Wilno Kashubian Heritage Article from The Daily Observer
Below is an article that gives info on the Wilno, Ontario Kashubs. Enjoy!
Polish-Canadians celebrate heritage
Posted By BY TINA PEPLINSKIE, STAFF WRITER
Posted 3 days ago
The 150th anniversary of Canadian Kashubs was recently celebrated on Parliament Hill.
Wilno Heritage Society president Dave Shulist was invited to speak at the reception, hosted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and attended by close to 600 guests, including Polish ambassador Piotr Ogrodzinski and Canadian Polish Congress president Wladyslaw Lizon.
“It is a great year to be of Kashub culture and a great year to be a Canadian Kashub,”Mr. Shulist said.
When the Polish Kashubs immigrated to Canada in 1858 they dreamt of a better life than the one in their homeland. Under Prussian rule, they were restricted from practicing their faith and language and were not able to enjoy freedom of speech, the fifth-generation Canadian Kashub explained.
“They knew it was going to be hard at first, but their goal was to make sure that their children would have a good life and 150 years later, we are living their dream,” he said proudly.
Although his ancestors came to Canada with very little education and they couldn’t speak French or English, Canada’s educational system and the diversity of the country provided the freedom of opportunity to become leaders, such as Renfrew-Nipissing- Pembroke MP John Yakabuski and Renfrew County Warden Janice Visneskie, he noted.
As a tribute to the hard-working polish Kashub pioneers, their descendants have built the Wilno Heritage Park and Museum to honour Canada’s first Polish settlement and Kashub Heartland.
“It is the place where their story is being told and we hope that the future generation will keep this alive and never forget the sacrifice our Polish Kashub ancestors made, so we can live the good life,” Mr. Shulist said.
Each year, the society hosts a successful and ever-expanding Kashub Day festival the first Saturday of May.
The most recent project undertaken by the Wilno Heritage Society is the restoration of a Kashub farm house, which is expected to open this summer.