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Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:32
 

CPC President T.Berezowski's speech at Mr. J. Burski's Funeral.

 

Droga Druhno Burska, Danusiu, Krzysztofie i rodzino pogrążona śmiercią Druha Burskiego,  składam serdeczne kondolencje w imieniu ZG KPK i wielu organizacji Polonijnych. Pragnę powiedzieć parę słów o działalności Jerzego Burskiego  dla Polonii, a szczególnie w Kongresie Polonii Kanadyjskiej.

Dear Mrs. Burski, Danusia, Krzysztof and families, I would like to express my condolences on behalf of the Head Executive Board of the Canadian Polish Congress, its Member Organizations and myself personally.I would like to also take a few minutes to speak about the many contributions and achievements of your husband, father, grandfather, and friend within the Canadian Polish community and in particular his efforts on behalf of the CPC.

Mimo że znałam Druha Burskiego najlepiej jako instruktora w ZHP pgK w Kanadzie, wiem że jego działalność dla Polonii była obszerna i zawierała różne sprawy.

I knew Mr. Burski mainly as Druh Burski. My initial contacts with him were through the Polish Scouting Association in Canada where I actually knew the whole family.

Jerzy Burski became active in Polonia affairs immediately upon his arrival to Montreal, Canada in 1951 by joining the Home Army Veterans Organization and of course the Polish Scouting Association.

In  1954 Mr. Burski left Montreal to work in a variety of towns such as Kingston, Niagara Falls, and Hamilton before settling in Toronto. All this time he continued to work with the Polish Scouting Association and eventually with the Toronto District of the CPC where in 1960 he was elected President of the District.

He worked with various Canadian and ethnic organizations, among them the Folk Arts Council, the Conference of Ethnic Scouts in Canada and under the government of Premier John Robarts, Jerzy Burski was one of 18 members of the Committee for Multicultural Affairs.

Mr. Burski also served both as Vice-President and President of the Polish Combatants  Association, Branch 20 at various points in his work within Polonia as well as  First Vice-President under several Presidents of the Head Executive Board of the Canadian Polish Congress while undertaking various portfolios such as Youth, Polish Affairs, Canadian Affairs and Polonia Matters.

Podczas ruchu Solidarnościowego, Stanu Wojennego  i  przyjazdu wielu imigrantów z Polski do Kanady, a szczególnie do Toronto, Jerzy Burski udzielał się w szczególny sposób. Był organizatorem Manifestacji przed Ratuszem w Toronto i comiesięcznych protestów przed Konsulatem PRL w Toronto. Domagał się wraz z KPK od Rzadu Kanadyjskiego o interwencję w sprawie stanu wojennego i o pomoc ekonomiczną dla Polski i Polakow.  Był organizatorem pierwszego biura informacyjnego dla emigrantow, które przerodziło sie w Ośrodek Pomocy Emigrantom, a potem działało jako Biuro Pomocy Spolecznej. Dziś dalej istnieje jako Polycultural Immigration and Community Services.

During the years of the Solidarity Movement, the declaration of Marshall Law by the Government of the Socialist Republic of Poland, and the ensuing flow of Polish refugees and immigrants, Mr. Burski was heavily involved in both the political and social aspect of the situation.

He was one of the organizers of the Manifesto in front of Toronto's City Hall and also of the monthly demonstrations in front of the Polish Consulate in Toronto. He worked with the Congress in trying to have the Canadian Government intercede on behalf of the Polish people to stop Marshall Law and to also convince the Canadian Government to assist Poland economically.

He was an organizer of one of the first information services for newly arriving Poles which then grew to be an Immigration consulting agency and today continues on as Polycultural Immigration and Community Services.

In the 1970's, the Lieutenant Governor  of Ontario invited Mr. Burski to sit on the Advisory Board on Multiculturalism, where he served for 5 years.

Mr. Burski also served on the Board of Health - City of Toronto as a representative of the Ontario government for two terms as well as being a Member of the Advisory Board of Copernicus Lodge for several years.

When the Coordinating Board of Polonia of the Free World  (Rada Koordynacyjna Polonii Wolnego Swiata) arose, Mr. Burski was a delegate of the Head Executive Board of the Canadian Polish Congress at conferences held in Washington, Paris, London, and Toronto.

As First Vice-President in charge of Polonia Affairs, he was involved in Lech Walesa's visit to Canada.

Jerzy Burski was elected as President of the Head Executive Board of the Canadian Polish Congress in 1992 and served a two year term. During that time, the chair of Polish Studies at U of T was finally established after many years of  fundraising in Polonia. Here is what Mr. Burski reported at the AGM of the CPC in 1994.

Wydarzenia wielkiej wagi w naszym życiu kongresowym, a zarazem I całej Polonii, było ustanowienie profesury historii Polski na Uniwersytecie Torontońskim. Po kilku latach wytężonej pracy Komitetu Zbiórki, początkowo z inicjatorem Stanisławem T. Orłowskim, a następnie z panem Andrzejem Derkowskim na czele, udało się osiągnąć sumę pieniedzy, która pozwoliła na ustanowienie profesury. Po wielu spotkanisach z kandydatami, Senat Uniwersytetu Torontońskiego powołał na to stanowisko dr. Piotra Wróbla, który zaczyna wykłady w bieżącym roku akademickim. Należy podkreślić, że osiągnięcie to mogło być zrealizowane dięki ofiarności Polonii, bez żadnych dotacji ze strony czynników rządowych – powinniśmy być z tego dumni.

Over the years Mr. Burski received many medals and awards for his volunteer services. Among those - because all of them would be too many to mention - were: The Silver Award from the World Organization of the Polish Combatants Association,  the Cross of Polish Combatants in Canada, the Cross of the Home Army, the Cross of the First Polish Armored Division, as well being awarded 3 times with the medal of the Polish army and twice with the Gold Cross of Service bestowed by the Polish government in Exile in London , England.

Jerzy Burski był mężem, ojcem, dziadkiem, działeczem społecznym i harcerzem. Poświęcił wiele godzin, dni i lat pracując społecznie. Jego dzieła sa częścia i dumą naszej historii w Polonii kanadyjskiej.

Jerzy Burski was a husband, father, grandfather, friend to many, volunteer, community organizer and scout. He gave up countless hours, days and years in his service for Polonia and Canada. His work is part of the history of the Canadian Polish Congress and his accomplishments bring pride to the whole Polish community.

Śpij spokojnie wiedząc, że praca Twoja jest przykładem dla przyszłych generacji  młodzieży harcerskiej i ogólnie Polonijnej a także całej Polonii Kanadyjskiej.

May you rest in peace Jerzy, knowing that your work is an example  to future generations of youth in the Polish Scouting Association as well as to all Canadians of Polish descent.

Cześć !

Czuwaj!

We will remember!