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London: Church honours Islington's first Polish mayor

Presentation Committee

Presentation Committee

Islington's first Polish Mayor Cllr Stefan Kasprzyk has received a special addition to his mayoral chain from Our Lady of Czestochowa - the Catholic church at the heart of the Polish community in Islington.

In a special bi-lingual ceremony at The Town Hall, an assembled audience of Polish VIPs saw Cllr Kasprzyk receive two enamelled White Eagle crests, the national symbol of Poland.

The badges - one for himself and one for his consort - were added to their chains of office in recognition of the strong link between the church and the borough's significant Polish community, which Cllr Kaspryzyk is proud to represent.

A visibly-moved Mayor, whose parents settled in the north of the borough in the 1940s, said he was a 'Product of Our Lady of Czestochowa' - also known as 'The Polish Catholic Church in Devonia Road' - and praised their work in the community.

The church in N1, assumed a greater significance during the World War II when, following the Nazi occupation of Poland and the fall of France, the building became the focal point of the free Polish Church in Europe.

Chairman of the Parish Community Ryszard Protasiewicz made a speech praising Islington's part in the social history of Poles in the capital; many Poles settled here during and after World War II.

Cllr Kasprzyk's Mayoralty ends on 14 May when Islington Council will elect a new Mayor for the year ahead.