On November 17, 1913, an important meeting took place in Chicago, Illinois. Members of 54 independent lodges decided to join together and form what is now Council 3 of the PNA. Other lodges quickly joined their members to Council 3. Of the current lodges within the council, Lodges 5 and Lodge 257 are from the original 54 lodges, with newer lodges still being added today.
On November 17, 2013, exactly one hundred years later, to the day, PNA Council 3, one of the oldest branches in the PNA family tree, celebrated its centennial anniversary. Despite the day’s earlier challenging weather, the banquet was held with fraternal revelry and enjoyment by all who attended the festivities at the White Eagle Banquet Hall in Niles, Illinois.
Over the years, many donations were collected for charitable causes, with aid to Poland, assistance to the armed forces, the Red Cross, Alliance College, the Polish Scouting organization, the Youth Camp in Yorkville, Illinois, in addition to several others. It is interesting to note that during 1914, Council 3 raised $6,508.82 to aid in Poland’s move towards independence; the equivalent of approximately $147,963.52 in today’s financial market. The Council further organized fund-raising efforts in a drive to give aid to their fellow countrymen. In 1915, on the weekend of January 23-24th, a sum of $23,530.30 was raised in Chicago for this cause; which is the equivalent of $534,908.95 of buying power in 2013.
On May 26, 1926, Council 3 was honored to receive The General Joseph Haller Award for its financial assistance to the Polish Army in France during World War I.
Today delegates and members of Council 3 continue to focus on changing lives through their volunteer efforts. Recently, some of our delegates taught ESL classes to Hispanic and Polish immigrants, this past year they assisted in the Volunteer Spring Clean-Up event sponsored by the City of Chicago.
PNA President and Council 3 Delegate, Frank J. Spula spoke of his long association with delegates and members of Council 3, stating that his relationship was that of a second family and then he presented awards to significant council members recognizing their fraternal achievements.
Through the efforts of the dedicated Banquet Committee, an innovative and entertaining program called “From the Past to the Future” was presented featuring a series of relevant, historical vignettes highlighting memorable life experiences of former and present Council 3 members. PNA’s Wici Song and Dance group also performed at the event.
Over the years, many Council 3 members have held national office. Currently, Frank J. Spula continues to serve as PNA and PAC National President. Irene Hercik is currently serving as one of the Directors of Region “H.” Joseph Hercik is currently serving as Commissioner of District XIII. Our new Zgoda editor, Alicja Kuklinska, also belongs to Council 3.
The current officers of Council 3 are as follows: President – Irene Hercik, Vice President – Joseph Lisak, Vice President – Elizabeth Stolarczuk, Secretary – Roberta Gols, Treasurer – Therese Winters, and Sergeant-at-Arms – Joseph Hercik.
Council 3 is proud of its history and continues its involvement with new initiatives through the Fencing Academy and the PNA Dance Studio and looks forward to its next 100 years.