Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
This year’s rally will be held at Trellis Bay, Beef Island and will celebrate the life of Polish sailor, Wladek Wagner, (1912 to 1992).The event will also highlight Wagner’s ties to this Territory.
The rally will host the Polish Yachting Association of North America under patronage of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and is expected to attract some 300 Polish sailors. The Virgin Islands community is also invited to participate in the activities.
The event’s organisers, Ephraim and Shamora Penn, spoke about the history between the two nations as well as the activities prepared for the event.
Mr. Ephrain Penn said, “By celebrating this event, we are keeping this tradition alive and the BVI and Polish ties connected. At this time we invite the community to come out on Tuesday and support the event.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Shamora Penn detailed the local participation and cultural renditions. Ms. Penn said, “We will have a series of local talent, such as mockojumbies, the Razor Blades, BVI Sky Dancers and others. There will also be a Polish band, so one can expect a night filled with culture.”
According to history, Mr. Wagner was the first Polish citizen to circumnavigate the world and was just 20 years old when he started this voyage, which took him six years and three different vessels to complete. The journey began in 1932 and concluded in 1939.
Mr. Wagner’s return to his native land was interrupted by World War II and as a result, he settled on Bellamy Cay and Trellis Bay. This unexpected turn of events fostered a close friendship between Mr. Wagner, BVI native the late Mr. Obel Penn and many others from the East End/Long Look community.
Mr. Wagner was very instrumental in the advancement of Beef Island, and with the assistance of Mr. Penn and others, developed Trellis Bay, Bellamy Cay, and the first runway at Beef Island, an undertaking which lasted from 1949 to 1958.
Today, this event which forms part of the history of this Territory is celebrated by the family and friends of Mr. Wagner and the Virgin Islands community.
To commemorate this event, the Premier’s Office will sponsor the event along with the Polish Yachting Association of North America.
The event will highlight the raising of the flag and the rendering of the national anthems; welcoming of VIPs and speeches; cocktails for VIP guests onboard the ship ‘Fryderyk Chopin’; a sunset party will also be hosted by WSR organisers; a Polonez dance on the beach; and full moon Party hosted by Aragorn’s Studio.