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Prime Minister Harper Celebrates Historic Milestone of the Polish Community in Canada

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, June 10, 2008.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, joined by Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, Jason Kenney, and Alberta Member of Parliament, Blaine Calkins, Chair of the Canada-Poland Parliamentary friendship Group, met with members of the Polish community to celebrate three important milestones in the history of the Poles in Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper & David Shulist
2008 marks the 150th Anniversary of the first Polish Kashub settlers arriving in Canada,
the 100th anniversary of the birth of the thriving Polish community in Windsor, Ontario
and the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Polish Congress, the national voice of Canadians of Polish descent.

Prime Minister Harper stated: "These anniversaries remind us how much Polish Canadians - more than 800,000 strong today- have done to build our great country... Polish Canadians have made their mark in every walk of Canadian life."

David Shulist 
spoke on behalf of Canada's Kashub Community

Above: David Shulist addresses the guests at the Parliamentary Reception. On his left, Mr. Blaine Calkins, Chair of the Poland-Canada Parliamentary Group, Mr. Wladyslaw Lizon, President of the Polish Canadian Congress; and on his right, Dr. Piotr Ogrodzinski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.

David Shulist, President of the Wilno Heritage Society, made a special presentation of a print titled: Reception at Wilno to Prime Minister Harper and spoke in tribute to the pioneer Kashubian immigrants and present day efforts to honour them and their cultural tradition: "We are proud to be Canadian and proud of our Kashubian cultural roots. Multiculturalism is the cornerstone of our country and Canada is truly a model for the rest of the world. Canada should be very proud of this and as Canadians, we should be proud. I am proud to be Canadian and very proud of my Kashub heritage."

Piotr Konowrocki, Shirley Mask Connolly & Rick Norlock
David makes presentation

Also in attendance, Shirley Mask Connolly, curator of the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum; Teenie Mask and Ursula Jeffrey, Wilno Heritage executive directors; Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke; Rick Norlock, MP and Kashubian descendant; and Anna Zuarakowski, President of the Polish Heritage Institute Kaszuby.
Over 600 special guests attended the reception including Dr. Piotr Ogrodzinski, Ambassador to Poland, Piotr Konowrocki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto, and Wladyslaw Lizon, President of the Canadian Polish Congress. [For more photos, see below]

A display of exhibit posters made by Shirley Mask Connolly for the Polish Kashub Heritage Museum in Wilno and a display of black and white photographs of Kashuby, Canada and Kaszuby, Poland, by photographer, Jim  Blomfield were also on view at the reception.

Teenie Mask [left] & Ursula Jeffrey 
check out Jim Blomfield's Kaszuby photos
Shirley, David &
our M.P. Cheryl Gallant
Shirley & Anna Zurakowski

Canada's Kashubs were also celebrated in the Polish Parliament in Warsaw in 2008 with a special exhibit and publication in Polish, Kashub & English: Kashubians in Canada -150 years of emigration- as promoted by the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association & the Kashubian Parliamentary Group. To see the publication: www.senat.gov.pl/k7/agenda/wydarz/2008/080625.pdf

Warsaw, 2008
Both Artur Jablonski, President of the Kashubian Pomeranian Association [shown on left in photo above],  and Polish Senator Kazimierz Kleina [middle left]  also attended the 150th Celebrations in Wilno on August 2 and 3, 2008.  Also in photograph, David Preston [shown on the right], Canadian Ambassador in Poland.

For more information on the Wilno Heritage Society e-mail: