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AMERICAN COMMUNITY PAST & PRESENT
|pastor and served until 1955. The emotional
wounds resulting from this early rift in Polonia have healed through
the years. Each parish has retained a distinct Polish influence and
has ministered to subsequent waves of immigrants.
A truly unifying force for early Polonia was the Polish National Home Association, the DomPolski. In 1909 Stanislaw Wozniak organized a committee to plan the building of a community center. He was elected its first president in 1914 when the building opened. The Dom Polski became Polonia's hub. Weddings, meetings, dances, commemorations, rallies, and Polish and English classes were all held there. Through the Dom Polski, relief efforts for Poland were organized, including a major effort launched in the heady days of Polish independence in 1928. A more recent effort was undertaken during the imposition of martial law in Poland following the first shock waves of the Solidarity movement.
Throughout Polonia's history in Lowell, there have been clubs to foster Polish culture and language, church-affiliated organizations, committees to support naturalization and Americanization," and political clubs.
In 1917, the end of the first stage of Polish settlement in Lowell coincided with the beginning of World War I during which Polonia's sons served in both Polish and American armies. The Polish community of Lowell assimilated more actively Members of Polonia's athletic teams and musical groups began to fan into city-wide teams and organizations.
In the early 1930's, a second, smaller wave of Poles arrived when employees of the Newmarket (textile) Manufacturing Company followed its relocation from Newmarket, New Hampshire to the old Lowell Manufacturing Company on Market Street.
In the early 1940s patriotism again prompted Polonia's sons and daughters to serve in World War II in the United States Armed Forces and in Red Cross efforts. Returning veterans formed the nucleus of the Polish-American Veterans Association which built the PAV Hall in 1952. A few members were willing to take personal financial risks in order to accomplish this effort.
The end of the war also saw the arrival of a new group to Polonia. Families, displaced by the
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