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 THE HEAD EXECUTIVE BOARD

The Head Executive Board (HEB) represents the Polish Combatants' Association (PCA) branches at the national level. At its peak, the PCA boasted of almost two dozen branches located in towns and cities across Canada from Montreal to Victoria. The individual branches were organized by the immigrant Polish soldiers in the cities and towns where they were settled by the Canadian government after World War Two. Currently, the HEB office resides in Toronto. In the late 1940s, the HEB lobbied the Canadian government on behalf of its members, all of whom had been forced to sign two year labour contracts (mostly in forestry and agriculture) as a condition of their immigration to Canada. Also, right from the beginning, the HEB had to counter Soviet and Polish Communist propaganda. It was not a simple matter to convince the Canadian public and government that the Soviet version of the truth was false. Canadians simply had no first-hand understanding of the reality of Soviet-style communism. The Head Executive Board also represents the Canadian branches internationally as a member of the World Federation of Polish Combatants' Associations which is headquartered in London, England. During and after World War Two the Polish diaspora spread around the world and the distribution of national organizations reflects this. The PCA has been active in many countries in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and the Americas.

 

 

 

 

LEADERSHIP OF THE POLISH COMBATANTS' ASSOCIATION IN CANADA FOR THE 2015-2017 TERM

 

HEAD EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE PCA

Andrzej M. Ruta - President

Rev. Jan Wądołowski, OMI - National Chaplain 

Zbigniew Gondek, VM -  1st Vice-President

Jerzy Anioł - 2nd Vice-President

Adam Taff - Vice-President Advisor 

Jan Kraska - Regional Vice-President, Western Canada

Andrzej Mrożewski - Regional Vice-President, Central Canada

Mary Ferenc - Regional Vice-President, Eastern Canada

Tomasz Bakalarz - Secretary General 

Lech Pękalski - Secretary in Ottawa 

 Antoni Gaszyński - Recording Secretary

Henryk Sokołowski - Treasurer 

Marcin Lewandowski - Assistant Treasurer 

Janina Aniołczyk - Liaison with National Board of the Canadian Polish Congress

Tomasz Bakalarz - Awards and Membership Officer

 Jan Gasztold - Veteran Advisor (Decorations and Awards)

 Jerzy Anioł - Chair, Statutes Committee

Stanisław Adam - Veteran Advisor

Jerzy Barycki - Member

Edward Chrzanowski - Member 

 

HONORARY PRESIDENT OF THE PCA

Andrzej Garlicki

 

COUNCIL OF THE PCA

Zofia Śliwińska - Chair

Marceli Ostrowski, VM - Vice-Chair

Members

Tadeusz Ciotucha

Jerzy Kulczycki

Henryk Lang

Stanisław Majerski

Dorota Praski

Elżbieta Skrzymowska

John Styś

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE OF THE PCA

Franciszka Majerska - Chair 

Members

Wiesław Karpiński

Maria Świętorzecka

Alternate

Leszek Buczyłko

                                                                                    

CONFLICT RESOLUTION COMMITTEE OF THE PCA

Zbigniew Gondek, VM - Chair

Members

Zbigniew Aniołczyk

Tomasz Bakalarz

Agnieszka Filipek

Czesław Kuczkowski

Mirosław Lorentz

Stanisław Majerski

Sławek Mrówka

Jolanta Starczyk

 

DELEGATES TO THE PCA WORLD FEDERATION CONVENTION IN LONDON 2015

Andrzej M. Ruta - President (automatically the first ranked delegate)

Tomasz Bakalarz

Jerzy Kulczycki

Janina Aniołczyk

Adam Taff

Edward Chrzanowski

 

UPCOMING NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE PCA IN CANADA

Thunder Bay, Ontario: May 19-22, 2017 (Long weekend - "Victoria Day")

 

 

 

 

 

 JANUSZ HEJKA sm

 JANUSZ "JOHN" MIECZYSLAW JOSEPH HEJKA 86, passed away suddenly on May 9, 2013 at Scarborough, Ontario. John was born January 12, 1927 in Lemberg, Poland to Jan Hejka and Stanislawa Hejka (nee Lewalska). John joined the Polish coalition forces, Second Corps, in Italy. After the second world war, John moved to England, and subsequently to Glasgow, Scotland, where he studied accounting at Glasgow Commercial College. Like all of his Polish buddies, John married a Scottish lassie, Elizabeth "Betty", on February 18, 1957. John and Betty immigrated to Canada with their children, Renata and David, on Saturday, 15 October 1966, and thereon commenced John's lifelong love of hockey. John worked as a baker, a coalminer, a ships' engineer, in the aircraft industry (deHavilland, Douglas, Spar Aerospace), and for the War Amputations of Canada. John was also an esteemed member of the Polish Combatants' Association of Canada and served on its Executive Committee and Board of Directors. John loved golf, socials and his many trips with Betty to Cuba. John is survived by his loving wife of 56 wonderful years, Betty, his daughter, Renata (Katz), his son, David (Mya), his grandsons, Bogdan and Jordan, of whom he was so very proud, and Betty's family in Scotland. he is also survived by his brother, Witold, and his sisters, Stefania, Bozena and Renata, and their families, all of whom reside in Poland.

 

 EJBICH

17 grudnia 2013 roku zmarł w wieku 97 lat BOHDAN JAN EJBICH, pułkownik lotnictwa w stanie spoczynku, pilot bombowy, inżynier, literat i działacz społeczny. Urodził sie 22 października 1916 roku w rosyjskim Saratowie w patriotycznej rodzinie Jana Ejbicha, podpułkownika Wojska Polskiego. Maturę zdał w Gimnazjum o.o Marianów na Bielanach, rok spędził na wydziale matematyczno-przyrodniczym Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego a następnie został absolwentem Szkoły Podchorążych Lotnictwa. W Kampanii Wrześniowej 1939 roku służył w randze podporucznika w rzucie technicznym 1 Pułku Lotniczego. Internowany w rumuńskiej Corabii nad Dunajem, poprzez Liban dostał się do Marsylii i rozpoczął służbę w Polskich Siłach Powietrznych we Francji. Po klęsce Francji służył w Anglii, gdzie został przydzielony do baz lotniczych Castle Kennedy i Mona, szkolących personel powietrzny RAF. W 1943 roku został przydzielony do 304 Dywizjonu Bombowego "Ziemi Śląskiej". Po 44 lotach operacyjnych zakończył działania bojowe  w stopniu kapitana (Flight Lieutenant) i został odkomenderowany na studia politechniczne. Ukończył inżynierię elektryczną na Uniwersytecie Londyńskim a następnie podjął pracę jako inżynier projektant urządzeń elektrycznych w firmie Westinghouse Brake and Signal. Do Kanady wyemigrował w roku 1952 i pracował jako inżynier w przedsiębiorstwach Canadian General Electric, Reliance Electric oraz Federal Pioneer Electric. Członek wielu organizacji polonijnych m.in.: prezes Skrzydła 430 "Warszawa" Stowarzyszenia Lotników Polskich (1970), prezes Stowarzyszenia Polskich Kombatantów w Kanadzie Koła nr 20 w Toronto (1971), prezes Zarządu Głównego SPK w Kanadzie (1983-85) i honorowy prezes ZG SPK w Kanadzie, prezes Kongresu Polonii Kanadyjskiej Okręg Toronto (1971-73), członek Zarządu Gminy Pierwszej Związku Narodowego Polskiego w Kanadzie, wieloletni członek Dyrekcji Prasowej „Głosu Polskiego", dyrektor Funduszu Wieczystego Milenium Polski Chrześcijańskiej i prezes Funduszu Wieczystego Milenium (1999-2002). Autor wielu książek wydanych w Kanadzie: Wspomnienia stalowego munduru (1977), W rozbitym szkle (1978), Kochanek siódmej wdowy (1981), Wytrwali do końca (1983), Kawalerowie przestworzy (1985),  Gdzie niebo się kończy (1987, w Polsce 1999), Wiatr od Lwowa (1989), Fraszki, bajki oraz polonijne ballady (1990), Sława i popiół (1993), Lotniczy łut szczęścia (2004).

Odznaczenia: Order Odrodzenia Polski IV Klasy, Order Odrodzenia Polski V Klasy, Krzyż Walecznych – trzykrotnie, Srebrny Krzyż Zasługi, Medal Lotniczy – trzykrotnie, Krzyż Kampanii Wrześniowej 1939, Krzyż Czynu Bojowego Polskich Sił Zbrojnych na Zachodzie, Atlantic Star (bryt.), Defence Medal (bryt.), War Medal (bryt.)

 

STARCZEWSKIHENRY STARCZEWSKI passed away at his home on June 3, 2015 at the age of 98, beloved husband of Evelyn Mary "Pat" (predeceased) and loving father of Barbara and Edward (predeceased).Henry met his future wife Pat in London, England, after the Second World War. In 1957 they moved with their children to Canada where Henry worked in Ottawa and Toronto as an architect and town planner. Henry was a W.W.II veteran who fought to defend Warsaw, Poland, when the war began. After being imprisoned by the Russians for 25 months, Henry was released and went on to serve under General Ander's Army in the 3rd Carpatian Division. Henry fought in the entire Italian campaign, including the Battle of Monte Cassino. In addition to his many distinctions, including the cross for bravery, Henry was recently honoured by being awarded the rank of Colonel. In Toronto, Henry was a member of the Polish Combatants' Association, Branch 20, and served as Secretary General of the Polish Combatants' Head Office of Canada for many years. Henry was a kind and generous grandfather and great-grandfather, who was loved by all his family; he will be missed and fondly remembered.

 

 

Henry Starczewski was born on July 5, 1916 in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland. Henry was raised in Warsaw by his parents, Kazimierz and Helena, with younger sister Janina and youngest brother Tadeusz.   Henry attended Secondary School "Przyszłość " where he was a member of the Sokół gymnastics club, participating in sprints, 100 meters, discuss throw, high jump and pole vault.  After completing secondary school and with the support of his parents, Henry made the decision to study architecture.  Before university, Henry decided to attend the school of arts for a year because he thought it would benefit him in his architectural drawings.  Henry loved to sketch and was known to pick up a newspaper or napkin to draw on if no paper was handy. He also took painting classes over the years and completed many oil paintings. Henry began university studies in Warsaw, but this happy time of his life was brutally interrupted by the outbreak of war. In July 1939 he was called to Radom for the 72 Infantry Regiment's military exercises, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. Henry was a great story teller; he liked to tell the story of his life and people liked to listen.  Henry described how events unfolded for him as the Second World War started. September 1, 1939 on the border of Poland and Germany, the Germans attacked Poland.  Tanks drove past and there was great confusion as people didn't know what was going on.  Henry fought to defend Warsaw until September 29th when he was taken prisoner by the Germans.  Prisoners were taken to Dzialdowo, but were given quite a bit of freedom.  Within a month Henry escaped after receiving a day pass to go into town. Henry took a train to Warsaw and decided to join others going south via Romania.  Crossing the newly created border Henry was captured again, this time by the Russians. In January 1940 he was transported via cargo train for many weeks in the direction of Siberia.  He described how, along with the other prisoners, he was taken to Guzar, which is north-east of Moscow.  Henry was imprisoned for twenty-five months, sleeping on a cold concrete floor with only his coat as mattress and blanket.  Every night the prisoners were called for interrogation, were asked the same questions and gave the same answers. Every morning they took off their shirts and searched for the bed bugs that had sucked their blood while they slept.  Meals consisted of a cup of hot water three times a day and a daily ration of a piece of bread and a soup-like liquid containing a piece or two of potato. After starving for so long, Henry dremt only of eating a piece of bread. It was here that Henry met fellow prisoner, Doctor Natale Rybner, a rabbi, professor and psychologist who became his best friend. Henry credits Dr. Rybner with keeping him alive by repeating "Henry, don't worry, they will free us."  For over a year they were always together discussing philosophy and observing their fellow prisoners in what Henry called "the university of life". Dr. Rybner, was released from prison one month before Henry.  That was the last time they saw each other, until a chance meeting after the war on a street near Rome University.  They hugged and Dr. Rybner gave Henry his photo writing to my best prison friend.  They hoped to meet again, but that was the last time they saw each other. On December 29, 1941 Henry was one of the fortunate prisoners to be released. Despite suffering frost bite and in his weakened physical condition Henry wanted to join the army.   They were hesitant to accept him until they found out that he was a cadet officer. Leaving -50 Celsius in Russia, he went on an oil tanker to Persia where in Achfab the temperature was +50 Celsius.  Along with the other soldiers, Henry waited for transportation organized by the British army.  Lying on the deck of a passenger ship, accompanied by a military escort, it took only a few minutes before he had a sunburn of the cross that he was wearing around his neck.  In January 1942, Henry joined Polish armed forces in the USSR and came under British command, serving in the Middle East, Italy and the United Kingdom.  Henry went on to become a member of General Ander's Army in the 3rd anti-tank artillery regiment of the 3rd Carpatian Division.  He fought in the entire Italian campaign, including the Battle of Monte Cassino. During the war, Henry's family lost touch with him and had no idea he was alive until 1946 when they learned he was in Italy.  His mother and sister had both been imprisoned in Ravensbruck and were living in Russian-occupied Poland.  Henry was very sad to learn that his father had been murdered by a German prison guard in Mauthausen Guzen just prior to the end of the war. His brother Tadeusz had also been imprisoned and having survived the war, later died tragically in a motorcycle accident. Henry remained very close to his mother and his sister Janka and her two sons, Kszysztof and Tadeusz. After the war Henry was sent to Rome to resume his studies in architecture, eventually graduating from university in London, England.  Henry always said that "education is the one thing that nobody can take away from you" and he encouraged his family to continually upgrade their education and skills. While in London, Henry met his future wife Evelyn Mary (Pat).  They were married on March 26, 1951 and later had two children Barbara and Edward.  As an architect-town planner, Henry had job opportunities in both Canada and Australia.  When he was a young boy Henry's grandfather had given him a book entitled "Forests of Canada" by W. Umiński.  The beautiful photos of Canada's landscape remained with him and influenced their decision to move to Canada. The family emigrated to Canada in 1957, settling in Ottawa for a year and then moving to Toronto. Henry was a decorated war hero, but to his family, his heroism went far beyond that.  Henry supported his wife Pat through three years battling cancer, then lived for 31 years on his own making a new life for himself.  Henry loved to be close to nature, to pick mushrooms in the forest, feed the chipmunks and listen to the songs of the birds.  His cottage was a special place, but also a sad and lonely reminder of the loss of his beloved wife. Henry retired from the Planning Department of the Borough of York in June 1981, however he continued his private practice as an architect for many years.  Henry joined the Polish Combatants' Association, made many new friends and became Secretary to the Head Office in Canada. Henry was a proud Canadian and he loved Poland, his homeland.  Unfortunately, due to the Russian occupation, it was many years before he was able to visit his mother and sister in Poland. His last visit to Poland was two years ago for the wedding of his nephew's daughter, Kasia. Henry loved the family get together and was always positive and supportive of his grandchildren Kristen and Adam.  He especially enjoyed visits with his great grandchildren Rya and Aiden.  He loved to watch them do what they loved, Aiden and his brother Anthony playing hockey and Rya doing gymnastics and art. What is the secret to being healthy and living in your own home at 98, people would ask.  Henry's response was "live in harmony with your body".  He loved to walk around his neighbourhood and stroll on the beach every winter in Florida.  Henry also continued his daily regime of exercises his entire life.  A very good cook, Henry enjoyed experimenting with recipes while always eating a healthy diet. He felt it was important to exercise his mind as well as his body through sudokus and playing bridge and chess. Henry dealt with the effects of ageing with no complaints.  Despite the violence and war that he had experienced, he was able to recognize the good in life and value what is important.  Although he talked about the past, he was informed about current events and concerned about the future. Henry always said "I had a hard life, but an interesting one."

 

 

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