50 years passed
Polish HERMANDAD DE LA COSTA is 50 years old. It was born in Chile, in 1966, during long stay there by sail yacht ŚMIAŁY (THE BRAVE) voyaging around South America.
Celebration of that anniversary took place, in and about Polish harbour Gdynia, on international Zafarrancho held between 2nd and 5th of September 2016. Our Zaf-50 meeting was also dedicated to the memory of our Brother #1, Bolesław Kazimierz Kowalski, aged 87. Alas he died on 2nd September 2015. He is our leader and founder Brother who for whole 49 years lead, advised and monitored activities of ?Mesa Kaprów Polskich?. He served as a National Captain for 19 years during that period. On Friday evening, in our main base – hotel Dom Marynarza (Seamen House), we welcomed everybody including Brothers from Great Britain and Germany. Saturday 3rd Sep all of us sailed on traditional wooden fishing boats called Pomeranki. to the uninhabited island in the middle of Puck Bay which is a part of the sandy Seagulls Reef. Some years ago it emerged above the sea level and gained the name Sucha Rewa (Dry Reef).
There awaited for Brothers – an artificial palm tree, tables and sitting banks, choice of drinks and buffet serving an array of local Kaszubian fish dishes. (Northern part of Poland, close to the sea and Puck Bay is called Kaszuby). Men’s shanty choir Zawisza Czarny arrived by small steamboat Xiążę Xavery (Prince Xavery) and gave us an excellent concert a capella. Sunny weather raised spirits high and many Brothers declared that such kind of Zaf has never and nowhere happened before.
However it was not a picnic only. After ceremonial hoisting a large flag of Polish Brotherhood we had a minute of silence for remembrance of Capt. Boleslaw Kowalski and all Brothers, including foreign ones, who left us until present time. Then there was a time for awards and decorations. The first was engineer Zygmunt Choreń who received a highest award of Polish Brotherhood ? The Glory of the Seas Trophy ? a full size pirate battle axe. He is a tall-ship designer and constructor who created a whole flotilla of vessels sailing the world seas under many flags. There are eighteen of them and include some best known and most famous. Sail training ship LE QUY DON was quite recently delivered to Vietnamese Navy.
The second person honoured on uninhabited island was engineer Aleksander Celarek decorated with Medal of Polish Brotherhood. He is entrepreneur, sail maker, known for his social, cultural and sailing activities in whole Kaszubian region. In particular numerous now Pomeranki, made and sailing since XVIII century, have been revived from extinction thanks to his efforts. He built also many replicas of other old vessels and boats of the region – including Xiążę Xavery…
High noon Sunday, at a suitable for the occasion rainy weather, there was an unveiling of a plaque in memory of our Captain B.K.Kowalski in the Alley of Polish Sailing situate on the south breakwater of Yachting Basin of Gdynia harbour. He is the ninth of famous Polish sailors commemorated there. Beside Brothers were in attendance numerous friends, sailing companions and Gdynia’s civic leaders.
Following that ceremony we made a visit to recently open Museum of Emigration in pre-war building of Gdynia’s Passenger Sea Terminal.
On Sunday evening a traditional brotherly banquet was the last official meetings of Zaf-50. Brothers in full strength signed an open letter to the President and City Council of Gdańsk with an appeal for attention and help to – known all over the world – Sailors Tavern ZEJMAN. Year ago it was compulsory moved from the old site in the centre of Gdańsk to a new site Brama Nizinna (Lowland Gateway) in order to give space for city developers. Now, a fresh steps for repairs are made by contractors in an arbitrary way. Alas they constitute a grave danger for the ability to continue activities of our famous tavern and its International Club of Sailors.
Many ORZA’s, firing broadside salutes, general fraternizing, exchanging gifts and messages followed. The one delivered by Brother Malcolm Hill, in his distinctly own Polish language, was much appreciated by Poles. The main event was a swearing in of seven new Brothers to Mesa Kaprów Polskich. The last given numeral was 155 and this figure determine number of Polish Brothers since birth in Chile – up to the 50-th year of our existence.
NC Hermandad de la Costa in Poland.
14 September 2016