Maria Chrzanowska


Mrs. Maria Chrzanowska was born on August 16, 1913 in Kuty, in Poland's former eastern territories. Her early childhood coincided with the First World War. As a young woman, she attended the Adam Asnyk Seminary in Lvov and graduated in 1932. She worked several years in the teaching profession before marrying Mr. Jan Chrzanowski, also a teacher. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the couple was blessed with a son, Zbigniew. Called to serve in the army in 1939, Mr. Chrzanowski was forced to leave Kuty, and eventually, Poland. For seven long years, while he fought for the British, he remained separated from his family. In 1946, however, Mrs. Maria Chrzanowska and her young son left Poland to rejoin her husband in Germany. From there they moved to England, and soon thereafter decided to immigrate to Canada.

On May 4, 1948, the Chrzanowskis arrived in Edmonton. Within a couple of years, Maria and Jan welcomed another child into the family: a daughter, Teresa. Almost from the very beginning of their new life in Canada, Maria and Jan Chrzanowski were involved in Edmonton's budding Polish community. For over three impressive decades, Mrs. Maria Chrzanowska worked as a teacher and administrator at the Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish Saturday School. In addition to teaching at the school, she directed the organization of the local Scouts. She also performed various volunteer functions with the Polish Canadian Congress. Then, in 1962, she joined the team who operated the Polish radio broadcasts in Edmonton. For thirty-three years, Mrs. Chrzanowska managed the Polish language program on CKUR.

On July 2, 2003, Maria Chrzanowska, our school's patron, passed away. Past the first anniversary of her death, we continue to mourn her absence. At the 2003-04 year-end celebration, a minute of silence was observed in memory of her and of her husband Jan, who died shortly after his wife. Sadly, no longer will we see them in church, sitting in the front most pews, proudly watching the fruitfulness of their lives' work: children, many of whom were born in Canada, learning the Polish language, culture, and history. Maria Chrzanowska will live on in the hearts and memories of her students and the school, who loved her and recognized her tireless efforts throughout the Polish community in Edmonton.