A message from our President, General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank
'I am delighted to be associated with the work of the Polish Heritage Society and very honoured to serve as its President. The Society's work highlights the enormous contribution which generations of Poles have made to their adopted country. Preserving and celebrating that heritage will only further strengthen the ties between Poland and the United Kingdom.
I worked closely with the Society on the project to build a memorial to the Polish Forces at the National Memorial Arboretum and saw at first hand the energy and dedication of those involved.
I encourage you to explore this website and learn about the many other projects the Society has sponsored. Do please contact us if you would like to be involved in any way'.
General The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE
A Debt of Dishonour is a unique documentary film dedicated Major General Sosabowski and all ranks who served in the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group and to their Comrades-in-Arms of the 1st British Airborne Division that fought in the ill-fated “Operation Market Garden” at Arnhem and Driel during September 1944.
A bust of Fryderyk Chopin donated by the Polish Heritage Society has been unveiled at Ealing Town Hall at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the twinning of the London borough with the Warsaw suburb of Bielany.
The bust was unveiled by the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor John Gallagher, and the Vice-Mayor of Bielany, Kacper Piotrusinski, at a ceremony on 25th October, 2011. It also marks the bi-centenary of Chopin’s birth, which was celebrated in 2010.
In his speech at the ceremony, Doctor Marek Stella-Sawicki, Chairman of the Polish Heritage Society (UK), described Chopin’s association with Britain during a long period of political exile and added.
“The bust celebrates the close ties between the Polish community and the Borough of Ealing, which offered a warm hand of friendship to those who came here in adversity. A grateful Polish community continues to contribute to the prosperity and vitality of not only Ealing, but the whole United Kingdom, today.”
Counciller Gallagher said the bust was being installed in the most important civic side of the town hall.
“It will be seen by our newest citizens at their naturalization ceremonies and serve as a fitting reminder of Ealing’s long association with Poland and of our Polish residents and for their contribution to life in Ealing,” he added.
Dr Stella-Sawicki, on behalf of the organising committee, thanked the Polish Cultural Institute in London for its continuous support over number of years and their generosity.
The ceremony was followed by a recital of Chopin’s music performed by the pianist Viv McLean.
Mayors of Bielany-Warsaw and Ealing, Ladies and Gentleman, distinguished Guests
Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) the Polish romantic composer and virtuoso pianist was born Żelazowa Wola, Poland and educated at the Warsaw Conservatoire.
A political exile in France following the suppression of the Polish 1830 Uprising, he visited England in 1848, for 7 months during which time he performed a series of concerts, including a royal command performance in London before HRH Queen Victoria, HRH Prince Albert and the Duke of Wellington.
Fryderyk’emotional state during his exile, certainly remained with him during his recitals in England and Scotland, where thanks to the support and care of Jane Stirling, his music sprang to life within an atmosphere of spiritual appreciation of his art, so enjoyed by HRH Queen Victoria and HRH Prince Albert.
When this formidable composer performed in London, Manchester and other cities in Great Britain, his music reflected the absolute values of revolutionary artistry yet continued touching the delicate notes of nostalgia, romantic love and human emotion.
On November 16th 1848, in London, he took part in what was officially billed as the "Annual Grand Dress and Fancy Ball and Concert in aid of the Funds of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland".
This was held at the Guildhall and organised by Lord Dudley Stuart and the Prince and Princess Czartoryski. The ball was preceded by a concert in the Council Chamber, where Chopin, amongst other artists, played.
He was rapturously greeted by his polish friends, unaware that this was to be his last public concert.
Fryderyk Chopin left London for Paris on November 23rd, and died a one year later, on October 17th 1849, aged only 39.
The unveiling of the bust of Fryderyk Chopin in Ealing today, marks the bi-centenary of the birth of the Polish musical genius.
It celebrates the close ties between the Polish community and the Borough of Ealing which, offered a warm hand of friendship to those who came here in adversity.
A grateful Polish community continues to contribute to the prosperity and vitality of not only Ealing, but the whole United Kingdom today.
The music of Frederick Chopin, has a particular meaning for the Polish Nation because it is the highest expression of their patriotism and is without any doubt a symbol of Poland’s historical struggles.
Chopin himself is much loved and revered, worldwide.
Such a symbolic gift is especially meaningful and precious to the Polish nation signifying the strength of their friendship towards the British People.
The Organising Committee gratefully acknowledges the support and generosity of the Polish Cultural Institute represented here by its managing director Mr. Roland Chojnacki, and the Polish Heritage Society UK represented by its Chairman and several other members.
“Varsovian by birth, Polish by heart, citizen of the world by talent”
"Rodem warszawiak, sercem Polak, a talentem świata obywatel" (C.K.Norwid)
Can I gracefully ask now, both Mayors of
Bielany-Warsaw and Ealing
to unveil the bust of