The Polish Heritage Society
Welcome Speech to HRH The Duke of Kent
'Your Royal Highness, Minister Counsellor, Professors of Trinity College, distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentleman I would like to thank HRH the Duke of Kent and Minister Counsellor Tomasz Kozlowski representing HE Madame Tuge Erecinska The Polish Ambassador for their attending this historical event.
I would like to thank Professor Aviss for allowing us to place this bust of Fryderyk Chopin in this great School of Music at Trinity College and to thank all our guests for their attendance at this unveiling.
We would also like to thank the Embassy of Republic of Poland, the Polish Cultural Institute, Professor Alexander Ardakov and Mr. George Coelho (whose late Mother studied at the Trinity) for supporting this unveiling.
With Paris in revolutionary turmoil, Chopin left for England in 1848 at the invitation of his Scottish pupil Jane Stirling. Desperately ill with TB, he gave several concerts and numerous receptions in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, at Guildhall and was presented to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Duke of Wellington for whom he played at a private event at Stafford House (now Lancaster House) on My 15th 1848. His reception was enthusiastic but he did not have the strength to benefit from it.
He returned to France and died on the 17th of Oct 1849. Expenses for his funeral and monument were paid for by Jane Sterling. Today`s event is also the inauguration of the Polish Heritage Society whose objective is to ensure, that those Polish Heritage memorials and other remembrances of the Polish people in the United Kingdom are preserved for posterity. I would now like to invite his Royal Highness The Duke of Kent to unveil the bronze bust of Chopin'.
Dr. Marek Stella-Sawicki, KM
Chairman, Polish Heritage Society
Visiting Professor University College London