Polish Falcons Make Aid Available to Flooded Texans & Floridians
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by Hurricanes Harvey & Irma. As with any natural disaster, if you are a PFA Member in good standing who has been affected, relief funds are available. Contact Druhna Chris Puskar at 800-535-2071 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org learn more about obtaining funds.
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The PFA Disaster Relief Fund was established to help Members in need due to a natural disaster. If you would like to contribute to the PFA Disaster Relief Fund, please mail a check payable to Polish Falcons of America, 381 Mansfield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Please specify that your donation is to the PFA Disaster Relief Fund. We thank you in advance for your support.
Polish Falcons of America, 381 Mansfield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Cambridge Springs Trolley Station Opens
Submitted by Elaine Rachocki on Tue, 06/20/2017 – 17:26
Message About Loss of Riverside`
Submitted by Elaine Rachocki on Sun, 05/07/2017 – 16:27
A Message to the Community of Cambridge Springs and Alliance College Alumni
The entire Alliance College family mourns the tragic loss of The Riverside Inn in Cambridge Springs, Pa. The news of the fire was heart breaking. The Riverside Inn held a special place in our history and in our hearts. For us, the Inn was truly one of the last vestiges of Alliance College in Cambridge Springs.
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When enrollment was at a peak in the 1960’s, the grand Riverside Inn served as a dormitory during the off season for Alliance students.
Through the decades, the Riverside Inn hosted countless weddings and special events involving our alumni. The Inn was the site of our reunions, alumni and board meetings. The beauty of the Inn, and the commitment of the employees of the Riverside Inn was incredible.
By all historical accounts, when the Rider Hotel (then home of Alliance College) burned down in 1931, the Community of Cambridge Springs were heart broken, and together with the Alliance family mourned our loss.
Today, we mourn together again.
To Mayor Gorske, the Halliday family, Jeremy Ball, the employees and the Community of Cambridge Springs our sympathy is extended by the loss of this icon which has held such a special place in our hearts.
On Behalf of the Alliance College Alumni Association,
President, Alliance College Alumni Association
Internet Links Showing The Fire’s Magnitude
by Lori Burke
by Jeremy Ball, Riverside Manager
100th Anniversary, WWI Haller’s Polish Army Officer Training Academy in CS
Submitted by Elaine Rachocki on Sat, 03/25/2017 – 19:19
2017 – the 100th Anniversary of World War I Haller’s Polish Army
Officer Training Academy in Cambridge Springs
by David Matejczyk
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of a unique army that fought along side the United States and its allies in World War I. Known both as “Haller’s Army” and the “Blue Army” this force with ties to the former Alliance College and Cambridge Springs fought courageously with United States troops and its allies in World War I.
An announcement in Poland that 2017 will mark a year of honoring General Jozef Haller for his role in fighting for a free and independent Poland, and specifically for his heroics on the battlefield has resulted in a new found appreciation for Haller’s Army.
In a recent “Heard and Seen” article by Janet Beanland of The Meadville Tribune, the reporter had a column reviewing what was “making news” in Cambridge Springs in 1917. Among the items was a notation that on March 23, 1917, there was a “gathering at the Polish National Alliance College welcoming Polish Falcons who were training for active duty in World War I.”
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The Polish Falcons of America formally opened a training academy for future officers of the Haller’s Army at the Polish National Alliance College in Cambridge Springs 100 years ago this month, on March 19, 1917.
Over the next two years over 400 future officers and enlistees in Haller’s Army were housed in the old Rider Hotel, and trained on the Ross Avenue field and throughout the Alliance College campus. They were eager to fight for their new country the United States, and at the same time be fighting for independence of their homeland of Poland.
During last year’s Cambridge Springs Sesquicentennial Celebration, photographs and a history of the training of future officers in the Polish army who would serve in Europe during World War I were shown and discussed during the Alliance College History Night. Many of the photographs and materials were from the archives of the Cambridge Springs Heritage Society.
At a presentation during the Alliance College Reunion Weekend, the history of Haller’s Army and its connection to Alliance College and Cambridge Springs were presented. Included in the photographs of the troops was a striking photograph of soldiers training on Ross Avenue field in the shadow of the former Rider Hotel (then known as the Polish National Alliance College). Helen Dziob, an Alliance alumnus who was the daughter of one of General Jozef’s Haller’s closest aides, Captain Frank Dziob was introduced. Captain Dziob was the Polish Falcons director of the officer training program held in Cambridge Springs. He was also instrumental is establishing a very large training camp at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada.
It was recently announced that in the coming months Polish Public Television will be filming a documentary in the United States and Canada on Haller’s Army, focusing on the military actions of Polish Americans in 1917 and 1918. Over 20,000 troops were recruited in the United States and Canada for service in Haller’s Army. A recent press release noted the film crew will visit various cities in the United States and Niagara-on-the Lake, Canada. A large commemorative marker is in the downtown of the Canadian town. Each year a memorial service is held in the community.
It is not known if the Polish film crew will visit Cambridge Springs, which played a unique role in Haller’s Army.
Unfortunately, the role and connection of Cambridge Springs and Alliance College to this historic army are often overlooked, and long forgotten.
Some history is in order. The formation of Haller’s Army paralleled the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917. Future Polish Prime Minister Ignacy Paderewski had formed a warm relationship with United States President Woodrow Wilson. Paderewski submitted a proposal to the President calling for the acceptance of Polish-American volunteers for service on the Western Front.
In 1917, President Wilson would issue formal approval: “That recruitment to the Polish Army all those who do not fall in the category of potential recruitment into the United States forces is hereby approved without impediments.” The soldiers were mostly recent Polish immigrants who were not yet American citizens.
Paderewski the year before was in Cambridge Springs. He believed the Polish National Alliance College was a natural choice for the training academy. He stayed on campus at the former Rider Hotel and addressed the 1916 graduates of the college.
Haller’s Army would first see battle in France while relieving the Tennessee “Wildcat” 81st Division at the front in the Battle of Champaign. It would become the first time the colors of the United States and Poland would fly together in battle in World War I.
The New York Times in a dispatch on the war noted that the French Military Mission in Washington received notification of the first casualty of Haller’s Army, Lieutenant Lucyien Chwalkowski. The New York Times noted Lieutenant Chwalkowski was a 30 year old Polish immigrant who was a military instructor at the Polish Falcons officer training camp in Cambridge Springs. He would be the first of many casualties from Haller’s Army.
One of the recruiters for Haller’s Army was Stanley Luter. Residents of Cambridge Springs, and virtually all alumni of Alliance College fondly remember “Mr. Luter.” Luter served with distinction as a lieutenant in Haller’s Army. An expert swordsman, he engaged in some of the fiercest battles of the war. Luter in 1925 returned to Cambridge Springs, and worked at the college for the next several decades. Unfortunately, the college’s museum which included Luter’s sword, medals and other items relating to Haller’s Army were destroyed in the Rider Hotel fire in 1931. In 1934, General Haller visited Cambridge Springs where he was a guest of honor at Alliance College.
Ironically, Cambridge Springs would play one last coincidental side note as to Haller’s Army. One of the World War I Polish Army’s Chaplain, Father Jozef Jaworkski visited Cambridge Springs in January of 1962. While visiting the college the 81 year old priest fell ill and died.
At the last Alliance College reunion it was noted that at one time a memorial to Polish Americans who trained in Cambridge Springs and fought along American troops in Haller’s Army existed at the top of Thomas Street. It was removed when the college closed. A discussion at the alumni presentation focused on the possibly of locating the World War I memorial to Haller’s Army (or creating a new plaque) and returning it to Cambridge Springs.
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Photographs (located in the photo gallery):
-Polish Army Training on Ross Avenue Field – 1917.
-Officers at the PNAC (Rider Hotel) entrance.
-Polish Statesman Ignacy Paderewski at the Rider Hotel, Cambridge Springs, Pa.
-General Jozef Haller and Captain Francis Dziob. Dziob was the director of the training academy in Cambridge Springs.
-Canadian Government Granting Passage of Troops Document to Captain Francis Dziob.
-New York Times Article noting the First Casualty, Lucyien Chwalkowski, who trained in Cambridge Springs.
Keep the Spirit Alive!
It’s that time of year when we try to remember and summarize the past 12 months, make resolutions for 2016, reset our priorities, plan for vacations, etc, etc.
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Whatever your dreams, may the New Year bring you health, happiness and joy. Please don’t drink and drive. We want you safe and sound so you will be able to attend the next ACAA Reunion October 7-9, 2016 at the Riverside Inn, Cambridge Springs, PA..
One more thing — If you are fortunate to have more money than you need or you’re looking for a tax deduction, please consider the ACAA project of Keeping The Spirit Of Alliance College Alive. The goal is to be able to provide an annual Alliance College Scholarship for many years long after we are all gone. In order to make this dream a reality, a Foundation nest egg of $1 million is needed. Every dollar counts! Can you help? Will you help? Write out a check made out to the ACAAF and mail it to Les Rachocki, ACAA Foundation Treasurer, 249 Bridgewater Lane, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067-4129.
Happy New Year! Szczesliwego Nowego Roku!
The Alliance College Alumni Association
The Alliance College Alumni Association Foundation
Web Site Update
Many thanks to Mary Carr and Elaine Rachocki who have volunteered to be Web Site Administrators. As Administrators, Mary and Elaine will be responsible for updating the web pages from updates submitted by ACAA Board members and other alumni.
Current projects include re-building the Alumni Directories and re-building the Reunion photo albums. There have been many requests for these two items. We have heard your voices!
Help us rebuild the reunion photo albums. Start looking for your reunion photos of years gone by. Email them to email@example.com.
In the subject line, please include which year the reunion occurred. If possible, include the names of the people in the photo and any funny stories in the message area.
Web site content: Keeping the web site up to date and interesting can be a full time job. This would be totally unfair to any individual. So let’s make this commitment that Board members, Chairs, and all alumni are responsible for web site content. The web site depends on all alumni for information and interesting articles. To paraphrase an old expression…it takes a village to keep the web site up to date and interesting.
Thanks to all for your patience and for making us aware of the web pages that are important.