Receives ACPC National
American Council for Polish Culture President, Tom Payne,
presents the Distinguished Service Award to Richard Poremski
By Michael Carnahan
In Baltimore, as in many major metropolitan areas, there is a rich history of ethnic diversity. Whether Greek, Italian, Polish, German, or another culture, there are those who lead and who promote the heritage from which they hail. And at times others recognize the contributions of these leaders.
In photo: Richard Poremski holding award
On August 10th, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, one such Baltimore leader was recognized for his tireless efforts to promote Polish and Polish-American culture, as he received the Distinguished Service Award of the American Council for Polish Culture at the organization’s annual convention. This award recognizes outstanding contributions and commitments to the Polish-American community and to Poland, and certainly it was well deserved in this case.
Richard Poremski, a long-time advocate for Baltimore, Polonia and Poland, was selected for this award, which he richly deserved. For decades Poremski has served in a variety of capacities with multiple organizations in and around Baltimore. Currently, her serves as the Chairman of the National Katyn Memorial Foundation, as Vice President of Polish National Alliance Council 21, as Judge Advocate for the Department of Maryland of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, and as a Board Member of the Polish Home Club, and that’s the beginning of the list..
It’s not surprising that Poremski has built such a history of service to a community that he holds near and dear. He started his service career in the United States Army (Reserves) 1966-1975, after which he joined the service industry at the Port of Baltimore. Believing that his brothers and sisters at the Port deserved the best representation possible, he ran for, and was elected to, office in the International Longshoremen’s Association. Eventually he moved on to protecting their retirements, representing two management/union benefits trust funds for longshoremen/women. In all, Poremski’s time at the port spanned over five decades, culminating in his quiet and humble retirement last November.
With his new found free time, he spends countless hours devoted to his calling of service within the Polish community. He travels frequently to the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC, and he also reports on those activities and others for several prominent Polish publications throughout the country, including the Polish American Journal, for which he serves as the Washington, DC correspondent, and Zgoda, the official magazine of the Polish National Alliance.
Photo: The Etched Glass Distinguished Service Award
He also enjoys putting this writing talents to use telling the stories of local Polish individuals and families, such as the success of one immigrant who celebrated becoming a citizen last year, and a mother and daughter duo who were the first-ever such recipients of college scholarships from the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland. Additionally, Poremski greatly enjoys the local folk group, Ojczyzna Polish Dancers, and he helps to promote them via publicity efforts and articles in those publications for which he writes.
The United States of America is built on the foundation of ethnic groups coming to build better lives and to seek freedoms that did not exist in their homelands. Maintaining that heritage in this country is of utmost importance if future generations are to truly understand the complexities and intricacies of how and why this country was able to become the beacon of hope to so many millions of people from all over the world. Overall, Richard Poremski is the epitome of the leadership required for that heritage to continue to be appreciated, and as he leads selflessly and by his example, he continuously shows others what is meant by a “legacy of service.”