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Henryk WIKTOROWICZ

A Polish Second World War Veteran who immigrated to Canada in 1946, Henryk's life was characterized by deep affection for his wife, children and grandchildren, a strong work ethic, extraordinary compassion for humankind and great pride in his Polish heritage.

 

The youngest of eight (two sisters and five brothers), he was the son of a farming family in North East Poland. In February 1940, Henryk was forced to abandon his studies in an agricultural college due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

 

Russian forces invaded Poland from the east two weeks after the Germans invaded from the west. Henryk was forcibly deported with his family to a labour camp in Karabash, located beyond the Ural Mountains, where he was subjected to extremely harsh working conditions. While working in the mines he endured starvation, injury and lost family members to illness.

 

When 'amnesty' was declared in June 1941 (when Germany attacked Russia, and Russia joined the Allies against Germany), he was freed from the camp and made his way to the southern USSR to join the Polish Army that was being formed there.

 

This army evacuated to Persia, and later became the Polish Second Corps. Henryk trained with the army in Persia, Iraq, and in Egypt, before participatinbg in the Allied offensive in the Italian Campaign.

 

He took part in the final and successful attack by the Polish forces at Monte Cassino, Loretto, and Bologna, among other battles. As a member of the Signal Corps , he consistently risked his life by transporting ammunitions to the front lines.

 

After the war,  Henryk no longer had a home to which he could return. His family farm in Poland became part of Soviet territory. In 1946, he signed a 2-year  farm labour contract and arrived in Saskatchewan,Canada, gaining landed immigrant status. Henryk later worked as a lumber-jack and for the railway, prior to taking on a trade as an upholsterer.

 

Attracted by its vibrant Polish community, he eventually settled in Winnipeg. In 1951, Henryk married Karolina Domszy, a beautiful and loving wife, and they started a family and became members of many community and Polish organizations.

 

He launched River East Upholsterers in the late 1960s that he successfully ran until retirement. He served as President of the Polish Combatants Association for two terms and together with Karolina travelled across Canada, Europe and Australia. His generosity was boundless. He sponsored many Polish immigrants to Canada and contributed to many charities. Henryk was also a devout church parishioner and a physical fitness enthusiast.

 

Henryk and Karolina andh their children enjoyed many happy summers at their cottage on Lake Winnipeg He was very proud of his six children and encouraged them to pursue an education of which he had himself been deprived. He was a very enthusiastic grandfather, an avid gardener, a nature lover and a creative problem-solver. He will most be remembered for his unwavering optimism, contentedness with simple pleasures, gentle nature, responsibility as a provider, his dedication to family life, his beautiful sky blue eyes and the many ways he made this world a better place for all.

 

Henryk passed away on Saturday, April 16, 2016 and is buried at theHoly Ghost Roman Catholic Cemetery in Winnipeg. He was predeceased by his wife, his parents and all his siblings. He is survived by his children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren,

 

Copyright: Wiktorowicz family

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