Dedication of the Walter Golaski Historical Markerby Peter J. Obst
May 17, 2014
At noon, on Saturday May 17th, approximately sixty people gathered on Lancaster Walk, near 34th Street, on Drexel University's campus to witness the dedication of a marker for Dr. Walter Golaski, a well-respected member of American Polonia, biomedical engineer and former Chairman of the Kosciuszko Foundation Board of Trustees. This official marker was approved last year by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The event, organized by the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia with assistance from the Poles in America Foundation, was opened by president Marie Hejnosz with a welcome to those assembled. Richard Sand, member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, spoke on behalf the Commonwealth. Then a tribute letter from the Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, was read. Kosciuszko Foundation President John Micgiel spoke about the time when he worked with Dr. Golaski at the Foundation. He was followed by Consul General of Poland Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka who stressed the Polish contribution to America. Philadelphia City Comptroller Alan Butkovitz mentioned the importance of industry and innovation to the city, which Dr. Golaski exemplified.
Among those present was Walter Golaski's widow, Alexandra; daughter Alexandra; sons Johnpaul and Edmund, and granddaughter Jessica.
Speaking for the family, Edmund Golaski mentioned a few anecdotes from his father's life and the fact that his workshop had stood near this very spot at 3339 Lancaster Ave. Then the family members rose and grasped a cord securing the cover over the tall marker. On a count of three, the cord went taut, velcro fastenings gave way, the cover peeled back revealing a handsome blue and gold sign.
Walter GolaskiAfter the family had a chance to take some photographs at the marker, the entire group, including friends of the Golaski family and members of Polonia, retired for lunch at the nearby Paul Peck Alumni Center of Drexel University. This was the third historical marker dedicated under Polish Heritage Society auspices in Philadelphia. The next historical marker to be dedicated in Philadelphia, probably in mid-2015, will be for the legendary conductor and musical director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski. Additional information about the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia may be found under www.polishcultureacpc.org/orgs/PHSP.html
A Polish-American engineer and inventor. In the 1960s Drexel graduate Golaski perfected the Dense Knit Dacron Vascular Prosthesis, the first practical artificial blood vessel replacement, a life-saving medical advance. He began his career designing innovative machinery for the knitting industry, for which he received numerous patents. He encouraged scholarly and cultural exchange between Poland and the US. His workshop was here for many years.
Photos by Peter Obst
Richard Sand from the PA Historical and Museum Commission, Polish Heritage Society President Marie Hejnosz
Consul of the Republic of Poland Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka
Kosciuszko Foundation President John Micgiel
Edmund Golaski speaks on behalf of his family
City of Philadelphia Comptroller, Alan Butkovitz
Debbie Majka, Janusz Romanski and _______
The historical marker sees the light of day (photo: Jim Garrity)
Golaski Family and Friends (photo: Jim Garrity)
(l. to r.) Johnpaul Golaski, Edmund Golaski, Alexandra Golaszewska, Edward Golaski, Marie Hejnosz, Jessica Slayton, Ryan Wilmoth, Alexandra Golaski,
Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, Debbie Majka, Alan Butkovitz, Janusz Romanski; (rear row) Peter Obst, John Micgiel, Richard Sand
Peter Obst (center) and parents Melania and Bonifacy Obst (photo: Jim Garrity)
Peter Obst, City of Philadelphia Comptroller Alan Butkovitz, Janusz Romanski (photo: Jim Garrity)
Peter Obst, Debbie Majka, Janusz Romanski (photo: Jim Garrity)
The Walter Golaski Historical Marker (photo: Alexandra Golaszewska)