Chairman’s Report 2014-2015

  • In February 2016 we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Inverness Polish Association
  • Over the last ten years we have successfully worked with a wide range of Council services to resolve issues for Polish migrants.
  • During the last year we have successfully intervened in a number of difficulties, faced by Polish migrants; bullying in schools (of Polish pupils); translation of many court documents both criminal and civil cases; discussions with Social Services and parents in the case of an abused child; applications for Council accommodation, and placed homeless people in secure housing and work. We support Polish people with advice and information, and assist in resolving employment difficulties and racist matters. In urgent cases, we help with arranging transport to airports, arranging overnight accommodation and hold discussions with the Council and Police on matters of racist abuse. We have applied successfully for furnishings for members who required it.

  • Committee members will carry out duties offering help, support and advice on a variety of issues affecting the Polish population living in the Highlands. Only on the first Monday of every month Duties will start on 11th January 2016 at 18.30
  • From 5th March 2016 the Library will be open after Polish School closes –at 5.00pm -7.00pm on Saturdays, run by Aleksandra Czarnowska.
  • Our close co-operation with Police Scotland liaison officer Ali Macrae PC336, resulted in an excellent group of Pipers performing a splendid set of melodies for the school, with teachers and parents present. Delicious Polish and Scottish food rounded off the afternoon. Guest of honour was the Provost Alex Graham.
  • In March and April we had a series of visitors to the school. Wojtek the Bear, accompanied by the author of a book on his exploits, Jenny Robertson who distributed signed copies to all the children.
  • We also had a visit from the Police on Child Safety, complete with Police cars –which the children enjoyed greatly.
  • We had two history lectures for the older pupils 1, Bob Shanks on Polish medals and decorations; 2, Dr. David Worthington on “Poles in Scotland, Scots in Poland“.
  • In April all the teachers took part in Baby and childcare First aid Training
  • To celebrate the 3rd May – Polish National Day, the school put on a performance based on the history of our country. At the end of May, we arranged a school trip to the Marine Aquarium and a barbecue in Banff.
  • As we have minimal funds, we have cancelled internet provision for the Office, also we have not renewed Microsoft Office for the computers.
  • The Consul of the Republic of Poland held a series of Consular sessions dealing with passports for adults and children giving out advice and information.
  • For the first time in the Highlands, our students passed the AQA A level Exam in Polish, and achieved extremely high marks. We are very proud of their efforts. The younger students passed the GCSE in Polish with excellent marks. We congratulate them all and thank the teachers for their extremely demanding work.
  • In November we paid tribute to our fallen fellow Poles with a visit to the cemetery in Inverness. We also organized a School trip to Invergordon for the Remembrance service and to meet with our Polish Veterans. We laid a wreath and candles at the monument in the name of the Association and the Saturday School.
  • In December 2014 we concluded the Autumn term of the school with children , parents and staff at the traditional Vigil meal at the school

Finally I would like to thank the Committee for their continuing work and support, and their willingness to help those in need. My thanks also go to all who regularly attend Committee meetings.

Membership stands at 394

Zofia Wierzbowicz-Fraser
Chairman

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