Annual ACPC Convention
July 18 - 22, 2012 in Williamsburg, Virginia

Celebrating Our Polish-American Heritage

[Photograph Williamsburg Meeting]

Speakers' Podium (l. to r.) Fr. Philip Majka, chaplain; Marcia Lewandowski, recording secretary; Camille Kopielski, first vice-president;
Anthony Kajencki, keynote speaker; Debbie Majka, president; Mary Ellen Tyszka, second vice-president
scroll down for additional photographs

ACPC 64th Annual Convention -- Annual Awards & Installation of Officers
by Jo Louise Winters, PR Chair

The American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) held its 64th Annual Convention, July 18-21, 2012, at Williamsburg, VA. Stories regarding the dedication of a historical marker at Jamestown, VA and the Sembrich Concert were submitted in separate releases.

ACPC's Saturday evening Banquet Program climaxing the Convention was presided over by Pres. Deborah Majka. She introduced Rev. Canon Philip S. Majka "Dusz Pasterz" who gave the invocation. After a delicious dinner, the Annual Awards Presentation ceremonies began with awards to individual members of ACPC and the Polonia.

Pres. Majka introduced ACPC Awards Committee Chairperson Mary Flanagan. Mrs. Flanagan announced the winners of the Founders Awards: Mary Ellen Tyszka, ACPC 2nd V.P. and ACPC Treasurer Gregory Biestek. These two very active Board members were chosen to received the Founders Awards for their many valuable contributions to the ACPC organization over a period of many years.

Mary Ellen Tyszka has served as both First and Second Vice-President. She has been a Director, Chaired the Audit Committee, and has been on the Nominations and the Credentials and Grievances Committees. Recently, Mary Ellen spent many hours reviewing, updating and making extensive revisions to the very important Convention Guidelines for planning ACPC conventions. She produced a spiral-bound booklet of 44 pages covering the most suitable and necessary preparations for conducting successful future conventions. The revised guidelines were received with great appreciation for the clear, concise and compact directions designed for planning a successful convention.

ACPC Members are highly appreciative of the many years of dedicated services rendered by Treasurer Mr. Gregory Biestek. He has conscientiously maintained all of our fiscal records, keeping some of the funds in interest and dividend bearing accounts, as well as regularly providing detailed and concise fiscal statements that fully describe sources of income and disbursement of funds. We are very grateful to Mr. Biestek for his excellent record keeping and timely presentations of the Council's financial status and dealings.

The Awards Committee chose Rita Cosby as the recipient of the 2012 Cultural Achievement Award. Ms. Cosby is a popular award-winning journalist and author of "Quiet Hero: Secrets from my Father's Past." The publication reveals her father's courage as a participant of the Polish Resistance during World War II. He was captured and became a Nazi prisoner of war. Ms. Cosby also serves as a TV host, interviewing world renown political figures and other prominent newsworthy participants. Regrettably, Ms. Cosby was unable to accept the award in person due to her father's very recent death. Pres. Debbie Majka accepted the Cultural Achievement Award on behalf of Rita Cosby.

Very Rev. Timothy E. Whalen was selected as the recipient of the ACPC Distinguished Service Award for 2012. Rev. Whalen attended Orchard Lake Preparatory School. He was ordained in 1978. In 2000 he was appointed Chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools. He developed a reputation of operating a Catholic Polish school of excellence. Fr. Whalen created the Polish Mission, which is a collection of Polish Language School, Art Museum, Archives, Dance Group, Seminary Folk Group. He also created the Polish-English Mass Book, Pan z Wami (God be with You). The Polonia is most grateful for Fr. Whalen's magnificent work in developing Orchard Lake Schools to extraordinary levels of outstanding performance and reputation. Members of ACPC Detroit Affiliate, Friends of Polish Art, were particularly grateful that their beloved Father Timothy was awarded the much deserved Distinguished Service Award. Fr. Thomas Machalski, Rector of the Orchard Lake Seminary graciously presented ACPC's Distinguished Service Award to Rev. Timothy Whalen.

The Saturday evening Banquet concluded with the formal Installation by Rev. Canon Philip S. Majka of the newly elected officers, directors and chairs:

Board of Directors
S. Paul Bosse -- Trenton, NJ
Alicia Dutka -- Chicago, IL
Mary Flanagan -- Washington, DC
Mary Heslin, Hartford, CT
Florence Langridge -- Hartford, CT
Walter Wojcik, Philadelphia, PA

Auditing Committee Nominating Committee
Alice Lech-Laning -- Washington, DC
Ed Pawlowski -- Washington, DC
Jo Louise Winters -- Hartford, CT

Credential & Grievance Committee
Aundrea Cika Heschmeyer -- Youngstown, OH
Irene Musman, Philadelphia, PA
Wanda O'Brian Trefil -- Washington, DC

ACPC members are deeply grateful to Convention Co-Chairs Debbie Majka & Richard Wiermanski for organizing & conducting an outstanding convention. Readers are urged to participate in enjoying and becoming a part of our great Polish Heritage by becoming members of ACPC. Dues are only $10 annually. As a member you will receive our Polish Heritage publication and be kept informed about our many programs and activities. The very thought of being a part of those great traditions will bring you delight and personal satisfaction. Please issue check to ACPC and mail to: Ms. Florence Langridge, 78 Meadow Lane, West Hartford, CT 06107. For further information, look at the membership page of the ACPC Website.


Go to: Jamestown Poles of 1608 Historical Marker Dedication Report and Photographs



by Jo Louise Winters, PR Chair

The American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) held its 64th Annual Convention, July 18-21, 2012, at Williamsburg, VA. During the Convention a very highly significant event took place, which was reported to the press earlier -- namely, the dedication of a historical marker in Jamestown, VA honoring the 1608 arrival and accomplishments of the first Polish craftsmen at the Jamestown Settlement.

Thursday evening members and guests attended the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Concert at the Williamsburg Inn. Sembrich Music Committee Chair, Alicia L. Dutka, and her Committee members Dr. Robert Dutka, Monica Silvan, Stefania Kondella, and Jaroslaw Golembiowski had selected Andrzej Stec, Tenor, as the winner of the 2012 Sembrich Award. Mrs. Dutka introduced Andrzej Stec and Piano Accompanist Jean Eudes Vaillancourt to the excited audience. Mr. Stec's first song, Beethoven's Adelaide was rendered with a fully developed time quality as the control between pianist and vocalist was very precise. The two Chopin selections, Moja Pieszczotka (My Beloved) and Gdzie Lubi (Where's Love) were offered emphasizing the poignancy of the words. The tenor voice presentation was beautiful and so plaintive in Moniuszko's Znasz Ten Kraj (Dost know this Land), which left the audience mesmerized by its reverence.

Following the intermission, Mr. Stec sang several very romantic arias with delightful expressions of love so handsomely exhibited by facial expressions and body movements. Stec's accompanist Eudes Vaillancourt, a sensitive pianist, has an uncanny sense of how to accompany the human voice without overwhelming it. Great charm and magnetism were projected upon the smiling audience by Stec as he passionately sang Brunetki, Blondynki in which he and Vailancourt follow the narrative of young romantic love and joyful infatuation. Stec's tenor voice cuts through the air with delightful inviting innuendos. The humorous lyrics of Brunetki, Blondynki as well as the entire concert inspired the audience to leap to its feet in joyful expression of enthusiastic applause for several minutes to express its delight for the entire evening's concert. After its explosive reaction to the delightful concert, the audience rushed to the stage front to congratulate the two performers and to purchase Stec's CDs.

The Music Committee members and Pres. Debbie Majka gathered around the performers as Chairlady Alecia Dutka smilingly presented Mr. Stec with the annual Sembrich Award of $1,500. Everyone crowded around recounting the enjoyment of Stec's outstanding presentations of beloved Polish songs and opera arias.

A member of our Detroit Affiliate, Friends of Polish Art, Jacqueline Kolowski corresponded with Mr. Stec, sending him photos of the Sembrich Concert Award ceremony. She inquired about the possibility of a similar concert in Detroit. Mr. Stec's response follows:

Droga Pani Jadwigo!

Przede wszystkim dziekuje za mile slowa i zaprosznie do Detroit. Koncert w Williamsburg byl rownie wspanialym przezyciem dla nie jak i dla pianisty Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt. Ale przede wszystkim jestem wzruszony tak wspaniala Polonia Stanow Zjednoczonych i takim poparciem w promocji naszej kultury ze strony muzyki klasycznej. Jestem wruszony i dziekuje serdecznie! Pani Jawigo wiem, ze zorganizowanie takiego koncertu w Detroit jest duzym przedsiewzieciem dlatego pozwalam sobie od razu na kontakt z Pania. Za Pani porada wysle rowniez kopie tej wiadomosci do Ks. Tomasza Machalskiego. Jeszcze raz dziekuje, zapraszam do Montrealu na "Zaczarowany Flet" lub koncert w Ambasadzie w Ottawie i trzymam kciuki za koncert w waszym miescie.

Pozdrawiam Serdecznie, Andrzej Stec, Doktorat en Musique, Universite de Montreal

Translation of above by Marion Winters:

Dear Ms. Jadwiga!

First of all, I want to thank you profusely for the kind words and the invitation to Detroit. The concert in Williamsburg was a magnificent experience for both myself and pianist Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt. Above all, I am deeply moved by the magnificent Polonia of the United States and its splendid support for our culture with respect to classical music. I am deeply touched and offer sincere thanks. Ms. Jadwiga, I know that organizing such a concert in Detroit is a sizeable undertaking and therefore I allow myself to instantly establish contact with you. With your approval, I will also send notice of this arrangement to Rev. Thomas Machalski. Once again, I thank you and invite you to Montreal for the "Magic Flute" concert at the Embassy in Ottawa and hold thumbs up for the concert in your city.

Sincerely, Andrzej Stec, PhD Music, Montreal University

Other ACPC Affiliates and perhaps other Polonia organizations may seize the opportunity to attract this exceptional vocalist so that their community may also have the opportunity to hear and witness our Sembrich Concert Winner, Andrzej Stec. With Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming up, wouldn't a concert add greatly to the enjoyment of the festivities!?! (Thank you Jackie Kolowski for leading the way!)

Photographs courtesy of: Jadzia Kolowski

[Photograph Convention]

1. L/R - Gregory Biestek receives Founders Award from Carol Surma, Esq., Pres. Detroit Friends of Polish Art Club.

[Photograph Convention]

2. New Board Members are sworn in, L/R - Irene Mussman, Wanda O'Brien-Trefil, Alicia Dutka, Mary Flanagan, JoLouise Winters Ed Pawlowski, S. Paul Bosse
with Fr. Philip Majka and Debbie Majka in background.

[Photograph Convention]

3. Fr. Thomas Machalski accepts Distinguished Service Award on behalf of Rev. Timothy Whalen from Pres. Debbie Majka

[Photograph Convention]

4. Chair Alicia Dutka presents $2,000 Sembrich award to Andrzej Stec as Pres. Debbie Majka looks on

[Photograph Convention]

5. L/R - Mary Ellen Tyszka receives Founders Award from V.P. Camille Kopielski.

[Photograph Convention]

6. L/R - Edward Pinkowski, Jadzia Kolowski, Jaroslaw Golembiowski.

[Photograph Convention]

7. L/R - Evelyn Bachorski-Bowman with husband Brian and Ed Pawlikowski.

[Photograph Convention]

8. L/R - Matt and Carolyn Meleski and Alicja and Robert Dutka.