Obituary – Anna Alina Zurakowski
Anna was born in beautiful Lancut, Poland on December 3, 1921.
During World War II she worked as a radio announcer and newspaper reporter. Anna married Janusz Zurakowski in Paris, France shortly after the war. She lived in England until 1952 when they moved to Canada, where Anna ran a gift shop in the Polish district of Toronto on Roncesvalles Avenue. Worth mentioning, her husband Janusz Zurakowski (1914-2004) was a Polish fighter and test pilot, who, at various times, lived and worked in Poland, the United Kingdom (defended England during WWII) and in Canada where he worked as a test pilot for A V Roe Canada. He was known for breaking the sound barrier on 11th of December, 1952, diving the CF-100 fighter; the first straight-winged jet aircraft to achieve this feat (his company was forced to close down and the ambitious program was scraped).
After Janusz lost his job at A V Roe in 1960, they moved to the north of Ontario and opened “Kartuzy Lodge” in Barry’s Bay. It was a small tourist lodge and resort which he and his family operated for over 40 years.
Anna Zurakowski was very active in cultural and heritage circles, and was President of the Polish Heritage Institute – “Kaszuby” – for several years. She authored several books and publications and was a contributor to Polish newspapers. Among various awards Anna was also a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1966).
She passed away in Barry’s Bay in Ontario on September 6th, 2015. Her funeral was held on September 9th in Barry’s Bay in Ontario. Anna is survived by sons George (Julie), Mark (Susan) and grandchildren Krysia and Paul, Robin (Ian), Tamara and Paige (John) and great-grandchildren Ben and Arie, Jake and Nicholas and Isla.
By Arleta Sziler