The American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) held its 2011 Fall Board Meeting, October 14-15 in a suburb of Boston, which was hosted by the Polish Cultural Foundation whose president is Dr. Andrzej Pronczuk. Dr. Pronczuk earned his Doctor of Science degree from prestigious MIT in Cambridge, MA. He is a specialist in human nutrition and lectures and conducts research at Brandeis University. He is the author of well over 100 scientific publications and holds several patents.
Dr. Pronczuk, his charming wife Lila, and the Foundation’s Vice-Presidents, Donata Czulak, Elzbieta Welz, and Szymon Tolak planned a very exciting and informative weekend for the members of ACPC. Business sessions kicked off the Friday evening meeting, which were followed by a splendid reception prepared by Mrs. Pronczuk and other active members of the Foundation.
After a brief business session Saturday morning the ACPC members embarked upon a memorable two-hour trolley car tour through Boston and Cambridge. They viewed Faneuil Hall where Samuel Adams and other Revolutionary figures met to plan their fight for liberty. Other sites they witnessed were Paul Revere’s house, the Boston Harbor where British Redcoats marched ashore in 1768, a view of the U.S. S. Constitution, Bunker Hill, and many other important historical sites where the battles for our country’s freedom began. Other sites pointed out with precise and interesting facts by the trolley driver, such as the Christian Science Church building, the Kennedy Library and the Old North Church where the lantern warned that the British were coming brought sighs of recognition. Our members were absolutely fascinated by the historical backgrounds, which have been so immaculately maintained.
Upon returning to the hotel meeting room, we were treated to a very tasty luncheon while Pres. Majka began the final business agenda. Among the many interesting and important activities and projects discussed was a report by Mary Flanagan. Mrs. Flanagan has written and published a book “With Paintbrush and Sword”, which reflects the Life & Works of Henryk de Rosen. She announced that she has decided to donate the monies received from the book sales to the maintenance of the de Rosen cenotaph which the ACPC had erected in the cemetery of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa.
Chairman Marion Winters announced that it appears that the Pulaski Scholarships program will be able to award four scholarships of $5,000 each to Polish American youths in advanced studies in 2012.
Camile Kopieski, Chair of the Summer Studies in Poland program, reported that $2,000 awards were granted this year to Agatha Kielczewski and Nicholas Gregory Krol. Agatha is a senior at Norhwestern University. She wrote of her experience at a university in Poland that “the study was with two incredibly knowledgeable and talented professors involving four hours of daily classes covering Polish history and literature”. Planned weekends included trips throughout Poland and Eastern Europe, which “made a most poignant, memorable summer.”
Nicholas Krol is a senior at Wayne State Univ. A Wayne State professor, Dr. Alina Klein, visited Poland this summer and met Krol there. He informed her that he is remaining in Poland to attend the Jagiellonian Univ. for one year.
Thomas Payne, Chairman of the Jamestown Plaque Committee, announced that the plaque prepared by ACPC honoring the Polish settlers who contributed richly to the success of the Settlement in the early 1600’s has passed all of the requirements that the State of Virginia requires. It will be installed in Jamestown during the ACPC Convention in 2012.
Dr. Andrzej Pronczuk announced that in addition to the $100 donation made by his Foundation to our ACPC booth at the Annual Conference for Social Studies, he would be sending his very popular book markers and also a supply of the May 3rd Constitution booklet.
Many other business decisions were discussed and processed as Pres. Majka skillfully and adroitly guided the proceedings on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
After enjoying a delicious dinner Saturday evening, ACPC members were transported by the Foundation members to the home of Mrs. Lila Pronczuk’s cousin for a piano recital. We were delighted to be seated by the hosts in the very spacious parlor of what could be best described as a mansion, the home of Elzbieta and Waldemar Welz. We were introduced to Krystian Tkaczewski, pianist who is a graduate of the University of Hartford where he is presently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Mr. Tkaczewski has taken part in a number of piano competitions and took first prize in several, such as American Protégé in NY and Jose Iturbi Music Competition in Los Angeles.
Tkaczewski’s piano selections were superbly played, sometimes forcefully, sometimes delicately in delivery. The energy of the music seemed to course through him. He appeared to perform in full authority and conviction. Tkaczewski seemed to be always exploring the range of sound, keenly passionate, exciting, but as in Chopin’s Nocturne also lyrical and delicate.
The recital was a superbly atmospheric presentation of Mozart, Schubert and Chopin. The presentation by Mr. Tkaczewski, his range of sound and passionate delivery made the music loud in beauty that gladdened the senses. The audience responded with tremendous applause revealing their delight and appreciation for Mr. Tkaczewski’s performance.
The beaming audience was invited to partake of a dessert table filled with cookies and cakes and another table laden with wines and other refreshments. Mrs. Lila Pronczuk had personally baked the tasty cookies and the really superb poppy-seed cake.
What a lovely and very interesting day - a sight-seeing trolley tour through Boston and Cambridge, a fine luncheon, very engrossing and productive ACPC business session, a delicious dinner, an outstanding piano recital, and a really delicious dessert! The Polonian members who attended the weekend’s Board Meeting were transfixed by recalling the Polish tradition displayed by Dr. Andrzej & Lila Pronczuk and Mr. & Mrs. Welz that “Gosc w domu, Bog w domu” (“Guest in the home, God’s in the home”), which was indeed applicable to our visit in Boston. The concluding feeling was that the weekend manifested a very warm companionship among all members, creating a feeling of happiness in their Polish souls. The majestic experience continued into Sunday morning, as the gracious Lila met everyone in the hotel lobby, inquiring if anyone wanted transportation to church to attend Mass. Folks went to Mass with thanksgiving in their hearts and souls for an unforgettably happy weekend. The faithful Mass attendees were further blessed by Rev. Andrzej Urbanik who greeted them warmly and wished them a safe journey home.
JO LOUISE WINTERS, P/R CHAIR