Vilnius No. 5 Higschool celebrated 70th anniversary of its existence

Migawka z uroczystości z okazji 70-lecia Szkoły Średniej im. J. Lelewela, fot. B. Frątczak

On 14th October 1944 Jadwiga Turkowska, the director of No. 5 Secondary School for girls called the inaugural staff meeting. On that day the first card in the history of the school, that is No. 5 Higschool, the present-day Joachim Lelewel High school was signed. That was the day of the birth of the Polish education in war-ridden Vilnius. The first Polish school was opened. The collocation “the first” was mentioned many times during the celebration of the anniversary.

The Holy Mass for the school, the students and teachers –past and present- was celebrated by two priests Marek Gładki and Tadeusz Jasiński, who graduated from the Highschool, in St Peter and Paul Church on Antokol. The ceremony itself was led by two other graduates, present-day teachers in the school, Regina Bogdanowicz and Aleksander Kisielewski. A book and a school’s chronicle entitled “Always Faithful to the No. 5 High school”, which was issued in the year of the anniversary, was also written by a graduate – Krystyna Adamowicz, a journalist.

During the 70 years 5144 students graduated from the school which at first were close to the Gate of Dawn, at Ostrobramska street, then was located at Piaski 1, and finally at Antokolska 33. Among them we can find teachers, journalists, scientists, artists, enterpreneurs– in other words honest and respectable people.

The meeting of the oldest graduates took place in June 2014. They came from different corners of the world to spend this one day together with their friends from school. Past and present-day students, teachers and school workers gathered for the ceremony. “It is the student who is most important in our school,  the teacher is its soul and the pride – the graduates”, said Ewa Zubel, the director of Joachim Lelewel High school welcoming the guests gathered in the aula.

There was a video prepared consisting of fragments of the graduates’ memories – the older and younger ones. Those who graduated from the High school just after the war remembered when, instead of schoolbooks, which were simply not there, they were bringing logs to school so that they could kindle a fire. When more and more friends did not come back to school, some of them going “hunting white bears”, some of tchem repatriating to Poland… When the repressions ended the “building of socialism” period came with the mandatory adhesion to „październiątka, pionierzy and komsomolce” organizations. When Lithuania became independent the first educational trips to Poland started, the first squads were created – also at that you could always find someone unappreciative or cowed, always ready to stop you from doing something. All in all, there were more good than bad memories recalled by the graduates, remembering the moments in the school, the teachers and friends whom they will never forget.
A nice moment of the ceremony was the word of thanks to the retired teachers. They got a standing ovation. There were also diplomas for the teachers who are teaching the present-day generation of the students and their parents. Edyta Zubel, the director, called the parents “Our 13th class”. The students showed their skills in acting on stage, dancing and singing.
The video report from the ceremony available on Wilnoteka soon.


Tłumaczenie by Gabriela Godek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, Translated by Gabriela Godek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights,

© 2011 All rights reserved.