Casimir & Constance Drygas Honored
By Polish University Club
Casimir and Constance Drygas have the honor of sharing the Polish University Club’s Sixth Meritorious Member Award. The award was presented at the 85th Scholarship Ball of the P.U.C. which was held on February 16, 2014.
Fondly known as Connie and Caz, they met each other through a mutual love of singing at Sacred Heart Church in Irvington, New Jersey. They have been a dynamic team ever since. They married in 1951 and dedicated their married lives to their family, Polish heritage, education and a deep and continuing love of choral music.
Casimir graduated from Newark College of Engineering with a BS in Civil Engineering. He earned a Professional Engineering License in Fire Protection in 1983 and retired from Marsh & McLennan in 1997 as a vice President and Senior Fire Protection Consultant. He became a member of the PUC in 1959, served in many offices and became President in 1965. In 1984, after 25 years, he became a Life Member. He has been an active member throughout these past 52 years, currently serving as the club’s First Vice President and Chairperson of this year’s Ball.
Constance joined the Women’s Auxiliary in 1961 and became a member of the PUC when the Auxiliary dissolved.
After moving their family to Rockland County NY in 1965, they both were involved in local schools and education in their community.
Constance served as a tireless volunteer and then employee of the Nyack Schools for over 30 years. In 1989 when rules changed for employment, she returned to school and earned her AA degree in Elementary Education, with a Junior Great Books Certification from The Empire State College. She retired from active teaching in 2001. She was instrumental in chartering three Parent Teacher Organizations at the Middle School, Junior High and High School. Both she and Casimir became Life Members of the NY State PTA and received the Eddy (Educational Excellence) Award from the Rockland County School Boards Association.
Casimir chaired a $63,000,000.00 Bond Issue which was successfully approved to redistrict the existing Nyack schools and built a new Middle and High school in 1987. Casimir was also devoted to the Boys Scout movement for 15 years.
Constance served on the Board of the Valley Cottage Library for 15 years, knowing how books and reading were so important to a community.
In 1991 they organized the George Bryant Organ Scholarship Fund for students studying sacred organ music.
Their love of choral music continued throughout their married lives. As parishioners of St. Ann’s church in Nyack NY they continue to sing in the church choir and the Rockland County Catholic Choir to this day.
They had the experience of traveling to Rome to sing for Pope John Paul IT in the Vatican. Thanks to her command of the Polish language, Connie personally greeted the Pope.
Ask them about their lives, they would say that they have three successful children and six exemplary grandchildren. They remark that it continues to be a good one with “….the focus of life having always been Family, Education, Music, and Friends linked with our Polish Heritage!”
– Polish University Club of New Jersey