Statement issued Tuesday:
Mayor Tom Henry dedicated the Plock Friendship Garden today at the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department Community Center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fort Wayne’s relationship with Plock. The Mayor was joined by Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll, members of the delegation from Fort Wayne’s sister city Plock and members of the Fort Wayne Sister Cities’ board of directors.
“Fort Wayne is truly blessed to have a Sister City as charming as Plock, Poland,” said Mayor Henry. “For 20 years we have built strong friendships and cultural exchanges that enrich our community. I hope that our wonderful visit to Plock in May and this visit from our Polish Sister City marks the beginning of 20 more years of great relationships and exchanges that benefit us both. May this friendship garden represent the beauty of our first 20 years and the growth and potential of the years to come.”
The Plock Friendship Garden is a round paver patio landscaped with a low boxwood hedge, an annual bed and three park benches. The granite monument that will be placed in the center of the patio has the Plock city seal on one side and the following inscription on the other side:
PLOCK, POLAND– FORT WAYNE, INDIANA
SISTER CITIES PARTNERSHIP,ESTMARCH 7, 1990
PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING FORA MORE PEACEFUL WORLD
“We’re pleased that we had the support of private partners like John Deere and Triscape, and many others, to ensure this project will be completed as planned,” said Moll.
To celebrate the dedication, sixteen dancers from the Fort Wayne Ballet Youth Company danced “Fanfare for Sisters” composed by David Crowe. The composition was in honor of the cultures of Fort Wayne’s sister cities Plock (Poland), Gera (Germany)andTakaoka (Japan). The dance steps and costumes represented the cultures of those cities and the dance contained steps from the Polish Polonaise. Banners representing each culture were utilized in the dance and were designed by Fort Wayne Ballet’s costumer, Tess Heet. The choreography was created by Joellen Wojtowicz, director of the FW Ballet Youth Company.
The Wisla Song and Dance Ensemble gave a musical sample of what they will perform at the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre Tuesday evening at 8 pm. Tickets are free. The Wisla Ensemble is an amateur group comprised mostly of young university students who are driven by a passion for recreating folk dances from centuries past. Organized in the mid ‘90s, it was officially recognized by the House of Culture of the city of Plock. Wisla is a member of the Conference of International Organizations of Folkloric Festivals. In 1997, Wisla was selected to represent Poland at the Fourth International Folkloric Festival held in Sicily. Also in the same year, the Ensemble was awarded second place in a world-wide competition held in Belgium.
The following companies have donated time and/or labor to the construction of the Plock Memorial Garden: John Deere Landscapes, Triscape Inc., East Allen Ag, Masolite, Trelan Landscape Supply, Bueschings Peat Moss, Birkmeier & Sons Monuments.