A group of farmers and representatives of the agriculture industry in Poland has been touring the United States for the last week, visiting farms and other agriculture related landmarks. The members of the Agriculture Business Association of Poland and The National Association of Cereal Producers of Poland were hosted by Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, Leadership Program Director for Texas AgriLife Extension. On Thursday evening, March 3, 2011, Dr. Jim and his wife Kathy opened their beautiful home in Bryan, Texas to host a reception and catered dinner for the Polish delegates.
Roving Polish musicians led by Brian Marshall greeted the delegates as they arrived at the Mazurkiewicz home by bus. As they entered the dinner area, each person was given a small snack and a shot of Sobieski vodka and then they were formally welcomed to Texas by the Mazurkiewicz family and dignitaries from Brazos County and the city of Bryan. Several speeches followed, both in Polish and English. At times, the formal speeches were interrupted by a spontaneous and loud rendition of Sto Lat that broke out from the Polish delegation and spread through the crowd.
Fr. Josef Musiol, pastor of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Chappell Hill gave the blessing and then everyone filled up on delicious kiebasa, kapusta, pierogi, ham, cheese and even pączki for desert. A mixture of old Polish Texas music and more modern Polish music was provided by talented musicians and singers including Brian Marshall, Brian Wisnoski, Lawrence Wisnoski, Mark Hopcus, Frank Motley, Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, James Mazurkiewicz, CJ Jozwiak, Kasia Stephen and Adam Dratwa. After dinner, tables were moved and the dancing began.
A highlight of the evening was a very emotional presentation of gifts from the visiting Polish dignitaries to the Mazurkiewz family and the Polish priests that were present at the party. Dr. Jim was given a full Polish folk costume complete with boots and hat.
The diversity of the guests at this dinner party included thirty Polish citizens, many visiting Texas for the first time, recent Polish immigrants from Bryan/College Station and Houston’s Our Lady of Czestochowa parish, Polish priests Msgr Ben Zientek, Msgr. John Malinowski, Fr. Josef Musiol and Fr. Leszek Wedziuk and many 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Texans descended from early Polish settlers who came to the communities of Bremond, Chappell Hill, Anderson and other Texas areas. The bond between these people from different backgrounds was simple, a love and respect for their common Polish heritage. It was very obvious that this diverse group of people were all having a good time.