Friday, February 19, 1999 12:30 P.M.
Photos of the Installation Ceremony of the City Seal of Torun, Poland
February 19, 1999
Unveling 1 Unveling 2 Unveling 3 Mayor Rendell
Polish American Cultural Center
On Friday, February 19, 1999, as part of the Philadelphia Sister Cities Program, a formal installation of the City Seal of Torun, Poland took place at the Polish American Cultural Center Museum in historic Philadelphia (Philadelphia and Torun are Sister Cities). The date, February 19th, was chosen since it coincides with the date of Copernicus' birth (Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland).
Honorable Edward Rendell, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia; Nancy Gilboy, Executive Director Sister Cities Program; Maria Sliwinska, Executive Director International Centre for Information Management Systems & Services & Deputy Director, Nicholas Copernicus University Library, Torun, Poland; Czeslaw Jan Grycz, Chair Business Committee International Centre for Information Management Systems & Services and Director/Executive Secretary, The Wladyslaw Poniecki Foundation, Inc.; and Barbara Rodes, Advisory Board, International Centre for Information Management Systems & Services, were present for the elegant installation ceremony.
Maria Sliwinska had extended greetings from the Mayor of Torun, Mayor Wojciech Grochowski, with a letter which expressed his appreciation for the bonds that linked the two cities, and his aspirations for the growth of the relationship between the two communities.
The masterful wood carving of the City Seal of Torun was commissioned by the Poniecki Foundation in El Cerrito, California, carved by Professor Jerome Thomas of Berkeley, California and donated to the Polish American Cultural Center Museum in historic Philadelphia.
The carving of the City Seal has been placed at the very entrance to the Polish American Cultural Center Museum. It is among the first things that greet visitors to the Museum and is clearly visible from the street even when the Museum is closed. The carving, beautifully executed from a single solid plank of select cherry wood, bears an image of walled battlements with the gates and portiuncula open (as if to welcome guests and visitors), and an Angel hovering protectively over all (as if to guard against harm). The seal also carries inlaid characters carved from walnut, spelling out the legend: "Torun: Sister City of Philadelphia."
In fact, Torun was protected by its angel throughout history. Torun survived the worst ravages of the Second World War with many of its historic and ancient districts intact. It is today, enjoying a resurgence of tourism, agriculture, and economic investment that make it one of the cosmopolitan centers in Poland.
A strong permanent bond continues between Philadelphia and Torun!
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