Polish Constitution Day and the 100th anniversary of Poland’s Restored Independence


Rysard and Grazyna Sylka, mayor of Bytow, Poland, and his wife; Leszek and Lucyna Waszkiewiecz, starost of Bytow, Poland, and his wife; and Marzena Breza, Polish director of senior policy in Beijing, China, will be guests of honor at the Polish Constitution Day Dinner held at the Museum Annex, 363 East Second Street, at 6:05 p.m. on May 5, 2018.

They will be treated to a fine Polish dinner, provided by Bonnie and John Burdick, consisting of caramel roasted pork and Polish sausage, potatoes and gravy, and glazed carrots and sauerkraut preceded by great appetizers and followed by poppy seed lemon cake, all lubricated by sundry wines and Polish piwo.

After dinner all the banquet celebrants will be enlightened with a lecture by Dan Schyma, a St. John’s and St. Thomas graduate, who will try to solve the mysteries and obscurities — nuances — that set Silesians and Kashubians apart and yet, together, as countrymen.

The newly formed Polish Youth Choir will make its first public appearance to lead off the celebration. Its members have worked at a song written by Hieroum Dedowski that is unknown to much of the world, but should bring fond memories to Polish guests.

A highlight of the evening will be the introduction of the Cichonowski family into the Polish Hall of Fame. Mary started her career as one of the famed “Kashubian Kids.” Jerry is a college professor at both Winona universities; Mike always wanted to “sail his ship alone” and has accomplished that very successfully; their father, Bob, despite his 35 surgeries, was about as helpful willing a Winonan and St. Stan’s parishioner as you could ever want and always had a fun comment to add to whatever activity in which he was involved; and grandfather, Felix, would come to the Polish Museum to help identify pictures as he got older — if you asked who was in the Polish Legion Band, he would answer “I don’t remember,” but if you asked who played phlugehorn or trombone, he gave a name immediately.

The Cichonowskis have added a lot to Winona and still do. Felix’s electric hat stretcher still sits atop the bookcase at the south wall of the Polish Museum.

Tickets to this celebration are available at the museum or at Midtown Foods.


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