Happy visits with old and new friends left the delegates and guests excitedly anticipating the formal Saturday evening’s Awards Banquet, Installation of Officers and Ball.
An unexpected, but most welcome guest to the Banquet was Mrs. Lottie Pozniak.  ACPC members honored Lottie who was the organizer and first president of the Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford from 1976 to 1988.  Throughout the banquet, Lottie was visited by many loving friends who stopped at her table to hug her and wish “good health”.  It was thanks to Lottie’s sister, Florence Langridge, Immediate Past President of the Hartford Club, that this visit with Lottie was made possible.

Co-Chair Anne Oleasz was the charming Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening’s introductions of the presenters of the ACPC annual awards.

Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Romuald Hejna posthumously by Mary Flanagan.  In 2004 Mr. Hejna visited the village of Chelmno, Poland where his mother was born.  He donated $5,000 for the restoration of the ancient town clock in honor of his parents.  Romuald earned a degree in history from the Univ. of Illinois (UI). 


He made multiple gifts to UI anonymously for over a decade.  Following his death in 2008, it came to light that he made a $10 million bequest to UI – Chicago.  This donation created two Chairs – one in Polish History and the other in Polish Language & Literature.  Mr. Hejna was an active member of the Polish Arts Club of Chicago, an ACPC Affiliate.  Mrs. Flanagan presented the award plaque to Chicagoan Camille Kopielski, Rom’s dear friend of many years.






Hejna Award – (L/R): Mary Flanagan; Camille Kopielski.

 The ACPC Founders Awards are given to those of the Council’s own members whose exceptional contributions to the growth of the organization on a national or local level have earned them the gratitude of the ACPC. 

The 2009 Founders Awards were presented by 2nd V.P. Peter Obst to Carolyn Meleski and Anna-Mae Maglaty.  Mr. Obst pointed out that both recipients have higher education degrees, have raised families, are active in their church programs, and are presidents of their respective ACPC Affiliate clubs, the first in Detroit and the second in Hartford. 



























 (Founders Awards L/R): Peter Obst; Carolyn Meleski.

 In accepting her beautifully engraved award, Mrs. Meleski said that it was a great honor indeed to receive this prestigious award.  She explained that the only way she could have managed the countless hours consumed in fulfilling the obligations of serving on two ACPC scholarship committees and chairing a third one plus carrying out the heavy responsibilities of the presidency of the Detroit club was due in large part to the fact that her dear husband Matt was so cooperative – ”permitting me to go do what I needed to do!”  Director Mary Ellen Tyszka presented a lovely bouquet of flowers to Caroline as the audience vigorously applauded.
























Founders Award plaque. L-R:  Peter Obst; Anna-Mae Maglaty.

Upon accepting her Founders Award plaque, Mrs. Maglaty said she was humbled and honored.  She went on to point out that it was especially meaningful to her because in 1992 the same award was given to a woman, the founder of the Hartford club, who has served as her inspiration throughout many years, the beloved Lottie Pozniak, and therefore, shares the award with her.  In addition, her family has played an important role in allowing her to pursue the interests related to the cultivation and observance of our colorful history, culture and tradition.  Anna-Mae went on to introduce what she regards as “the co-recipients of the Founders Award” – her Hartford Club family.  Their zealous work over the past 2-1/2 years resulted in a convention enjoyed by all.  She concluded that “Indeed, it has been a fine journey and I am most thankful that the week of Aug. 4-8, 2009, will be considered by all attending as a week to remember.”  In addition to serving as a Director with ACPC, Anna-Mae chairs one committee and serves on four other committees.  Mary Ellen Tyszka presented a lovely bouquet of flowers to Anna-Mae as the audience cheered and applauded.


Cultural Club


























 The Cultural Achievement Award  (L/R): John Guzlowski, Ph.D.; Bernadette Wiermanski

 The Cultural Achievement Award is given to a prominent American of Polish descent for outstanding achievements in the field of artistic or cultural endeavors.  The 2009 Cultural Achievement Award was presented by 1st V.P. Bernadette Wiermanski to John Guzlowski, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus Eastern Illinois University.  Dr. Guzlowski grew up in immigrant and refugee neighborhoods in Chicago. 
There he met store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their arms and women who had walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians.  His poetry remembers their experiences in slave labor camps in Nazi Germany. These stories as well as the experiences of his parents are reflected in his books “Language of Mules”, “Lightning and Ashes”, and “Third Winter of War: Buchenwald”.  The latter volume was nominated for the Pulitzer Poetry Prize 2008.  His poetry has appeared in many Poetry Reviews and he was the featured poet in Spoon River Poetry Review, 2007.  Dr. Guzlowski has posted a short piece on the Internet thanking the ACPC and writing about what this award means to him –   The current issue of The Cosmopolitan Review features some of his poems about what it was like learning to speak English –































The Distinguished Service Award. (L/R): Thaddeus Mirecki; Dr. Michael Peszke.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a prominent American or Polish American who has made outstanding contributions toward a better understanding and appreciation of Polish culture, artistic, scientific, humanitarian, social, or public service achievements.  ACPC president Thaddeus Mirecki presented the Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Michael Peszke.  Born in Poland, Dr. Peszke fled the country at age seven with his family when Nazi Germany invaded in 1939.  They finally settled in the United Kingdom.  In 1956 he graduated from Trinity College in Ireland with an MD Degree.  In the U.S. Dr. Peszke’s medical career concentrated on specialty training in psychiatry with an emphasis on law and schizophrenia.  During the years 1968-1999, he held a number of professorships at the universities of Yale, Chicago, Connecticut, and Maryland. 

The high regard in which he was held led to his becoming President of the Hartford Psychiatric Society and advisor to the Conn. General Assembly on mental illness issues.  Having distinguished himself in the medical profession, Dr. Peszke went on to become an independent scholar with an interest in Poland’s WWII military history.  He published “Battle for Warsaw 1939-1944”, “Poland’s Navy 1918-1945”, “The Polish Underground Army”, and “Western Allies and the Failure of Strategic Unity in WWII.”  Dr. Peszke became one of the five members of the Founders Committee, which included Prof. M.B. Biskupski of Central CT State Univ.  The persistence and hard work of this fundraising committee resulted in the establishment of a permanent exhibit of the Kosciuszko Squadron at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT. in 2007.  Polish Americans are very proud of this outstanding exhibit.
Election of officers, directors and committee chairs was held during the annual ACPC Convention in Hartford.  Nominating Committee Chair Jacqueline Kolowski succeeded in presenting to the delegates a slate exactly filling each position so that only a unanimous confirmation vote was necessary.  The women, dressed in beautiful gowns, and the men in formal attire, took the oath of office at the hands of Judge Christine E. Keller, CT Superior Court.  Elected to two year terms are the following individuals:

 President:          Deborah M. Majka
 1st V.P.:  Bernadette Wiermanski
 2nd V.P.:  Mary Ellen Tyszka
 Treasurer:  Gregory Biestek
 Recording Sec’y : Marcia Lewandowski
 Directors:  Christina Markiewicz, Camille Kopielski,
Ursula Brodowicz, Paul Bosse, Peter Obst, Ange Iwanczyk
Credentials & Grievance Comm.:  Irene Musman, Matt Meleski, Ann Oleasz                        
Nominations Comm.: Jacqueline Kolowski, Thad Cooke, Louis Patalita


Polish Arts Club













Installation of Officers/Directors/Committee Chairs

The evening ended with the Dennis Polisky & the Maestro Men orchestra attracting many dancers to the floor.  This proved to be the very happy finale to the evening of ACPC awards and the election as the delegates and guests danced away until midnight – “hupaj siupaj do samego rana”! 

In reviewing the activities of the Convention, delegates and guests recognized that vital goals were achieved.  Congratulations are due to the Hartford Club for being able to support ACPC’s long-held goal of reaching out and connecting with community groups and individuals who are not directly associated with the Polish American society.  Credit goes to Program Co-Chair Mary Heslin for scheduling Connecticut State and City officials to our opening session who readily acknowledged and praised the good work of Polish Americans in support of city and state community programs and projects. 

Once again, kudos are extended by the ACPC to the three Hartford Club Co-Chairs who planned and coordinated activities over for the past 2-1/2 years that resulted in an outstanding Convention – Anna-Mae Maglaty, Frances Pudlo and Anne Oleasz.  Sincere gratitude is extended to them and to all of the many committee members who toiled behind the scenes, devoting talent, time, and energy – Bog zaplac!   They all carried out their responsibilities in a most gracious and friendly manner so that ACPC delegates and guests will remember them evermore!

An important reminder to all Polonians – The American Council for Polish Culture will once again participate in the Annual National Conference for the Social Studies, which will take place this year in Atlanta, GA Nov. 13-15, 2009.  Co-Chairs Barbara Lemecha and Henrietta Nowakowski are preparing a booth for the Conference that concentrates on the 70th Anniversary of the Outbreak of WWII and highlights the Polish contributions to the Allied Victory.  A full story on this important civic/educational project will be released to the press shortly.

The American Council for Polish Culture always warmly welcomes new members.  Individual membership is only $10 a year.  If interested please contact Membership Chair Anna-Mae Maglaty at 860-521-7621, E/M [email protected] or visit website: