Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mid-Year Meeting of the PAHA Board in Rochester, NY

Polish American Historical Association organizes two meetings each year: the Annual Meeting held in early January, in association with the American Historical Association Conference, and the Mid-Year Meeting held in May, and scheduled in collaboration with a local Polonia organization. Typically the Mid-Year meeting include site visits to Polonian places of interest and a public lecture by one of our distinguished scholars.

Iwona Drag Korga and Czeslaw Karkowski arrive at the Skalny Center.

The 2016 Mid-Year Board Meeting was preceded by a public lecture by Professor James Pula of Purdue University, discussing "Poland in World War II." The lecture was followed by a reception organized by the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester (PHSR) at The Joseph S. Skalny Welcome Center at St. John Fisher College.

Lecture by Prof. James Pula. Photo by Pien Versteegh.

The second day commenced with a site visit to St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, including a Mass in Polish and a tour provided by Kathy Urbanic of the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester.  The church's recently restored interior includes many Polish accents, icons of Our Lady of the Bright Mount, Pope John Paul II, and frescoes with St. Stanislaus Kostka and Polish royalty and religious figures associated with strengthening Christianity in Poland.

President Grazyna Kozaczka thus summarized the visit of PAHA Board to Rochester:

"The 2016 Midyear Meeting of PAHA was held at the Skalny Welcome Center, St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY where PAHA received a very warm welcome from the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester (PHSR). I am very grateful for all the help and support PAHA received from Dr. Frederic Skalny, Jerry Rachfal and Kathy Urbanic of PHSR as well as from other board members. The three day meeting started on Saturday evening (May 21) with an interesting and well attended lecture by Jim Pula on Poland in WWII  and was followed by a lively reception hosted by PSHrR which provided an opportunity to explain the work of PAHA to the members of the Rochester Polish American community. The following two days of business meetings were very productive and exciting as among other topics we also discussed our plans to celebrate in 2018 two major milestones for PAHA: PAHA’s 75th Annual Meeting and the 70th anniversary of PAHA becoming an autonomous organization.”

Mid-Year Board Meeting in progress.

The two-day Board Meeting was held at the Skalny Welcome Center. The Polish Heritage Society was generous enough to offer not one but two receptions including a Polish banquet, filled with traditional dishes at the Polska Chata restaurant in Rochester.

Maja Trochimczyk, Robert Synakowski and Iwona Drag Korga

Maja Trochimczyk with John Bukowczyk and Jim Pula. Standing: Jerry Rachfal.

 The dining room was decorated with antique photographs documenting the history of Poles in Rochester, dating back to 1880s.

This history was also presented in a book edited by Kathy Urbanic and Jerry Rachfal, and donated to PAHA during the festivities. The gift was reciprocated by PAHA President who donated books to the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester/

Kathy Urbanic, Jerry Rachwal and President Kozaczka with their book. 

The excellent Polish dishes included golabki, placki, pierogi, makowiec and szarlotka, among other delicacies, for which all guests were quite grateful.

PAHA President with Treasurer James Pula and Polonian activist.

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