LOCALS and members of the Polish community gathered in St Helena’s Park in Dundalk to take part in Simul Polonia’s Family Day over the Bank Holiday weekend.
People brought along picnic blankets and food to the event which took place on Saturday, June 1 from noon to 4pm and included a kite competition, dog show and drawing competition.
The event, which aimed to foster good relations between the Polish community and those living in Dundalk, was organised by 20 members of the Polish organisation Simul Polonia.
The group was led by Eugeniusz Zabek, aged 39, who was simultaneously planning another big day - his upcoming wedding - with Anna Stachura.
He has been living in Dundalk since 2005 and currently lives with his fiance in Bay Estate. Originally a mechanical engineer, Eugeniusz moved to Dundalk to take up a position as an architectural technician.
He has since retrained and is now working in Print Express on The Ramparts after learning about graphics and how to use the computer programme ‘Photoshop’.
Eugeniusz met his bride-to-be, Anna, here in Dundalk. The 34-year-old works in The Veterinary Hospital on the Avenue Road. The couple will be married at home in Poland later this week.
“It’s been a really busy time for me planning these two events but I love to organise things. I really enjoyed planning everything for Simul Polonia’s Family Day and for my wedding,” said Eugeniusz.
“There are a lot of big things happening for me at the moment. I have a new job; I helped to co-ordinate the Family Day; and I will be getting married soon. It’s a very exciting time.”
Simul Polonia’s Family Day was supported by the European Union’s PEACE III Progamme as awarded by Louth Peace and Reconciliation Partnership.
“The Family Day provided all of us with the opportunity to build ties with the wider community, to strengthen the Polish community in the locality and to demonstrate a positive image of our culture and traditions,” said Eugeniusz.
“The day allowed non Polish people to come and share food, conversation and friendship with the local Polish community. We had a number of activities on the day that I hope people enjoyed. In this simple manner, we can bridge any gaps that separate us.”