s 97th Anniversary of Independence was held at the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle on Sunday, November 15, commemorating Poland’s return to the map after 123 years of foreign annexation. The anniversary program directed by Barbara Strutynski, included a medley of poems, music and spoken word presented by children and adults, with pianist Marzena Szlaga playing Chopin’s music and choir Vivat Musica singing traditional songs. Special guests included community leaders, veterans and former Solidarity activists as well as Polish scouting group.
At the event, one of the former Solidarity leaders, Jerzy Las was honored with the Cross of Freedom and Solidarity, a medal bestowed by the President of Poland, and presented to Mr. Las by Honorary Consul of Poland in Seattle. Congratulations! To see more photos click here.
I had the opportunity to catch up with the students at Gdynia Business Week (Poland) this past August. Ninety students from Poland and ten American students participated in a fast paced week of international business! They formed ‘companies’; had to create a business plan; make a stockholders presentation; participate in a trade show to find capital to run their business and graduate with honors! Students actually met with local Polish businessmen and women including Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Union. The Mayor of Gdynia also made an appearance.
It is exciting for me to be part of the Seattle Gdynia Sister City organization that believes in promoting good will between Seattle and Gdynia and watch programs such as this grow each year. Feel free to look through the images captured during the week:
The Grand Assembly
Tour of Gdansk and Kashubian Village
As the whole world mourns the loss of Poland’s President Kacynski, so does a small group of Seattle residents who are part of the Polish community and the Seattle Gdynia Sister City Association who gathered today for a moment of silence in his honor.
In Solidarity members of the SGSCA gathered to mourn the loss of Poland’s President Kacynski and many other high ranking officials when their plane crashed a few days ago in Smolensk.
Members recalled the fight for Solidarity of which several were part of; and to remember the lost souls of Katyn; and to grieve the loss of friends made in Poland over many years of friendship with the people of Poland.
The struggle for freedom and democracy in Poland is an evolving process and we honor those who continue to move forward.
Zbigniew Pietrzyk, an active member in the fight for Solidarity at it’s inception, speaks to the group.
See more photos here: http://www.gailannphotography.com/SGSCA-Kacynski2010/
The 13th Annual Seattle Sister Cities Reception was held at City Hall on April 23rd. Hosting cites included Gdynia, Poland, Nantes, France, Surabaya, Indonesia and Sihanoukville, Cambodia. City officials including Mayor Nickels, Richard Conlin and Tay Yoshitani were on hand to welcome members of the Indonesian Consul General plus members of local area Sister City groups. To view all images click here.
Highlights include: Robam Jun Por, Blessing Dance from Cambodia
Philippe Savre performing music from Brittany
2008 Best Single Project Award went to the Reykjavik Sister City group
Vivat Musica of Seattle performed Polish folk songs
GEMAS Dance group performed an Indonesian traditional dance
As a Christmas present to myself I produced my first photo book and had it printed in Italy! I was thrilled when I received my finished book. It is most charming. If you would like to purchase a mini copy for yourself let me know! Or stop by the studio and pick one up!
You can view the pages here. Enjoy!