Just a very brief update on the annual reunion of the Ognisko Rodzin Osadnikow Kresowych (Association of Kresy Family Settlers) held at the White Eagle Club in Balham, London, UK last Saturday, 19 February.
As you will know this year is the 91st anniversary of the end of the 1st World War and when the original osadnicy started to settle in the Eastern Borderlands of Poland (Kresy). It is also the 71st anniversary of their first and largest deportation to Siberia and other parts of the USSR.
The reunion was once again very well attended with 96 people, mainly children, grandchildren and sympathisers of the military settlers. Mirka Wojnar and Steven Moss (a documentary film maker) attended on behalf of Kresy-Siberia (UK).
The whole afternoon was spent together, enjoying lunch, talks/memory sharing, singing songs and catching up with many friends and their families.
Speeches were made by
Irena Godyn, a Sybirak who gave a short history of Kresy and the deportation of 10 February 1940.
Basia Zarzycka, special guest and well known London fashion designer and granddaughter of a military settler who was deported with his father as a 9 year old boy. Basia talked about her desire to find out as much as possible about her family roots and at the meeting joined up to be an OROK member.
Jozef Jundzil, son of military settlers and a Sybirak, who gave an interesting, statistical summary of the cost of civilian upkeep once they left USSR, in Persia, India, Africa, NZ and other places.
Marek Lewcun (K-S member) who told the gathering what he has found regarding his family roots since his talk last year.
Czesia Grzybowska (Rysiek's wife) compered the event with panache, authority and jovial mood!
Mirka made a brief presentation, introducing the Kresy-Siberia Foundation and Kresy Siberia Virtual Museum, and invited OROK members to come up for a chat and to consider putting their names forward to give their testimony to the Museum. Over 30 participants took our publicity materials, about a dozen talked individually, some putting their names forward right away, whilst others wanted to go through their documents and contact us later. A couple of relevant articles were brought forward, and one document given right away for scanning and returning later at the time of interview.
OROK is a big supporter of Kresy-Siberia, having donated money and materials to our Virtual Museum over the past few years. Once again they very kindly and generously donated all of their lottery/raffle collection to KSVM which amounted to the grand total of £360.
A very big "thank you" goes to Ryszard Gzybowski and his wife Czeslawa for organising such an excellent event and to the whole OROK group for their generosity and interest in our efforts.
The next OROK event takes place on 10/11 September at Fenton, Lincolnshire, UK.
I hope to see many K-S (UK) members there....
Director, Kresy-Siberia (UK), Manchester
(Grand-daughter of Cichocki family from Osada Staszycow in Katerburg, Krzemienienc, Wolyn)