Outstanding Canadians of Polish descent – by dr Jan W. Zamorski

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Outstanding Canadians of Polish descent – by dr Jan W. Zamorski

Peter John Gzowski
(1934-2002)
Peter Gzowski’s contribution to Cana- dian media was unparalleled.
In his career he has made enormous achievements in the field of radio and press journalism, primarily in his famo- us show on CBC radio, Morning- side. Thanks to his friendly and unique style, Gzowski has conducted over 27,000 interviews – ones that make competitors unable to match him.
Gzowski was born in 1934 in Toronto, Ontario. His parents were Margaret McGregor and Harold Edward Gzow- ski. His paternal great-grandfather was Sir Colonel Casimir Gzowski, a Polish-born engineer and governor of the pro- vince of Ontario. He attended the Uni- versity of Toronto, but never graduated. Despite this, he later received eleven honorary doctorates.
At the age of 28, he became the youn- gest editor-in-chief of a leading periodi- cal in Canada, MacLean’s. From 1969 to1970 Gzowski hosted his first radio broadcast Radio-Free Friday, after which he hosted CBC’s “This Country in the Morning.” From 1976 to 1978, he ran the program 90 Minutes Live on CBC, and in 1982 he returned to radio programing, with his show titled “Morningside”.
Over the years he has received many distinctions, such as: an officer of the Order of Canada in 1997, the Interna- tional Peabody Award for journalism and the gold medal of the Canadian Geographical Society. He died of lung disease in Toronto in 2002.
“We need spring. We need it desperately and usually before God wants to give it to us.”
Peter Gzowski

Janusz Żurakowski
(1914-2004)
The first man who broke the sound barrier in flight by plane is Lieutenant-Colonel pilot Janusz Żurakowski of the Sas coat of arms. He was born on September 12, 1914 in Ryżawka in the Ukraine of Podolia and died on February 9, 2004 in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, Canada. Żurakowski was the defender of the Homeland in 1939, and then the defender of the London sky. After the war, he became a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Forces. Żurakowski sat at the controls of planes starting at the age of fifteen. In 1935 he graduated from the Aviation Reserve Cadet School, and two years later from the Aviation Cadet School in Dęblin. He was assigned to the 161th Fighter Squadron of the 6th Air Regiment in Lwów. In the RAF in Great Britain he commanded the 316 Warsaw fighter squadron.
Żurakowski was the tester of most types of RAF fighters and planes in the British and American navies. Known for his ability to perform aerial aerobatics, he developed and made many new figures, such as the Zurabatic Cartwheel and Falling Leaf, which was previously regarded as impossible to watch by professionals. His aerobatic show at Farnborough was legendary. He also beat the record for the fastest speek travelling from London to Copenhagen to London. In all, he flew close to one hundred new aircraft constructions.
Starting in 1952 Żurakowski lived in Canada. He worked as an experimental pilot at the Avro Canada plant and was the first pilot to test the first Canadian interceptor CF-100 Canuck, which was considered one of the most modern aircrafts in the 1950s. It was during this flight where Żurakowski became the first Canadian airman to overcome the speed barrier and reach 1000 miles per hour. In March 1958, he began testing the interceptor CF-105 Arrow. According to experts, it was the best supersonic fighter aircraft of that time, equipped with the most modern navigation and communication equipment and electronic fire control.
In retirement, Żurakowski was an owner of a scouting camp at Kartuzy Lodge in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, which was popular with Canadian Polonia. The city of Barry’s Bay created a park named in honour of Żurakowski and contains his monument and a model of the CF-105 Arrow aircraft.
Featured among others, Żurakowski had an honorary membership to the International Association of Pilots in Los Angeles, which put his name on the list of the greatest aviators of all time. He was honoured with the title “Pioneer of Canadian aviation” and membership to the Canadian “Hall of Fame”. He received a very valuable McKee Trophy for merit. He received many battle decorations for participating in missions in Germany and in the Battle of Britain, including the Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour (three times). In 1996, a Canadian dollar coin with the face value of 20 Canadian dollars was issued with his image.

Donald Mazankowski
(1935-2020)
Donald Mazankowski “Don” PC, OC, AOE reached the top in Canadian politics. He served as a cabinet minister under Prime Ministers Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney, and was appointed de- puty Prime Minister under the admini- stration of Mulroney. After his political career, he joined the law firm Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson LLP and serves as director or trustee in several companies, including Shaw Communications and Power Corporation of Canada. Mazan- kowski was born to a Polish family in Alberta in 1935. Before politics he ma- naged a car dealership. He is a member of Albert’s Progressive Conservative Party. In 1968, Mazankowski was elec- ted a member of the Canadian House of Commons from the Vegreville District in Alberta. During his premiership, Clark Mazankowski was the minister of transport and then promoted to deputy prime minister. He was a delegate on the free trade agreement between Canada and the USA and the NAFTA free trade agreement.
Under the administration of Mulroney, Mazankowski was appointed Minister of Finance in 1991. Mazankowski then continued to work in the private sector in various organizations, as well as the University of Alberta. However, he remained involved in politics. In 2002, Mazankowski was the head of an investigation into the health care system in Alberta and managed the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance Party.
In 2000, he was awarded as an officer of the Order of Canada. Two years later he received the “Albert Order of Excellence” award.
Mazankowski is one of the few Canadians who have been given the British title “The Right Honourable”. There are very few men of this calibre in Canadian politics.

The Right Honourable Don Mazankowski (CNW Group/The Family of Don Mazankowski)

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