Edwars was orn in 1934 in Politwa Wielka, pow. Brody. Woj. Tarnopolskie. As a child, he was deported to Archangelsk, Siberia with his parents and sister Halina. He attended kindergarten in Russia. His father was a wheelwright in the camp.
Released on ‘amnesty’, the family walked 120 km on their wat to the southern USSR where the Polish Army was being formed, and his father joined. He was sent to Scotland where he trained with the 1st Polish Armoured Division. When the Division left for the continent, his father was sick and stayed behind, so he never saw action on the continent.
Edward remembers the rough crossing of the Black Sea which took 2.5 days. He and his mother and sister reached Karachi then sailed to Africa. They spent four years in Massindi in Uganda, Africa.
While in Massindi, Edward went to school, had a pet monkey that carried his books to school (finished 6 years of school there), and spent a lot of time playing in the jungle with the local children. Edward admits that he was very naughty during those years. He also remembers hunting an 18-foot boa constrictor!
His father took part in the Italian Campaign, went to the UK after the war, where the family eventually reunited.
Edward attended Theological College in London, but eventually quit. He then switched to a degree in Engineering, and spent his career in aeronautics. He also built planes.
Edward met and married Irena in England (she had also spent 4 years in Massindi, but there were 5 camps in Massindi so they had not known each other there). They spent 19 years in England before eventually settling in Manitoba, Canada. His parents and sister stayed in England.
Edward and Irena have 3 children (Marian, Isabella, Adam , 7 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.
Edward pursued his passion for flying with the Winnipeg Flying Club, Winnipeg Gliding Club and The Air Cadet League. He volunteered many years with the Air Cadets in numerous capacities including Tow Pilot, Glider Instructor and Commanding Officer of No.6 Squadron in Winnipeg.
He was heavily committed to the Air Cadet Gliding Program and participated in the Summer Gliding Schools. He was appointed the Regional Operations Officer for Prairie Region and served as the Commanding Officer of Air Cadet Glider Schools in Rivers and Gimli, Manitoba. He mentored many aspiring pilots who today are leaders in Canadian military and civilian aviation. Many fond memories remain of Lieutenant Colonel Sliwinski, his dog Misha and his English Raleigh bicycle moving around the flight lines of Rivers and Gimli.
After retirement, Ed continued to focus on aviation. He ran his own precision machining business in Gimli and continued his lifelong passion of building airplanes. His pride was a Pazmany PL-1 that he built from scratch and flew many hours in retirement. He shared his extensive knowledge and experience as a Transport Canada Minister’s Designate for Recreational Aviation and served as Chief Inspector for Amateur Built Aircraft.
Edward passed away on October 21, 2022 at the age of 87.
Edward in 2013
Polish: Bronze Cross of Merit, with swords