Polish community mark the 41 anniversary of the Solidarity movement that now governs

Published on September 01, 2021

Members of the Polish community gathered to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Solidarity movement, which would form the government of their country. The movement was kept alive by Polish nationals living in Canada and in other countries during some tough times.

Tribute was paid to Chris Korwin Kuczynski and his late father, Zbigniew, who kept the protest alive for months in front of the Consulate General of Poland, on Lake Shore Blvd. W., as attention for Solidarity grew worldwide. Also being honoured is outgoing Consul General Krzysztof Grzelczyk, whom some members of the community claim was the “best Consul-General they have had in Canada.”

Grzelczyk, and his wife, are returning to Warsaw this month after four years in Toronto. MPP Christine Hogarth and Mississauga Centre MP Natalia Kusendova were among those taking part in the August 31 ceremony. Hogarth said she is working with the community to establish a Polish Heritage Day Month to take place next May.

Solidarity is a trade union founded in August 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in GdańskPoland. It was the first independent trade union to be recognised by the state. The union’s membership peaked at 10 million in September 1981, representing one-third of the country’s working-age population.

Solidarity’s leader Lech Wałęsa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and the union is widely recognised as having played a central role in the end of communist rule in Poland.

Source: The South Etobicoke News