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Constitution Day May 4 at Polish Museum (04/17/2013)

Constitution Day—May 3, 1791

Mass 4:00 pm May 4, 2013

The Polish Constitution sought to bring a more democratic government to the countries of Lithuania and Poland. It is the first constitution of its type in Western Europe. It is thought to be the second oldest written constitution with the oldest being the U.S. Constitution.

It was only in force for 14 months but is viewed as an important step toward Poland’s eventual independence.

Attend the Constitution Day Banquet at the Polish Cultural Institute’s Annex Hall following the Mass. We have a very special evening planned.

We start the evening with drinks and hors d’oeuvres. LaVern Skroch will take the podium to present his father James (Jake) P Skroch as the next recipient in the Polish Hall of Fame. We will be serving the kind of foods the framers of the May 3rd Constitution as well as Kosciuszko and Pulaski enjoyed. This includes pork roast, kielbasa, kraut, glazed carrots and mashed potatoes and gravy. Live music will be performed throughout the evening.

James (Jake) P Skroch is the next recipient in the Polish Hall of Fame

Jake was born to Urban Skroch and Mary (Skroch) on June 4, 1905, in Independence, Wisconsin; grandparents were born in Popielow, Silesia, Poland.

He died June 16, 1995.

He married Regina Murack from Geneseo, ND in 1939 in Independence and raised three children; LaVern, James, and Ann. The family weremembers of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Jake was a track foreman for the Green Bay and Western Railroad. His territory was from Winona, MN to Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Some of his time was spent in Winona and Polish people from the area worked on his crews, which; in some cases numbered over a hundred people, some of them women.

Jake could speak, write and read Polish fluently and used this ability to translate Polish or English documents for people. Some of these people were displaced persons from WWII, sometimes called DP’s, which emigrated here from Poland and needed his help and a possible job.

SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church has a large annual parish festival. Jake built wooden cash boxes and festival games for the festival. Some are still used at SS Peter and Paul and other parishes. He and Regina, along with other couples; purchased miniature carnival rides that were pulled by vehicles and used at festivities in other towns. The money they raised was then given to the church. They had at least three different types of rides. The rides needed to be stored so they built a large building on the parish grounds to store the equipment.

Jake and Regina were members of the rosary society. It takes 15 members (15 decades) to complete one rosary and each group of 15 was called a “Rose”.

Each member of the Rose prayed one decade of the rosary every night. Jake and Regina prayed in the Polish language.

Jake asked for approval from Rev. Father Binkowski, the Pastor, to renovate the church basement of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church. He organized the volunteers necessary to do the work and raised the finances to convert the lower church with a kitchen and a large reception area.

He held multiple offices in the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus. After a time, the Holy Name Society waned. Jake revitalized the society and was awarded a plaque and luncheon for his efforts. His award is currently displayed in the basement of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church where the parish has a small museum area.

The cemetery committee was another one of Jake’s endeavors. As a member of the committee, he realized that the records of people buried in the cemetery were not accurate or complete. He took it upon himself to walk the cemetery and meticulously document each grave and record those which had no marker. His records are still in use today, many years after his death.



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