Dear Polish Explorers, Presenters, Organizers and Supporters of the Polish Branch of The Explorers Club:
The First Polish Evening at The Explorers Club in NYC that took place on October 18th, 2022, with the room filled to the very last seat, exceeded our expectations greatly.
From the statements of TEC officers and the public, I concluded that the efficient organization, the exhibition of the photograms for the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the Colca Canyon in Peru, (borrowed from Washington by Piotr Chmieliński- the coordinator of the Polish Evening), the punctuality and- above all- the presented topics, won the well-deserved recognition of our guests.
In a conversation with the TEC President Richard Garriot and Ann Passer, who participated in all the presentations, I pointed out that although the Polish Branch does not have access to NASA or the most modern bathyscaphes, we too, are working intensively in many areas and document our discoveries all over the world. At the event we had the pleasure of hosting Tadeusz Kościński, the Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, representatives of LOT Polish Airlines (one of the sponsors of the Polish Evening), and Adrian Kubicki, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, along with his deputy Stanisław Starnawski. The Consulate of the Republic of Poland has prepared gifts for our guests in the form of beautiful books and publications about Poland.
Presentations of the achievements of the Polish Branch of TEC were the depiction of our daily activity and were carefully selected to address the current events in the world.
Monika Rogozińska presented the achievements of our explorers in the recent decades in several areas. The story of the winter ascents to some of the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest, immediately gave our presentations the level of recognition and admiration they deserved.
The exploration of the mountains of Siberia by the youngest presenter Maciej Besta, is an exotic topic for Americans, bringing the cold air from endless empty stretches of Asia. Maciej has combined his Siberian passion with his current research work, inviting the audience to some samples of his latest findings.
The fate of Poles on the eastern frontier of the Second Polish Republic in the face of today’s war in Ukraine was told touchingly by Tomasz Grzywaczewski and illustrated with photographs taken by his wife Kaja.
The search for ORP “Orzeł” presented by Tomasz Stachurski is a story more familiar to hearts of Americans, as they continue to find the wreckage of their planes and ships, examine genetic remains, and organize official burials of their fallen soldiers. The epic voyage of the lost “Eagle” has yet to wait for its final discovery.
The story of the struggle of Iranian women fighting for their rights, told and illustrated by Elżbieta Wnuk-Lisowska, was very timely at the moment of the Ayatollahs counter-revolution and the recent death of a young woman in Tehran at the hands of the Iranian morality policy.
What a great coincidence of topics!
The treasures stolen by the Swedes from palaces and the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the story of their beauty and size, and the sight of University of Warsaw’s model of the palace under reconstruction based on the recently recovered fragments extracted from the Vistula River, must have aroused admiration in New York City, as it continues to demolish its own historical smaller buildings, replacing them with sky piercing “needles”.
Andrzej Ciszewski presented two films about the penetration of the deepest and longest caves on several continents. His carefully selected photos and videos captivated attention with the colors of the caves, exotic stalactite formations found hundreds of meters underground and filled the viewers with thrills at the sight of exploring speleologists.
The last presentation, a combination of the discovery of the Rio Colca Canyon in Peru by a group of Polish canoeists, with the latter birth of the 20-year-old English Language School created by the former director of the “Canoandes 81” expedition, Andrzej Piętowski, was a positive surprise of its own kind. Discovery expeditions usually focus on sports’ records, efforts to protect researched areas or save endangered species, In this case, the audience learned about the fusion of exploration and education that strive towards the improvement of the living conditions of the local population.
All presentations were awarded with thunderous applause.
On Wednesday evening, October 19th, 2022, The Explorers Club in Manhattan filled up again for the viewing of Godspeed, Los Polacos!. A work of two young filmmakers from New Jersey, Sonia Szczęsna and Adam Nawrot, a film that won several awards and distinctions at international mountain and film festivals on three continents. After the screening, the filmmakers and kayakers Piotr Chmieliński, Jurek Majcherczyk and Andrzej Piętowski had a conversation with the audience. The audience was gifted unique pins prepared specifically for the premiere of the film in Poland.
After the events of the Polish Evening, the Club Officers announced that they would use our presentation format to briefly present the achievements of other Chapters. We presented ourselves to the American audience as a Branch that brings together several generations of explorers whose common denominator is enthusiasm, passion for difficult challenges, the ability to communicate their emotions and experiences, and to inspire others with their achievements.
In my personal opinion, as the vice-president of the Polish TEC Branch, it was an extremely fruitful and interesting event, full of impressions both in terms of content and social interactions.
Andrzej Andrew Piętowski
Organizers of the event: The Explorers Club, Polish Branch of The Explores Club and Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York.
Special thanks to LOT Polish Airlines, partner of Polish Evening at the headquarters of The
Explorers Club in New York.
The Polish Branch of The Explorers Club received for the organization of the Polish Day at the headquarters of The Explorers Club in New York financial support from the Ministry of Education and Science in the form of grant no. DNK / SN / 552860/2022.