Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dzien dobry, Dwa piwo, Dziekuje, Do widzenia

Today was the annual civic mass at the Polish Catholic church in central Ealing (Our Lady Mother of the Church).

I’m a regular at this huge event, which celebrates Ealing’s position as the largest Polish community in Britain, and saw again this year a number of old friends in the Polish community. They stressed that the community is going through a dramatic period of growth, following Poland’s entry to the EU two years ago – the new chair of the parish said that the church has added two new masses every Sunday in the last year to cope with the demand.

After the service, the Mayor and Steve Pound MP respond every year to a speech of welcome from the community, and Steve’s speech is always a highlight. He first did it as Mayor in 1996, when he spoke entirely in Polish with (I am told) an impeccable north Warsaw accent. This year he stressed the benefits of the new Polish immigration, whilst reserving his greatest praise for the quality of their doughnuts.

As Millennium Mayor, I was the first LB Ealing Mayor to visit Poland in my year of office, and hence had a lot to say in my speech to the civic mass. However, I was reminded on Sunday that I had admitted then that my working knowledge of Polish is largely limited to the sentence in the title of this post – “Dzien dobry, Dwa piwo, Dziekuje, Do widzenia”. But then what more do you need to say than “Good morning, Two beers, Thank you, Goodbye” ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey !

Greetings from Poland. I lived in East Acton in 2002, I remember Wishing Well ( ?) pub, and nice people there.

Tom, Legnica, Poland