Wagner,s Day in Gdynia

Summer 2012 News

I shall not repeat here the introduction and background information concerning The Wagner’s Year 2012. That, and reports from previous happenings, were delivered in March (TTP no.66). But I wish to do an update. There were more events organized and lead by Polish Brothers.

Wagner’s Day in Gdynia on 8th July 2012. At the Center of Sea Training of Polish Scouts, there was unveiling of the commemorative plaque to mark the place and date of Wagner’s start to his epic voyage – 8 July 1932. The plaque and also a big mural on the wall of yachts hangar was delivered by Wagner’s brother granddaughter – Olimpia Dębska.

Many vessels belonging to our Brothers gathered in the Yacht Basin for the occasion… Before that they made a parade on the roadstead proudly presenting the special burgees of that anniversary day. One of them, sailing yacht ZJAWA IV, belonging to and crewed by Polish Scouts, departed for the big trip named after the Wagner’s own book – “By the Sun and Stars”. She has Number Four because Wagner voyage around the world was made on his three previous yachts, all called ZJAWA (The Phantom)… But before that departure Polish Brotherhood staged on her deck traditional ceremony of The Glory of the Seas Award – to our Brother Andrzej Kaszyński (# 88). His initiation to yachting happened long ago, at the period of Wagner’s peak popularity.

Great Yarmouth farewell ceremony on 5th September. ZJAWA IV made already a successful long trip with many stops, around the Baltic Sea, through Norway and arrived to Great Britain. In Great Yarmouth, in September 1939 Wagner’s homecoming was aborted by orders from the Polish Consulate. Now, in 2012, the current Polish Consul General solemnly and in person revoked that order and instructed ZJAWA IV to sail to Gdynia, on behalf of ZJAWA III and Wagner – as a symbolic conclusion of the Wagner’s feat of 73 years ago. The small ceremony was prepared and attended by Polish Brothers and yachtsmen from London, the Mayor of Great Yarmouth and heralded by a ‘Town Crier’.

Gdynia welcome ceremony on 15th September. ZJAWA moored that day in Gdynia Yacht Basin not only for conclusion of Wagner’s epic voyage. Also just in time to attend another big events. They were the exact 20th anniversary of his death and inauguration of the Alley of Polish Yachting on the south breakwater. Wagner is a first entry there. Remarkably, that recognition came now not directly from our Brotherhood. (However our long and persistent actions induced it). Among organizers were now Polish Scouts, Polish Yachting Association, Polish Navy and the Mayor of Gdynia. For the occasion arrived officials from local and central government and naturally, the family and polish yachtsmen from many places. Prevailed the common feeling – the historic justice was delivered – at the long last.

Now, we expect our Brothers from abroad on International Zafarrancho in Gdańsk, 18-21 Oct 2012. That shall be reported in December TTP…

Jerzy Knabe (2) VI Polonia
Hon. Commodore of Yacht Club of Poland London

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