History of Polish Community in Brantford Vol. 2

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History of Polish Community in Brantford Vol. 2

As mentioned previously, in 1929 another Polish youth group was formed, under the name of The White Eagle Association. Its purpose also was to carry on the cultural and educational activities among the Polish people in Brantford. The Association existed until April 9, 1032, when, upon the initiative of Mr. Marcin Sasiela, the majority of the members made the decision to join the Polish Alliance of Canada, an organization existing in Ontario for over 20 years and having nine branches in different districts. A week lather, all the formalities were taken care of and a new branch of the Polish Alliance of Canada began its existence with 16 members. It became Branch No.10, with Mr. Tadeusz Stachurski as its first president.

The first years of this organization were difficult, burdened as it was with financial problems, as the capital of the previous Association was frozen. The money was badly needed for financing an English and Polish school. Until 1938, dances, concerts and shows were held in rented quarters to provide a fund for educational purposes.

By the end of 1938 the decision was made to purchase a house for Branch No.10 of the Polish Alliance of Canada, and in January of 1939 the building at 126 Albion Street was bought for the amount of $2,500. This building was enlarged in 1950, with $125,000 spent on the addition. Again in 1965-1966 another $185,000 was contributed towards further enlargement and improvements. At that time the total value of the Polish Alliance Branch No.10 property at 126 Albion Street, The Polish School at William Street, parking lots and a summer resort was well over $400,000.

In 1934 the Ladies' Circle of Branch No.10 was formed and was very active in development of the organization. It was a member of the local Council of Women as well as of the Head Executive of the Polish Alliance Ladies' Circle in Ontario. Since the purchase of the Polish Home a Youth Circle was also formed. The Club provided a place for them to meet socially. All members of the organization, young and old were engaged in social and cultural activities.

It was this Youth Circle of Branch No.10  which was responsible for the publication of a monthly magazine, "Jak Tam Idzie," (How Goes It There?). It began in 1954 as a local project, but its popularity grew so rapidly that, before long, copies were being distributed throughout Ontario and Quebec. Some even reached far away countries.

Of approximately twenty pages, its contents covered club activities, news and articles of interest by many qualified people. It proved to be so successful that in 1959 its publication was taken over by the Central Executive of the Polish Canadian Alliance Youth and is now a permanent part of that organization.

As with all the youth groups of Polish organizations in Brantford, the Polish Canadian Alliance Youth Club sought opportunities to develop leadership qualities in its members and to become an asset to the community as a whole. An example of their own valuable contribution in this regard was a Polish radio program they originated. It was carried for two years on Brantford's radio station, CKPC. The entire program was written and directed by the young members of the local Polish Canadian Youth Club. One can surmise from this what an important segment of the Polish community are its young people.
Mindful of the future of this young generation, Branch No. 10 of the Polish Alliance has set up scholarship and a bursary for the children of its members attending universities. And it was for the sake of these young people that the Alliance sponsored a Polish School, providing music and dancing lessons. Through the years two orchestras have been formed. In addition,  the Polish Library started by the former White Eagle Association functioned well with the value of books and facilities of $1,500.

The Alliance also extended a helping hand to the new immigrant. That was one of the reasons why, at the beginning of 1958, a Credit Union was organized, with Mr. Stanislaw Bednarz as its first president. The Credit-Union was bi-lingual and had 300 members. Net profit had grown in nine years from $998.17 to $16,733.93 yearly. Since the start of that venture, 350 loans have been granted for an amount well over $600,000.

Members of Branch No. 10 of the Polish Alliance belonged to the Shrine Club of Brantford and numerous other organizations. They joined with the rest of Brantford in contributing towards worthy causes. From 1939 to 1966 a total of $18,000 was donated to various charitable organizations, including the Brantford Shriners, Red Cross, both local hospitals, Community Chest, and many others.

In 1966 the Polish Alliance also took part in the celebration of 1,000 years of Christianity in Poland and contributed greatly towards the Canadian Polish Millennium Fund set up for educational and cultural purposes of Polish Canadians.

"Brotherhood, tolerance and education" were the basic aims of Branch No. 10 of the Polish Alliance, and judging by their deeds, they didn't been empty words.

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Photo Gallery
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Brantford's Polish Senior Citizens 1967 Centennial Year
Front Row: Mrs. S. Wolski, 88; Mrs. A. Smierciak, 90; Mrs. A Drozdz, 77.
Second Row: Mr. Peter Wiacek, 77; Mr. Stanley Neziol, 93; Mr. Joseph Wiacek, 82.
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POLISH DANCE "KRAKOWIAK"
CLICK HERE to view list with names of all Past Presidents since establishment of the Brantford Polish Mutual Benefit and Friendly Society, from 1927 until now.
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