New Britain City Journal

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Weekend Filled With Events

Dozynki, Waterski Show, Candlelight Vigil Highlights

Last weekend was a big one for residents looking for activities. From the 33rd Annual Dozynki Festival, the Rotary Club Waterski Show to a candlelight vigil at the Iwo Jima Memorial, residents were out and about.

Gates opened at 10 a.m. at the Falcon Club on Farmington Avenue as residents poured in for the Procession to the Pavilion and the Traditional Harvest Mass at the Dozynki Festival.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell performed the ceremony and a concert followed the mass by the The Polonia Paderewski Choir. The Polonez by Polish Language School, Polish Language School program and the Polish Scouting Organization all took part. Jadwiga Juskowski, longtime festival contributor was honored.

“Jadwiga was generous in life and also with her belongings,” said Sister Mary Jennifer. “All her household belongs were donated to St. Lucian’s for our tag sale.”

Also honored was the Polish American Business Professional Association for their 100th Anniversary.

“I am very proud that we were recognized for the service to the community,” said Gladys Bogusia president of the business association. “We received a beautiful plaque. Dozynki is to meet friends. It means we are celebrating the harvest.”

Bogusia said she came in 1981 and remembers the very first Dozynki on Broad St.

“To see 30,000 people on Broad Street was amazing,”” she said. “I thought I was back in Poland.”

New this year was a petting zoo and fire trucks.

Sunday was highlighted by Polka by the King Edward Orchestra and music by “ECHO”.

“Hats off to the committee. In my 30 plus years of involvement I can’t think of a smoother set up and break down,” said Lucian Pawlak of the Polish American Council of Greater New Britain who organizes the event. “I’m totally pleased with that part of it. We had nearly 1,000 just for the mass. Overall it was one of the best of experiences of my life. The petting zoo and fire engines were a hit. Kids loved it.”

Award winners were Michael Sliwinski, Magdalena Lenczewski, Steven Olis, Joanne Gorski, and Alexander Pokorski.

At the Waterski Show & Extravaganza put on by the Rotary Club of New Britain-Berlin at Batterson Park hundreds of residents watched exhibitions from such groups as the US Water Ski Show Team, Aqua Riders of Holland, The Oxbow Water Ski Team and the Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks.

Kenny Jones of the Rotary Club is involved with waterskiing and brought show teams from Massachusetts.

At the show there were four teams and exhibitions that came down to raise money for the rotary club. There were 3 to 4 totally different shows each day. Each team put on their own show.

“It was an amazing skiing event. The skiers loved the site. It couldn’t get any better,” said Jones. “From the Rotary viewpoint, we think we picked the wrong weekend. We are still thinking about doing it again next year on a different weekend.”

In the evening Saturday, many joined together for the 5th Annual VJ Day Candlelight Ceremony of Remembrance held by the Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation, Inc. at the Iwo Jima Memorial. The public held candles and participated in this solemn ceremony by remembering a deceased loved one who served at any time in the U. S. Armed Forces.

The ceremony remembered and honored all of America’s Veterans who served at any time in the Armed Forces and who have since passed away or who were KIA/MIA/POW. Among those being remembered are the 100 Connecticut servicemen who were killed in action during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

The ceremony included singers, bagpipes, invocation, speakers, TAPS, rifle salute, a riderless horse and the lighting of candles. People called the name of a loved one and toll the bell for each.

This Foundation event has been designated as the National Hub for the “Spirit of ‘45” events in Connecticut which celebrates the “can do” attitude of the Greatest Generation.

“We are so glad to have this opportunity to put together this event which recognizes all of the special veterans in our lives who are no longer with us. The Foundation is proud to host this at the Iwo Jima Memorial which was built by survivors of that horrible battle to memorialize their comrades who died there. Tonight, we gathered in memory of all our veterans who were lost regardless of the time, branch of service, or reasons why and gain strength from each other. We want to thank all of our sponsors and presenters who helped make tonight possible and to all those who attended and made the night special.” Thank you, Marianne Mihalyo, Secretary, Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation, Inc.

See more photos of events on page 6.