Pole po­si­tion

BORIS JOHN­SON ONE OF THE VIP GUESTS AT POL­ISH IN­DE­PEN­DENCE CEL­E­BRA­TION

Uxbridge Gazette - - Front Page - By MARTIN ELVERY Lo­cal Democracy Re­porter

UXBRIDGE MP and For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son and Pol­ish am­bas­sador Arkady Rze­gocki were among the at­ten­dees at a colour­ful cel­e­bra­tion of 100 years of Pol­ish in­de­pen­dence held at Uxbridge Library on Fri­day.

They joined coun­cil leader Ray Pud­di­foot on a visit which also com­mem­o­rated 250 years of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Poland and the UK.

To mark the oc­ca­sion the Am­bas­sador pre­sented the library with Pol­ish lan­guage books on be­half of the Pol­ish Book In­sti­tute and Cul­tural In­sti­tute.

The VIP guests joined chil­dren from nearby St An­drews Pri­mary School for a work­shop in which they made Pol­ish flags, be­fore view­ing a new ex­hi­bi­tion at the library de­tail­ing the cru­cial con­tri­bu­tion of Pol­ish air­men based in Hilling­don to the Al­lied vic­tory in the Sec­ond World War.

Mr John­son, said: “Poland has stuck with us through thick and thin, never more so than the heroic pilots in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain and our debt is ab­so­lutely in­cal­cu­la­ble.

“I am deeply deeply grate­ful to the Am­bas­sador and the Pol­ish peo­ple for all the sol­i­dar­ity they have shown, and con­tinue to show – and we will re­cip­ro­cate it for an­other 250 years.”

Mr Pud­di­foot added: “We are hon­oured and de­lighted that Poland’s am­bas­sador chose to join our fes­tiv­i­ties and do­nate books to Hilling­don li­braries. The Pol­ish com­mu­nity in the UK has made a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion for gen­er­a­tions and it is a priv­i­lege to pro­mote the best in Pol­ish cul­ture and na­tional her­itage to our res­i­dents.”

The week­end fes­ti­val at the library in­cluded craft work­shops for adults and chil­dren, lively folk dance demon­stra­tions, tra­di­tional sto­ry­telling, a lec­ture on RAF Northolt’s No. 303 squadron by au­thor Richard King, and the chance to sam­ple some Pol­ish food.

The tim­ing of the fes­ti­val co­in­cided with Pol­ish Her­itage Day, which is held an­nu­ally on the first week­end fol­low­ing Pol­ish Con­sti­tu­tion Day on May 3.

The Pol­ish air­men ex­hi­bi­tion con­tin­ued at Uxbridge Library un­til Thurs­day May 10.

Poland was granted its in­de­pen­dence for the sec­ond time in 1918 af­ter the end of the First World War as part of the set­tle­ment drawn up in the Treaty of Ver­sailles.

Poland has stuck with us through thick and thin and never more so than the heroic pilots in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain

Boris John­son

IM­AGE: HILLING­DON COUN­CIL

(From left) Uxbridge MP Boris John­son, Hilling­don coun­cil leader Ray Pud­di­foot and Pol­ish am­bas­sador Arkady Rze­gocki at the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions of Pol­ish in­de­pen­dence

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