Aleksander Frejszmidt Donates $15,000

Sun, Oct 20, 2013

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On Wednesday October 2, 2013, during a meeting in Toronto of the Council, chair Maciej Zaremba was presented with a cheque for fifteen thousand dollars from the estate of the late Alexander Frejszmidt. The gift was presented by Steve Glogowski, P.Eng., the executor of the estate.

Mr. Glogowski, founder and president of Glogowski Consultants Inc. (GCI), and his mother Barbara Glogowska, well known in the Polish community for establishing Polish language schools in Canada since 1939, expressed their admiration and strong support for Polish Studies at the University of Toronto after hearing presentations by Prof. Tamara Trojanowska and Prof. Piotr Kajak about the present curriculum and future plans for this very successful and growing academic program. Prof. Trojanowska met Alexander at Mr. Glogowski’s house when Mr. Frejszmidt was about to donate some of his books on Polish history and culture to the University of Toronto.

This generous gift from the estate of the Polish-Canadian engineer who combined the pursuit of his professional career with love of Polish history and culture can be a model for other potential supporters of Polish Studies at the University of Toronto.

Alexander Frejszmidt

(April 7, 1930 – August 27, 2012)

 

Alexander Frejszmidt’s Biography

Alexander Frejszmidt came to Canada after the war, as a young teen having spent his youth hiding from the post-war communist regime in Poland. While his father served with distinction in the Polish Armed Forces in the West in London, England, as a major, he and his mother moved from village to village often sheltered by local priests. Eventually they were smuggled out of Poland in a barge hidden under a pile of coal. After further harrowing adventures they were reunited with his father and moved to Granby, Quebec.

Alexander completed a degree in civil engineering, became a Professional Engineer and when he moved to Toronto he was employed at the TTC and Toronto Hydro from where he retired.

He never forgot his Polish roots and amassed a library of over 2000 books most of them on XX century Polish history, architecture and culture. Some six hundred of these books were selected by the University of Toronto for inclusion in its library while others were distributed to other Polish institutions such as Copernicus Lodge.

He and his family were always very interested in promoting Poland’s welfare during the years of oppression and were lifelong members and supporters of the Polish Institute in New York, an institution originally founded to counteract Nazi propaganda that was being disseminated during the war. He continued to support them over the years, and his father’s military records and uniform and very detailed diaries were preserved by Alexander and donated to the Institute. These diaries have been recognized by the Institute as valuable historical insight into a life of career soldier serving first in the Tsarist army, then the Free Polish army under Joseph Pilsudski and then during the second world war as a liaison officer with the British army.

Alexander was a constant companion of Barbara Glogowska during the last fifteen years of his life and together they remained active in a number of Polish social and cultural organizations.

This donation is in keeping with Alexander’s lifelong support for Polish culture, arts and history and it was his wish that this donation be made after his death.

Click on photos for larger view.

 

Barbara and Steve Glogowski

Receiving the cheque from Barbara Glogowska. Standing, left to right: Maciej Zaremba, Prof. Janusz Brzozowski, Steve Glogowski, Christine Erikson, Irene Kremblewski, Maria Swietorzecka, Andrzej Derkowski.
Seated: Barbara Glogowska and Jesse Flis.

Prof. Tamara Trojanowska and Prof. Piotr Kajak

The guests with Maciej Zaremba

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