Dear Elizabeth, It truly is fantastic to hear the project took off & was such a success, yes it sure must be repeated again with more success next time. I onlyMessage 1 of 1 , Feb 29, 2012View SourceDear Elizabeth,It truly is fantastic to hear the project took off & was such a success, yes it sure must be repeated again with more success next time.I only wish I could have been there to see it all but unfortunately I am not well enough to travel so have to rely on messages like yours .I am in contact with a number at Kresy who have given me a great deal of info;in my searches for my late husband & his family.Thank you.Cynthia Pukiello ( Bolton Lancs.)----- Original Message -----From: Elizabeth OlssonSent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:31 AMSubject: RE: [Kresy-Siberia] Kresy-Siberia “made history” at the weekend !!
Wow! That’s fantastic! Congratulations and many thanks to you all for the work you’ve put into this project.
Elzunia Gradosielska Olsson
Names: Maczka. Gradosielski.
Kresy: Osada Krechowiecka. Wilno.
Siberia: Monastyriok. Siewzeldorlag, Komi.
Army: Pestki 316 Transport. Sappers 5KDP.
From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eva Szegidewicz
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:06 PM
Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] Kresy-Siberia “made history” at the weekend !! [1 Attachment]
Last weekend, 24-26 February 2012, Kresy-Siberia made history by being the first ever Polish organisation to exhibit at the “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” family history show at Olympia, London.
For a small and young organisation, compared to the likes of Ancestry.co.uk, Findmypast.co.uk and other well-established genealogy organisations, the UK team had set itself an ambitious goal of showing the UK public that we exist and represent all the Polish citizens who ended up living in the West after the Second World War.
Our greatest challenge was that we would be exhibiting and promoting ourselves to the Great British public. The majority of visitors to our stand were British and had no connection to Poland except that they may have had a friend or neighbour who was Polish (one visitor mentioned that he once had a Polish girlfriend and another visitor from Scotland said that he had seen Wojtek the bear at Edinburgh zoo!). Other visitors who stopped by were interested in European history and had briefly touched on Polish history but did not fully understand what had happened or why. We did also have a number of British born children and grandchildren of Polish descent who were looking for information about their ancestors.
It was heartening to see so many British people stopping to read our banner and map as they passed by, looking at the variety of books, DVDs, promotional merchandise and reference material that we had on display and on-line on our Kresy-Siberia Virtual Museum and saying that it was good to see Poles being represented and recognised in this way.
Highlights of the exhibition included the visit on the opening day by celebrity/TV presenter Mel Giedroyc, First Secretary (Consular Section) at the Polish Embassy in London, Monika Panasiuk, the family of the late Professor Ludwik Finkelstein (sons Anthony and Daniel and Anthony’s wife Judith), Rysiek Grzybowski (President of OROK (Association of the Families of the Borderland Settlers) and Siberian Survivor), Jaroslaw Kubica (Our Roots Trust and Siberian Survivor) and Mike Levy (Keystage Arts Company, producer of a young people’s play “Invisible Army”). Our very own founder and President, Stefan Wisniowski , made a “virtual” appearance and managed to chat to visitors by live video Skype link up all the way from Sydney, Australia. On the last day, quite unexpectedly, well- known TV presenter Esther Rantzen who has distant Polish/Jewish ancestors came over to our stand and paid respect to all Poles.
A special “thank you” goes out to all our sponsors, supporters and co-organisers who made it possible for Kresy-Siberia to participate at the show and without whom the exhibition would not have been possible - especially SPK (Polish Ex-Combatants Association) HQ, Polonia Aid Foundation Trust, OROK (Association of the Families of the Borderland Settlers), Pilsudski Institute in London and the Polish Embassy in London.
Also thanks to Agata Blaszczyk-Sawyer (historian, University College London) and Kinga Gawronska and Adam Klups from Pilsudski Institute who all brought posters, leaflets, albums, etc. and helped to man the stand and give expert advice throughout the 3 day event.
Massive thanks to Kresy-Siberia members and friends who made donations and who worked extremely hard talking to visitors and answering their questions – particularly Tim Ladbrooke, Basia Milligan, Helen Bitner, Julie Sheppard, Marek Lewcun and John Bartoszynski and his sister Maria. Special thanks also to Stefan Mucha (co-Director at publisher Aquila Polonica) for the books donated to Kresy-Siberia. We also appreciate the contributions of our K-S global team, especially Stefan in Sydney and Aneta in Warsaw.
Thanks also to Cathy Baldwin (Media Trust) who gave helpful advice on writing our press release and visited us on Saturday. We had some very good publicity both in the Polish and English press and via online newsletters and media and hope to have some more follow-up stories published soon. We were interviewed/recorded by the WDYTYA reporter and will appear in their promotional video for next year’s event. We are seriously considering doing it all again next year with perhaps an even bigger and better presence and we hope that you will all continue to support projects like this one in the UK and in many countries around the world.
Eva Szegidewicz, Linder Ladbrooke, Helen Bitner, Mirka Wojnar and Jurek Neisser
Kresy-Siberia (UK) Team
Photo attached – more to follow soon...
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