Short Resume of Mrs Eugenia Grosicka

 

People came to the camp after the war as displaced persons from all walks of life.Every one had a story to tell. I have received one such story about a very energetic, patriotic and courageous woman much loved by the children she cared for. She brought theatre, song and dance to the traumatised people and specially the children of Springhill. Mrs Eugenia Grosicka.

 
 

 She was born in the Lwów region of Poland in 1901. As a young woman in Poland she was actively engaged in the scout and youth movement and also was a teacher of art, song, dance and gymnastics. She organised scout and youth camps and encouraged their acting and singing. She herself became part of the theatre as an actress in the Lwow Theatre. During the war in 1940 she and her family were exiled to Kazakhstan. She became headmistress of the orphanage at Jangi-jul and together with the orphanage was taken to Teheran and then to Karachi. On the way more orphaned children joined her, resulting in about 400 children under her care, arriving in East Africa in 1943. The orphanage was set up in the camp of Tengeru. Together with her sisters, Zofia and Wilma Schmidt, and other willing persons began not just to hold educational classes, but also to produce plays and pantomimes. These plays were often performed for visiting dignitaries in nearby towns and were received with great admiration. At the end of the war and due to the camps being closed there were problems about the future of so many orphaned children. Mrs Grosicka together with Fr. Lucjan Krolikowski after many struggles with the government in Warsaw, who wanted the children to return to Poland, managed to arrange for some children to travel to Italy and others to Canada with Fr Krolikowski. She herself came to England having adopted one of the youngest children and having three other under her guardianship. In Springhill she produced and directed many plays together with her sisters. The young and many older people gained not just a love of Polish song and dance from her but also a strong patriotic love of Poland. She moved to Leicester and carried on her love of amateur theatre. She died in 1979, remembered with great affection by all the children she helped.

 

From the right Mrs.Grosicka with her adopted family Janka Papuga (Papuzanka) Teresa (Nena) Grosicka. Janina  Szyler.Adam Smereka and Mrs. Grosicka's sisters Miss Zosia and Wilma Schmidt. Standing in the back is Ula Szwabiak

 

Some of Mrs Grosicka's Productions

 

Play “ Krakowiacy i Cyganie”  on stage are; Stasia Morek, Stasia Łyczko , ?, Basia Staniaszek, Halina Staniaszek, Olesia Łukaszewska - 1952.

A play “Ochotnicy z Wolanówki”

The two youngest members of the cast are Janek Szyszkiewucz Ula Szwabiak,  can you  name any of the others

 
 

"Kwiat Paproci"

 
 

Left: Regina Fiedosiuk, Nena Grosicka,Teresa ? Zosia Kania Janka Strach Danusia Aleksandrowicz

 
 

Zosia Kania Genia Kania Regina Fiedosiuk

 

Some of the names. Wanda Mis, Teresa Małyszko in the background is Janka Papuga

The whole cast of "Kwiat Paproci" on stage.

 

1952 Pantomine 'Krolewna Sniezka' (Snow Princess)

 

Some of the known names on the photo

 

Jurek Biegus, Janka Szyler, Mr. Zajac, Ula Szwabiak,Janek Szyszkiewicz, Janka Papuga, Krysia Biegus, Adam Smereka

 

The Plays were produced and directed by Mrs. Grosicka.

 

The national costumes were ones she had brought with her from Poland via Africa and some were made in the camp by mother s and helpers.

 

Kwiat Paptoci' Some of the names. Top Jurek Uzarowsk, the Szewczyk Brothers, F. Unknown, Rysiek Gembarski, Krysia Wierzynska, Rysiek Sozanski,Antek Starsiak.

1957 'Kwiat Paproci' Ula Szwabiak, Janka Papuga The last play performed at Springhill as camp was going to be closed. Many people had already moved away Mrs. Grosicka with her family were moving to Leicester.

A production made in Leicester.

Janusz Remizo Jurek Biegus, Ula szwabiak

 

Left 1956 Ula Szwabiak with her English friends Janet Lock, daughter of Mr. Lock headmaster of Moreton in Marsh Secondary School and Stella Kay daugher of Mr Kay who had the chemist shop in Blockley

Inscription on Mrs. Grosicka's headstone reads

Guardian of Polish Orphans in Russia and East Africa. Active in maintaining Polish culture in the exiled community. She served God and her Homeland

 

 
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