On Sunday, April 9, 2017, PRCUA had the privilege of hosting Piotr Wilczek, the newly-appointed Polish Ambassador to the United States, as well as various leaders from the Polish American community, for a meeting enabled by Consul General, Piotr Janicki, in the Polish Museum of America (PMA) Sabina Logisz Great Hall.
PRCUA Officers and PMA representatives welcomed the Ambassador, Consul General and other members of the staff, then escorted the guests to view the offices of the PRCUA and parts of the PMA.
President and First Lady Drobot described the history of our fraternal and its ties to Poland and the Polish American community. Małgorzata Kot, PMA Managing Director, also showed him around the treasured Paderewski Room. He was then treated to a tour of the rest of the museum while guests arrived in the Great Hall.
Approximately 70 people came to meet Ambassador Wilczek during this private event. President Drobot began the meeting with a welcoming speech and then Ambassador Wilczek took the podium. He thanked those present for coming to meet with him and spoke briefly about himself and his last few months in office. He then spoke about the importance of staying connected to Poland and the relationship he hopes to foster between Poland and the United States.
Before becoming the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Wilczek was a prolific literary scholar, intellectual historian, writer and translator. He worked as a professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice. He has written and edited 22 published monographs and has authored over 100 journal articles in both English and Polish, which appeared in Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He was also very involved as the Poland-based representative of Kosciuszko Foundation, based in New York, which promotes relationship between Poland and the US in the areas of education, culture, and art. This experience will surely aid him as he strives to strengthen ties between Poland and the US.
After his speech, Zygmunt Goliński, a decorated veteran presented Ambassador Wilczek with a book. The Ambassador was also presented with other gifts by Richard Owsiany, PMA President, and Vice-President Micheline Jaminski. Both said a few words, continuing the outpour of welcome and hospitality.
Once the speeches and gifts were given, Ambassador Wilczek stepped into the crowd and was engulfed in handshakes, warm wishes, more questions, and local hospitality.
While visiting with the attendants, he made a point to stop and talk to another honored guest. Tadeusz Terlikowski is another highly decorated veteran from the 303 Division who is 100 years of age. Mr. Terlikowski had been awarded with a cross from the Knights of the Order of Polonia Restituta by Poland president’s Chief of Staff, Adam Kwiatkowski in May of 2016. Ambassador Wilczek thanked him for his service to Poland.
PRCUA was honored to have hosted such an important guest. Only time will tell what exciting developments his years as ambassador will bring to the Polish American community in the United States.