Piątek, 5 marca 2021
Najstarszy na świecie polskojęzyczny biuletyn internetowy
1987 - 2021
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Msza św. "na żywo" w Saint Hyacinth Parish Ottawa
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1938 - 2021
Walter Gretzky, father of The Great One, dies at 82
Walter Gretzky, the ultimate Canadian hockey dad who taught and nurtured The Great One, has died. He was 82.
The father of Wayne Gretzky became a name himself, a constant in Wayne's world. As Wayne's star ascended, Walter remained a blue-collar symbol of a devoted hockey parent in a country filled with them.
Wayne Gretzky confirmed his father's death on Thursday night with a social media post.
The two were also often intertwined, their father-son story used in commercials from Tim Hortons to Coca-Cola. And following in the footsteps of Alexander Graham Bell, they made Brantford, Ont., famous.
Walter was celebrated for far more than just fathering a superstar, however. His down-to-earth, no-airs approach to life and devotion to his family struck a chord with Canadians.
Walter's celebrity status increased after making a remarkable recovery from a stroke suffered in 1991. His autobiography and a 2005 made-for-TV movie told the story.
Walter Gretzky was the son of immigrants — a Polish mother and Russian father — who started a vegetable farm in 1932 in Canning, Ont., just outside Brantford, on the Nith River, where Wayne learned to skate when he was two. They bought it for $600.
Walter's father Tony, whose parents had emigrated to the U.S., came to Canada from Chicago to enlist during the First World War with his name switching to Gretzky from Gretsky because he did not know how to write in English. Walter's mother Mary came to Canada by herself in 1921 as an 18-year-old.
Walter's parents met in Toronto in the 1930s. He was the fifth of seven children.
He played minor hockey in Paris, Ont., then junior B for four years in Woodstock. He went on to play some senior hockey but said he wasn't good enough to play pro.
Walter met Phyllis, his wife to be, at a wiener roast at the family farm. She was 15 at the time. Three years later, they got married.
Wayne was the first born in 1961, followed by Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent. Keith and Brent also played professional hockey.
The same year as Wayne was born, Walter fractured his skull in a work accident as a Bell lineman. He spent some time in a coma and was off work for 18 months. Left deaf in his right ear, he was eventually transferred to another Bell department and became an installer/repairman.
The winter when Wayne was four, his father turned the backyard of their Brantford home into a rink which young Wayne called The Wally Coliseum. From the time he was a tot, Wayne wanted to do nothing but play hockey.
Walter decided to make his own rink to avoid having to freeze standing outdoors at some outdoor rink elsewhere — or sit in his car with the engine running to get some heat — while Wayne skated. Gas was too expensive, he said.
``It truly, truly was self-preservation,'' he explained.
Walter fed his eldest child's obsession, recruiting bigger kids for Wayne to practise against in the backyard rink, and finding him a spot on a team of 10-year-olds when he was six.
Walter Gretzky Honoured with the Gold Polish Combatants’ Cross
The WWII Polish Combatants’ Association’s national conference was hosted by the local Combatant’s Br#4 at the Polish Hall on Pearl St. over the August 2nd weekend. This three-day conference drew people from across Canada, Poland, United States and England.
The PCA was conceived in 1946 and it’s the first time in 73 years that Brantford has been chosen to host it. We were also honoured to have WWII veterans and survivors present at the conference, including many VIP’s.
Last year the Polish community celebrated the 100th anniversary of Polish freedom in 1918, post WWI. This year on September 1st, will mark 80 years since Nazi Germany attacked Poland, followed two weeks later by Communist Russia.
Canada, at the outbreak of WWI, came to Poland’s defense immediately. Due to this and many other reasons, both Canada and Poland have shared a unique and connected relationship for many years.
We felt that this conference was an appropriate time to acknowledge Walter Gretzky’s Polish lineage and his ongoing support and contribution to veterans of all nations.
Read all very long but interesting story of the Gretzky family and their Polish roots: