Events Family Stones Heritage Store Heritage Walks Stories 2008 Celebration
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2008 marked an important milestone
 for the
Polish Kashub Culture in Canada
as it was the 150th Anniversary of the
arrival of the first Kashubs in Canada in 1858.

Descendants of the Lorbiecki/Rolbiecki Family
who arrived in Canada in 1858

An account of the arrival of the First Kashubs can be found in a Canadian Government Report of the Select Committee on Emigration [1860], and it details a few of the many difficulties and hardships they faced:

    "In 1858, 76 Poles (16 families) landed here by the Heinrich from Bremen.  They had been told by a passage agent for the Bremen shipping interest, that they would receive 100 acres of land on going to Canada, free of any expense or pay.  They sold their little cottages and few acres, and landed here paupers. They had not as much as the value of a loaf of bread in money amongst them. They said the agent at home had deceived them, in telling them the cost of removal from Prussian Poland to Quebec was a great deal less than they afterwards found out.  These people were much more to be pitied, on account of their not speaking anything else but Polish. I shall never forget their bitter, despairing cries, when they found here on the other side of the ocean how awfully they had been misled.  I procured free passages for them from the Chief Agent to Renfrew, and although late in the season, I saw them all, except one family, for whom I could not get employment, provided for, with the farmers in that neighbourhood.  They were considered a burthen on their arrival, but in one year they have already elicited honorable mention from the Ottawa Agency."

150 years later, descendants of Canada's first Kashubian immigrants joined the Wilno Heritage Society in preparing a number of special events to celebrate this important milestone year.  Many people assisted in making the events of 2008 a great success and we are proud of how Canada's Kashubs rallied to pay tribute to their unique cultural heritage.

David Shulist, President of the Wilno Heritage Society at the microphone, introduces his "Executive Team"- from left: Michael Coulas, Vice President, Ed Chippior, Heritage Director, Larry Serran, Financial Director, Teenie Mask, Secretary, Ursula (Borutski) Jeffrey, Treasurer, and Shirley Mask Connolly, Curator. August 2, 2008.

Throughout the year, 2008, many people visited the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum and learned more about the Kashub cultural heritage of Canada.

In June 2008, after the special Polish mass celebrated by Cardinal Dziwisz at St. Mary's Church in Wilno, Shirley gave a tour of the Museum and Park site to special guests:[from left] Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon, President of the Canadian Polish Congress, Dr. Piotr Ogrodzinski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland and Mr. Piotr Konowrocki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto.

But the most visitors came to the Park and Museum to be part of the big anniversary party which was on August 2 &3, 2008.  To learn more about the "big party" and other special events of 2008, CLICK HERE.

What a Party!
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For more information on the Wilno Heritage Society e-mail: