News from Poland

In the end of June 2010 a sombre period started for The Warsaw Table. Two of Brothers, namely Jerzy Mańkowski (21) and Aleksy Pugacewicz (106), departed for The Eternal Seas. They were buried with Brotherhood ceremonial rites. Two farewells in three weeks time clouded the mood somehow but let us remember an old Roman adage: ‘Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse” …

It is so inscribed, since 1545, on the doorway to “Haus der Seefahrt” in Hanseatic League city of Bremen. But long history of Hanse and its connections did not finished yet. Among member cities were – and still are, Lübeck and Gdańsk.

In between 9 and 12 September Brothers from Gdańsk, welcomed, (for the second time since April 2006), a beautiful replica of 15th century carrack Hanse Ship LISA VON LÜBECK. She was built 1999-2004 with a great participation of The Lübeck Table, Brother Charly Brueser, captain Dieter Baars and others, who now often sail her as a crew. Like on the first time, Polish Brothers embarked her for trip from Hel peninsula sailing across the Gdańsk Bay, wined and dined guests at the famous “Zejman” tavern. The ship moored in front of Maritime Museum and was open for spectators. The Storman of Gdańsk Table Brother Andrew Drapella (89) divulges that there is a reciprocal fraternal sail voyage to Lübeck in the making for the next year …

Earlier in June/July there was also a visit from French Brothers. They arrived on the sy CHRISRIC to Baltic south coast – Kołobrzeg, Gdańsk, Gdynia – and were welcomed by our Brothers there. As usual – they were notable guests in the “Zejman” tavern which is now official seat of Gdansk Table. Captain of Normandy Table surprised us by speaking Polish. Then we learned that his name is Jan Mondzelewski (Tabarka) His companion Brother Bernard Couvercelle (Ajut) departed Poland later sailing single-handedly to Sweden …

As a London resident and Polish Vigia I did have an opportunity to welcome on behalf of the Brothers Polish sail training ships on their assignments in UK. The final of Tall Ship Race 2010 was an occasion for crews of sts POGORIA, ORP ISKRA and other participants (including Russian MIR) to pay respect and place wreaths on the grave of Captain Mamert Stankiewicz in British Hartlepool. He died as a captain of transatlantic ms PILSUDSKI torpedoed at the early stages of WW II. But he was a graduate of a tsarist imperial Naval Academy in Sankt Petersburg and this explains why Russians were coming …

The other occasion was in London, where sts FRYDERYK CHOPIN concluded on 12th of September her several months of promoting throughout European harbours the Year of Fryderyk Chopin – the composer. My small personal satisfaction is that I was one of the participants of successful breaking of the Guinness record for the longest line of dancers performing the national dance Polonaise abroad. It was organized and lead by young crew of the ship.

As for the future plans:

  • Brother Maciej Krzeptowski (80) is sailing soon sy DAR SZCZECINA to Danish harbour Hanstholm with memorial plaque for fishermen perished there 35 years ago.
  • The Polish national Zafarrancho is scheduled for two days: Saturday and Sunday 20-21 November 2010 in Gdansk. The Table there is in charge of preparation and more detailed info will appear in due time. We cordially invite Brothers who would like take part! Please let me know your intentions by mail to
    14 September 2010

    Jerzy Knabe (2)
    VI Polonia


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