Laurie A. Gomulka SOCIETY HOLDS FOURTH ANNUAL Opłatek AND CONTINUES TRADITION OF HONORING WEST SIDE ORGANISTS – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2009 It was an honor for the WSDPAHS to continue its tradition for the second year in a row of honoring organists who have served throughout the decades in west side Polonia’s parishes. While we broke tradition for our Fourth Annual Opłatek and held the event for the first time at historic St. Francis d’Assisi Catholic Church on Wesson at Buchanan instead of at historic St. Hedwig, the society’s headquarters, the event was no less historic and every bit as beautiful.
Approximately 80 guests came out on the bitter cold, windy day to support the society and to pay tribute to the honorees: Edwin Waslawski, St. Casimir (last seven years of the church’s existence); Albert Wieczorynski, posthumous (uncle of Edwin Waslawski and organist at St. Casimir prior to Edwin); Johnny Kash (current Music Director at Ss. Peter & Paul); Bronislaw Siarkowski, posthumous (former longtime organist at St. Alphonsus, and well known choir director); Thomas M. Kuras, posthumous (former organist at St. Alphonsus and St. Joseph parishes); and Louis Darmofal, posthumous (former organist at Our Lady Queen of Angels for 26 years). The event began at 2 p.m. and started with an opening greeting by the society’s Vice President & Executive Director/Secretary, Ms. Laurie A. Gomulka. Several Directors were present, including Officer Bob Bielenda, Michele Lipinski Matuszewski, Rev. Gary Michalik, Aleksandra Porter, Pamela Rupinski, Leonard Skowronski, and Richard Sokolowski.
The board members passed around opłatki wafers, and after the guests shared the wafers and exchanged wishes with one another for happiness and good health in the New Year, the magnificent church was filled with the organ music of the featured presenter, Dr. David Troiano. Dr. Troiano performed Narodził się Jezus Chrystus, Anioł Pasterzom mówił, Pastorale, Preludlum na “Hej Dzień Narodzenia,” Four Preludes on Polish Carols arranged by Mieczlaw Surzynski, Little Toccata on Joy to the World arranged by Thomas Kuras, and Z Narodzenia Pana. For some of the numbers, Dr. Troiano spent many hours in advance of the performance revising the arrangements specifically for this day. After the organ performance, Rev. Gary Michalik gave some closing remarks and blessed the food that we were about to eat.
The group then went to the social hall across the street and enjoyed pita sandwiches, Christmas cookies, coffee and hot chocolate. A special treat was an assortment of Mexican breads provided by society members Francisco and Rosario Solano. The society is extremely grateful to Rev. Robert Wojciechowski, pastor of St. Francis d’Assisi and St. Hedwig, for welcoming us into the beautiful St. Francis parish for our event. We also thank Mr. Tom Rys and Mr. Frank Zaorski, our hosts that day, for their time and hospitality. We’re grateful to our many members and guests who came out to support us and for the donations, which will help us to further our cause. Of course, we thank our honorees for their years of faithful service, and we wish all of you Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia! Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!