History of the Scottish Polish Cultural Association
The Davidsons founded the Society around 1970. Mr Davidson (Edward Dawidowicz) - a Polish ex-serviceman - came to Scotland during the war.
He met and married a local woman. Mrs Jean Davidson was driven to set up the Society after visiting her husband's home country and encountering Polish traditions, arts and crafts. She was fascinated by the products of this culture, so she formed a collection of artefacts and brought them to Scotland. She also persuaded the curator of Museums, Mr Coutts, to organise a first exhibition - "The Great Polish Amber Show".
Prof Richard Demarco, a great enthusiast as well as supporter of Polish culture and art (particularly theatre, film and paintings), worked hard with the society to encourage young talents to flourish.
Our Honorary President, Dr Colin Kingsley, has been very helpful in organising and taking part in many concerts as well as launching yearly shows to promote talented young musicians.
Although we are not a charitable organisation we have, in the past, raised funds to assist various Polish causes, such as the "Mazowiecki Fund", the restoration of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, and children's hospitals.
Front row from left: John, Mrs Teresa Dzikowska, Mr Michael Borland
Back row first from right: Mr Roman Iwaszkiewicz-Wight, Mrs Izabella Brodzinska, Mrs Elzbieta Rychlik-Sharp, Dr Maria Musur-Grieve, Mr Robert Anderson
The society stopped its activities during Martial Law but came together again in 1989, thanks to the work of Mrs Elzbieta Rychlik-Sharp, Mrs Teresa Dzikowska and Mr Roman Iwaszkiewicz-Wight (Polish soldier from Monte Cassino), who chaired SPCA in 1989. It was thanks to his tireless effort that children from Poland took part in the Paralympics in Scotland.
In 2004 our efforts were recognised by the Association of Journalists of the Republic of Poland and we were awarded a Silver Statuette and Diploma in recognition for actively promoting Polish culture and supporting charities. Our chairperson personally collected the Statuette in Warsaw from the chairman of the Polish Senate at a special prize-giving ceremony. It is a great honour for our organisation as we were compared with many similar but often bigger organisations all over the world.
Since Poland joined EU a new wave of Polish emigration brought many young people to Edinburgh and some of them joined SPCA and are now actively taking part in organizing new events to bring together the peoples of Poland and Scotland.
It would be too difficult to mention all our activities and those, who actively take part in organizing them and only too easy to miss someone, so only a few are named here but all are appreciated and valued by the membership.
SPCA office bearers have a very high workload, lots of responsibilities and little time, as all our contributors work on a voluntary basis.
Our thanks go to all our supporters past and present, and especially to Mrs Teresa Dzikowska, who recently retired from her role as Treasurer after 20 years of being on the committee. She was presented with a crystal and silver rose bowl as a thank you for her hard work and support given to SPCA for nearly 40 years.