Newry.ie

Dan Gebski jest dumnym Polakiem.

Ale 40-latek wraz z jego rodzina sercem jest w Irlandi.

Dan opuścił swoje domowe miasto w Częstochowie w 2004 roku, aby pracować dla firmy recyklingowej w Lurgan.

Piętnaście lat później, ozenil sie z dziewczyna z Newry o imieniu Aislin z ktora mają małego synka Daniela.

Dan Gebski. Photographs: NewRayPics.com
Dan Gebski. Zdjęcia: NewRayPics. - Dan Gebski. Photographs: NewRayPics.com

"Tęsknię za Polska i moja rodzina, ale myślę, że moje serce jest bardziej w Irlandi," mówi Dan.

“ Doceniam Częstochowę jako miejsce I widze, że istnieje wiele pozytywnych zmian w tym mieście, ale myślę, że moje korzenie są juz tutaj.

Dan spędził dziecinstwo na farmie u Dziadkow poza miastem w malej wiosce kolo Kielc.

Wychował się w ubogiej części Częstochowy, która była bogata w ducha Wspólnoty.

To zaszczepiło w nim silne poczucie tożsamości i aktywizmu w  pokazalo fundamenty dla jego solidnych przekonan Socjalistycznych.

Dan wspomina bardzo milo jego dziecinstwo.

"Moje najlepsze wspomnienia jako dziecko z Polski wiazaly sie z duchem zabawy I dobra pogodą, " mówi.

"Dzieci bawiły się razem,I sasiedztwo trzymalo sie razem. Kolejnym wspaniałym wspomnieneim bylo dorastanie na farmie u mojej babci.

"Spędziłem każde lato z dziadkami i pamiętam to bardzo dobrze. Lato było tam piękne. Zimy były również piękne, jak zawsze było dużo śniegu.I bylo co robic inie nudzilo mi sie.

Jako nastolatek Dan uczęszczał do Technikum Ochrony Srodowiska I nastepnie udal sie do Uniwersytetu Zarzadzania I Marketingu w ktorych spedzil dwa lata.

Następnie podjal decyzję o przeniesieniu się do Irlandi.

"To chyba najlepsza rzecz, która mnie spotkala w zyciu... jak do tej pory..! "mówi.

Spędził dwa lata pracując w Lurgan przed przeprowadzka 20 mil na południe do miasta Newry, gdzie wylądował jako Oficer Bezpieczeństwa w porcie w Warrenpoint.

Tam poznał jego obecna żonę, Aislin.

"Pracowaliśmy razem, " powiedział Dan

"Ona jest bardzo, bardzo piękna I madra dziewczyna. Na początku byłem trochę nieśmiały, aby zapytać ja o spotkanie, ale w końcu zdobylem sie na odwage.

"Widywalismy sie przez rok gdzie po tym udalem sie do jej rodzicow aby spytac czy moglbysmy razem zamieszkac. To nie jest Polska tradycja,ale chciałem odwiedzić jej rodzicow I powiedzieć im kim jestem I jakie sa moje intencje.Rodzice nie mieli zadnych zastrzezen  "

Dan i Aislin maja syna o imieniu Daniel, i w dniu jego chrzcin, Dan jak w polskiej tradycji przystalo poprosil o reke Aislin za pozwoleniem jej taty Paula.

Slub i Wesele bylo trzy lata temu w hotelu Carrickdale gdzie przybyla cala jego rodzina I znajomi z Polski.

"Rodzinie podobalo sie Newry i byli zaskoczeni, jacy mili sa tutejsi ludzie i jak zostali goraco przeznich przyjęci, " powiedział Dan. Dluzsza wizyta dała dzadkom z Polski możliwość spędzenia wiecej czasu z ich wnukiem.

Rodzice Dana rowniez spędzili więcej czasu z ich wnuczkiem w zeszłym miesiącu, kiedy to Dan wraz z rodzina odwiedzil Polskę wraz z tesciami, aby świętować swoje 40-te urodziny.

Nauka syna o jego polskich korzeniach ma ogromne znaczenie dla Dana.

Dan in the children's play area close to where he lives.
Dan w tle parku zabaw dla dzieci w pobliżu, gdzie żyje. To on zaczal kampanie aby miejsce zostalo odświeżone i obecnie plany sa w toku zagospodarowania i odnowienia nowego parku zabaw dla dzieci. - Dan in the children's play area close to where he lives. Dan has campaigned to have the area refreshed and at present plans are underway for an new play park at the site.

"Mówię do niego trochę po Polsku, ale on jest zbyt młody na chwilę obecna, aby nauczyć się dwóch języków naraz. Zapisalem go do szkoly polskiej w zeszłym roku, ale to nie byl jeszcze ten czas dla niego,ponieważ rozpoczął P1(podstawowke) i byłoby to zbyt wiele dla niego, aby uczeszcac do dwóch szkół naraz w jego wieku.

"Ale od przyszłego roku pójdzie do Polskiej Szkoły w kazda Sobote. To ważne, ponieważ chcę, aby poznal skąd pochodzi jego tata,jak rowniez jaka jest jego kultura.Zyczylbym sobie rowniez aby Daniel mogl swobodnie komunikować się z dziadkami, ponieważ oni nie mówią po angielsku.

"Ja staram się mówić do niego po Polsku jak najwięcej. Mamy polskie książki w domu i staramy się wspolnie angażować w Polonijnych grupach. Zabieram go na polskie imprezy kulturalne, aby pokazać mu czym jest Polska kultura.

"Jest to dla mnie bardzo ważne, a także dla Daniela. Nie wiem może kiedy Daniel bedzie mial 17 lub 18 lat, może zdecydować pojechac do Polski na stale i byłoby dobrze, gdyby mówił plynnie w jezyku polskim. Dlatego myślę, że to jest dla niego bardzo korzystne, jeśli by tak sie stalo.

"Nasze Polskie korzenie i rodzina są również bardzo ważne i chcę, aby mogli rozmawiać z Danielem po Polsku.

"Jesteśmy bardzo dumni z Daniela i miejmy nadzieję, że jest dla niego swietlana przyszłość. "

Na tylach domu rodzinnego Dana na Carlingford Park Dan spogląda na pusty i nie zagospodarowany obszar zabaw dla dzieci.

W miejscu tym nieletni spotykaja sie aby niestety naduzywac alkoholu i niszczyc mienie.

PHOTO

Dan w tle parku zabaw dla dzieci w pobliżu, gdzie żyje. To on zaczal kampanie aby miejsce zostalo odświeżone i obecnie plany sa w toku zagospodarowania i odnowienia nowego parku zabaw dla dzieci..

Dan zawsze posiadal instynkt aktywizmu społecznościowego, ktorego nauczyl sie gdy dorastał w Częstochowie. Jego pragnienie bezpiecznego i nowego parku zabaw dla swego syna, skłoniło go do skontaktowania się z odpowiednimi agencjami ktore zaowocowaly pozytywna wiadomoscia dla mieszkańców tego rejonu.

Dan zaranzowal spotkanie i kilka tygodni później wraz z urzędnikami Rady Miasta, PSNI Policja i Urzednikami Panstwowymi udalosie uzyskac £100 000 na odnowienie parku I pelnego zastopowania dewastacji rejonu przez tkzw element.

Dan który był członkiem wielu parti politycznych powiedzial że ważne jest, aby ludzie z Polski mieli swoj głos, zwłaszcza ludzie którzy mieszkaja w Irlandii Północnej.

Dan nadmienil, że chciałby aby więcej osób z mniejszości etnicznych i środowisk powinno angazowac się w lokalnej polityce i społecznościach lokalnych.

"Myślę, że to bardzo ważne, aby stać się politycznie slyszalnym i spróbować i dokonać pozytywnych zmian, " dodał.

"Jest ponad 3 500 Polakow w Newry i Mourne i ważne jest, że bysmy mieli nasz głos w roznych waznych dla nas sprawach..

"Potrzebujemy takiego głosu. Zachęcam więc Rodakow do przyłaczania się do grup społecznych czy parti politycznych i grupowej współpracy z naszymi sasiadami z Newry.


Dan Gebski is a proud Pole.

But the 40-year-old's heart, and his young family, is in Ireland.

Dan left his home city of Czestochowa in 2004 to work for a recycling firm in Lurgan.

Fifteen years later, he is married to Newry girl Aislin and they have a little son called Daniel.

"I miss the land and miss my family, but I think my heart is more in Ireland now," says Dan.

"I know Czestochowa and the population has moved on and I think there are many positive changes in the city, but I think my roots are here. I am married to a girl form Newry and we have a beautiful child."

Dan spent many of his early summers running free on his grandparent's farm outside the city of Kielce.

He was raised in a poor area of Czestochowa that was rich in community spirit.

It instilled a strong sense of identity and activism in the young boy and laid the foundations for his solid socialist outlook.

He looks back fondly on his childhood.

"My best memories as a child in Poland were the great summers we had with great weather," he says.

"The children played together and the community were all together. Another great memory is growing up on my grandmother's farm .

"I spent every summer with my grandparents and I remember it very well. The summer was beautiful there. The winters were also beautiful as there was always lots of snow."

Dan with his wife Aislin and son Daniel.
Dan with his wife Aislin and son Daniel.

By his mid teens, Dan attended secondary school for mechanical engineering before studying for two years at the University of Marketing.

He then made the decision to move to Ireland.

"It is probably the best thing to happen to me...so far!," he says.

He spent two years working in Lurgan before moving 20 miles south to Newry where he landed a job as a security officer in Warrenpoint Harbour.

It was there he met his would-be wife, Aislin.

"We worked together," said Dan.

"She is a very, very lovely girl. At the start, I was a bit shy to ask, but finally I asked her out.

"We met once and then saw each other for one year. Then I went to her mummy to ask her if could I go out with Aislin permanently. It's not a Polish tradition, I just wanted to visit her mummy to tell her who I am, and there was no objection whatsoever."

The couple had a son called Daniel, and on his Christening Day, Dan, having got permission to do so from Aislin's dad, got down on one knee and proposed. It was a successful outcome.

They married three years ago in the Carrickdale Hotel, with Dan's family travelling from Poland for the big occasion.

"They loved Newry and were surprised at how nice the people are here and how they were welcomed," said Dan.

The extended visit gave Dan's mum and dad the opportunity to spend quality time with their grandson.

And they spent more time with the little man last month when he visited Poland with his parents to celebrate Dan's 40th birthday.

Teaching his son about his Polish roots is of huge importance to Dan.

"Daniel is half Irish, half Polish," he says.

"I speak to him a bit in Polish, but he's too young at the minute to learn two languages. I signed him to start in the Polish School last year, but I was advised that, because he had only started P1, it would be too much for him to go to two schools at his age.

"But from next year on, he'll go to the Polish School on Saturday mornings. It's important because I want him to learn about where he is from, his culture, and I also want him to communicate with his grandparents because they speak little English.

"So I try to speak Polish to him as much as possible. We have Polish books in the house and we try to engage with Polish communities and I take him to Polish cultural events to show him what Polish culture is about.

"It will be very important to me and also to Daniel. I don't know, maybe when Daniel is 17 or 18, he might decide go to Poland and it wouldn't be good if he didn't speak the language, so I think it is very beneficial to him if he can speak Polish.

"Our roots and family are also very important and I want them to be able to talk to Daniel.

"We are very proud of Daniel and hopefully there is a bigger future for him than there is for us."

The rear of Dan's family home in Carlingford Park looks on to an empty and run-down children's play area.

Desolate for years, it had become a hot-bed for anti-social behaviour and underage drinking.

Dan's instinctive community activism, fermented when growing up in Czestochowa, and his desire for a safe and suitable play park for his son, prompted him to contact the relevant agencies and demand better for residents of the area.

A site meeting a few weeks later with Council officials, the PSNI and elected reps led to a £100,000 new play park on the site and a commitment to maintain it and deter anti-social elements.

Dan - who has been a member of a number of political parties since moving to Ireland 15 years ago - said it is important that people have their voices heard, especially people that have moved to Northern Ireland.

He said he would like to see more people from ethnic minority backgrounds get involved in local politics and local communities.

"I think it is very important to become political and try and make change," he added.

"There are over 3,500 Polish people in Newry and Mourne and it is important that they have a voice in Newry.

"We need a voice. So I would encourage Polish people to join community groups and have your voice heard and work together."

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