In 1858 Kaszubians emigrated to Upper Canada and created the settlement of Wilno, in Renfrew County, Ontario. Just south of the village of Wilno is Kaszuby, a veritable paradise for Polish scouts and for anyone in search of a little peace and quiet.
Thanks to musician, John Gora, I was able to see this slice of Polish heaven for myself. (Thank you, John.) Here are my photos:
Szare Szeregi Monument
(Dedicated to the thousands of Polish scouts who died for Poland)
The plaque on the monument reads: This monument was erected by the Polish-Canadian community to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw uprising and to enshrine the memory of the young scouts and guides, known as the SZARE SZEREGI (Gray Ranks) who fell during the uprising or lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps during the occupation of Poland (1939-1945).
SSZARE SZEREGI consisting of 10,000 and 8,000 guides, who without regard for their own safety, took an active part in all aspects of the resistance. Two battalions, Zoska and Parasol, distinguished themselves through their outstanding bravery and valour. One of the youngest armies in the world, the flower of the Polish nation, has written itself into the annals of history in gold letters. Over half of them fell fighting to free Poland. Through their deeds they have proclaimed to the world that Poles value a free homeland above all.
With the words of the great visionary poet, Juliusz Slowacki (1809-1849) from his poem My Testament, we dedicate this monument to the patriotic an unselfish youth known as SZARE SZEREGI.
And so I can cast the spell- let the living keep hope
And carry the torch of wisdom before the nation;
And when necessary, go to death one by on,
Like stones, cast by God onto barridades!
Marek M. Jagla, scoutmaster
For the monument building committee
July 9, 1995
KATEDRA POD SOSNAMI
When visiting Kaszuby, I was struck by the many reminders that Boże is present in even the most remote areas of the planet. Roadside shrines seem to be everywhere and the chapel/cathedral (above) is distinctly Polish. Before leaving, John met me early in the morning at the foot of a small mountain so I could join him for a hike up to the Three Crosses that stand watch over the Kaszuby region. I was surprised to see the Stations of the Cross positioned along the way to the summit where one can pray or meditate in peace.