Cicero, Illinois - PNA Council 55 recently celebrated their 100th Anniversary at the Mayfield Banquet Hall in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, November 9, 2014. It certainly was a family celebration with members and friends enjoying their fraternal milestone. The Council was chartered in 1914, and it was noted that the Anniversary was celebrated on the same day as the Berlin Wall fell. The Council has 4 lodges that are still listed active with the PNA.
The Council was instrumental with the Harcestwo movement is its early days which led to the start of the PNA Youth Camp Association in Yorkville, Illinois. They assisted the American Red Cross during World Wars I and II. The Council is active in the Polish American Congress, has made donations to the Laski School of the Blind in Poland, raised money for the erection of the Copernicus Monument in Downtown Chicago, ran tours to Poland, donated books to the Cicero Public Library amd Slavic Language Department of the University of Chicago and supports St. Mary of Czestochowa Church in Cicero, Illinois. The list grows with the many things Council 55 does for the community and Polonia.
Before dinner, President Mildred Calka welcomed the guests, followed by Melanie Tomaszkiewicz and Mildred Calka leading all in the singing of the National Anthems. Former PNA Commissioner Anna Kokoszka read a poem written by past PNA National Treasurer and Lodge 825, Michael Tomaszkiewicz, father of Adam (who followed in his father's footsteps and also was National PNA Treasurer.
PNA President Frank Spula recalled the many people who worked diligently in the success in the Council namely, A. Kaliszewski, Adam Tomaszkiewicz, Andrew Jadach, Anna Rychlinska, Lous C. Poprawski, Joseph Calka and currently Mildred Calka, along with the many other notable people like Stefania Gondek, Mary Chochola, Mary Witczak, and family members of the Jablonski, Chojnacki, Gawle, Cebrzynski, Verdulgo, Jadach, Dziubala and Pietrzak just to name a few. Mr. Spula presented awards to the current officers, Mildred Calka, Helen Szymankowski, Walter Cygan and Virginia Nelson and a special award to former PNA Director Cecelia Tomaszkiewicz. Mr Spula was assisted by PNA Vice President Paul Odrobina and National Treasurer Marian Grabowski. Mr. Odorbina then offered a congratulatory toast to the members of Council 55, by wishing the Council and its members another 100 years with good health and prosperity. The final speaker was John Kociolko, a member of Lodge 825 and former Trustee of the Town of Cicero who presented a Proclamation to the Council from the Town of Cicero.