Historic Sites of Manitoba: First Poles Monument (Birds Hill Provincial Park, RM of Springfield)
In 1817, the De Meuron Swiss regiment recruited by Lord Selkirk arrived in the Red River Settlement. Among the soldiers were Michael Bardowicz, Pierre Gandrowski, Andrew Jankowski, Michael Kaminski, Martin Kralich, Wojciech Lasota, Laurent Kwileski, John Wasilowski, Michael Isaak, and Antoine Sabacki. When the unit was disbanded, they stayed and settled. Some of them appear to have departed for the United States following a massive flood in 1826.
A monument in the Rural Municipality of Springfield on Nimonin Road, in Birds Hill Provincial Park, commemorates these first Poles. An affixed plaque was funded by the Association of Polish Priests in Manitoba. Located near the Pine Ridge Cemetery, the monument was unveiled on 24 June 1971 with a blessing from Association’s President Father A. Hubich, with Consumer Affairs Minister Ben Hanuschak representing the provincial government.
[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 1971, page 2.
We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 28 April 2019
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