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Nicolaus Copernicus Observance Committee Inc. of Manitoba
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The Nicolaus Copernicus Observance Committee Inc. of Manitoba (NCOC) was formed in 1970 under the auspices of the Association of Polish Priests in Manitoba. The organizing members were Msgr. Z.A.J. Baczkowski of Winnipeg, Manitoba; Rev. M. Trzaskoma of Arborg, Manitoba; and Rev. Jan Sajewicz of East Selkirk, Manitoba. The Committee was incorporated in 1972. The NCOC was created with the goal of commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernik) in 1973. Under the leadership of Committee President Z.A.J. Baczkowski, the NCOC quickly expanded its membership and established strong links within the Polish community in Manitoba, across Canada, and in Poland, gathering strong support for its mission. The NCOC also established strong links with the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature and the Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba.
The Committee was especially successful at soliciting funds (totaling over $30,000), which it used to commission the creation of a solar telescope donated to the Planetarium at the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature.
In 1973, the Committee organized and hosted a number of events to observe the quincentennial anniversary of Copernicus’ birth, including:
- A Wine and Cheese reception at Winnipeg Planetarium (Jan. 14, 1973)
- A concert of Polish Renaissance music at the University of Manitoba School of Music (February 16, 1973)
- “Celebration Copernicus” event at the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature (Feb. 18 to Apr. 1, 1973)
- A dedication ceremony commemorating the donation of the solar telescope and the Copernicus Room at the Planetarium, which was attended by Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden (Feb. 18, 1973)
- A reception at Manitoba Government House attended by Lieutenant Governor William John McKeag (Feb. 19, 1973)
- A poster contest for Manitoba schoolchildren on the theme of Copernicus organized by the NCOC’s Educational Advisory Subcommittee
- The naming of Copernicus Hill in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, Manitoba and a naming ceremony (Sep. 15, 1973)
- A ceremony in honour of Dr. Wilhemina Iwanowska , director of the Astronomical Observatory in Torun, Poland (Oct. 19, 1973)
The Committee was headquartered at 254 Arnold Avenue in Winnipeg. Its membership and Board of Directors featured many prominent members of the local Polish community in Winnipeg, including Mary Adamowska Panaro (Treasurer), Stan Millan (Finance Chairman), Stan Wujec (Convenor of Finance), J.J. Marek, Walter Turek, and Ronald Januszkiewicz. Its honourary members included Laurent Desjardins, Ben Hanuschak, Mayor Stephen Juba, Judge Peter Taraska, and Henry Duckworth.
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The authority record was created and uploaded in 2020.