EVENT in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

19 May 2019

75th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino

Photos from the opening of the exhibit at the Ogniwo Museum in Winnipeg. Exhibit and artefacts developed by Polish Exiles of WW2 Inc., and complemented by museum volunteers with information about local veterans of the battle. Photos by local Winnipeg photographer Mirek Weichsel of MIROPHOTOGRAPHY.

Krystyna Szypowska greets our honoured guest, Monte Cassino veteran, Stefan Olbrecht, while Professor Patalas looks on. 

Krystyna Szypowska says a few words of welcome on behalf of Polish Exiles of WW2, and Magda Blachmore then does the intro speech in my stead.  (I was there on a 2 hour pass from the hospital, so I had to conserve my energy).

It was a nice turnout, especially for a long weekend. Some people arrived late, so the hall kept filling with more and more arrivals.  In all, over 60 people attended the opening.

Grazyna Galezowska (former KPK President) and Lech Galezowski (current President of SPK Branch #13) did a wonderful presentation of the song "Red Poppies on Monte Cssino" and Lech did a very moving speech about the battle.

Veteran Stefan Olbrecht is introduced to the assembled guests, and received a well deserved standing ovation. He was 17 years old at the time of the battle.

We were so pleased that Cpl Sergiusz Bilny (Canadian Army) and Major Greg Niemcyzk (Canadian Air Force) attended the event, in honour of the Canadian Forces that were involved in the Battle.

Group photo in front of some of the exhibit panels.

We all enjoyed a chance to ask questions and get details about the historic battle, from someone who lived it.

Professor Patalas (author of "Providence watching" - a book detailing the WW2 experiences of 42 local Polish Winnipegers). Veteran Stefan Olbrecht is one of the people featured in that book.

Veteran Stefan Olbrecht pinpoints in area at Cassino where is was stationed during the battle.