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The ceremony of unveiling the memorial plaque dedicated to Brother Stefan Franczak

On June 17th 2016 in the Society of Jesus College in Warsaw, Rakowiecka Street 61, took place the ceremony of unveiling the memorial plaque dedicated to Brother Stefan Franczak S.J. The plaque was founded by the nursery CLEMATIS The Source of Good Climbers.

The event was attended by numerous guests. Clematis enthusiasts from The International Clematis Society arrived from Germany, Great Britain, U.S.A., Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Norway and Poland, led by the society President Linda Beutler (U.S.A.) who is also the  curate of Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection. The Society Treasurer Fiona Woolfenden (GB) and the Editor Ken Woolfenden (GB) were also present. Representatives of academic and horticultural institutions and associations took part, amongst them  Prof. D.Sc. hab. Katarzyna Niemirowicz-Szczytt, deacon of  the Faculty of Horticulture, Biotechnology and Landscape Architecture of The Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Barbara Siedlicka – President of The Association of Engineers and Horticultural Technicians NOT in Warsaw, Agnieszka Żukowska – President of Agencja Promocji Zieleni, D.Sc. hab. Jacek Borowski – President of The Polish Dendrology Society, D.Sc. Wiesław Szydło – Vice-President of The Polish Nurserymen Association as well as Jesuit brothers, family, collaborators and friends of Brother Stefan.

The ceremony began in the main hall of the College. Rev. Rector Robert Bujak S.J. welcomed the guests. Afterwards D.Sc. Szczepan Marczyński gave presentation on Brother Stefan and his Clematis. 

After the lecture the guests were invited outside the building where at the A. Boboli Street side the memorial plaque is located. The unveiling was performed by Mazowieckie Province Governor Zdzisław Sipiera. In front of the plaque flowers were placed and the blooming Clematis of ‘Stefan Franczak’ cultivar made an additional decoration. The cultivar was raised by Szczepan Marczyński and named in honour of the famous Polish plant breeder.

The informal part of the event took place in the garden where Stefan Franczak used to raise and select new Clematis cultivars. Nowadays the care of the garden is in hands of the administrative director of the Jesuit College, father Marcin Gryz S.J., who worked together with the nursery CLEMATIS The Source of Good Climbers to revitalize the garden and make Clematis bloom once again within its walls.  

The guests shared their memories of Brother Stefan. Many of The International Clematis Society members present at the ceremony had an opportunity to meet him in person during their trip to Poland in 2002. The event ended with the guided tour of the garden given by Szczepan Marczyński. Each guest was presented with a specimen of ‘Stefan Franczak’ Clematis.

The ceremony in Polish media:

➤ Wiadomości TVP1 - Szczepan Marczyński tells about Brother Stefan Franczak achievements

➤ Polish Radio Channel One "Cztery Pory Roku" - Szczepan Marczyński on Clematis

➤ wSieci weekly magazine - edition no 26/2016 (187), p. 100-101


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