Poles in the United Kingdom have called for their nation’s emblem to be added to the mayor of Newark’s chain of office as a symbol of lasting friendship.
The Newark City Council Finance and Corporate Purposes Committee is due to debate the request tonight (Wednesday).
Arter Bildziuk, the president of the Association of Polish Crews, told the announcer that adding the eagle would be a fitting way to cement a forever bond.
Mayors of other places in the UK that have close ties to Poland, Hillingdon, near Northolt, and Wandsworth, already have eagles on their chains. And Newark would be in good company with ongoing negotiations with Westminster where there are memorials to Polish wartime contributions at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s.
“As an organisation, we see Newark as the most important place in the UK to have an association with Poland,” Mr Bildziuk said.
“It’s not just where our former presidents in exile chose to be buried, but where hundreds of airmen, paratroopers and military personnel are also buried.
“Poles died not only for themselves, but for everyone’s freedom and with that there is a sense of pride.
“It is a place where many who remained after the war chose to be buried among their friends. People who couldn’t return to Poland because they would have been “disappeared” from the streets by the Soviets, as we see today in Russia in Ukraine.
“It’s more than graves. The hearts of young people are always filled with romance. Our days may be short but our friendships are forever.
“The Poles have integrated into British life, no more so than in Newark. The relationship is to be admired. Before our independence in 1989, it was almost a pilgrimage for Poles to get to Newark. Three coaches would come from London for the All Saints’ Day service at the cemetery.
“This request corresponds to the scenario of bringing people together. We think about the community; the thought process of unity.
“In many ways, it seems crazy that we didn’t start with these demands in Newark.
Newark Cemetery has the largest Polish plot of any cemetery in Britain with 440 servicemen from that nation.
The three exiled presidents are to be exhumed and returned to Poland next month. The commander of Polish forces during World War II, General Władysław Sikorski, was exhumed and repatriated in 1993 and a statue of him is planned to be added to the plot.
The City Council actively promotes and supports the annual Air Bridge and All Souls memorial services in the cemetery.
Newark has a statue of Polish aid worker Irena Sendler, who saved hundreds of Jewish children, and a Polish twin town, Sandomierz.