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Jan. 29, 2014
The Civic Hero Award for Ward 4 was presented to Kazimierz Chomko by Vaughan Council on Jan. 28. He was recognized for his leadership, peacemaking and community volunteerism during his time as a soldier in the Polish Army under the Canadian flag and his years serving as a deacon and community volunteer.
“Kazimierz Chomko is an individual that truly embodies the gracious character and genuine spirit of a civic hero, and we are very fortunate for the contributions he has made to the Vaughan community,” said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “Mr. Chomko has taken the story of his life as a soldier, deacon and community volunteer and transformed it into a message of peace and hope that inspires us and enhances our sense of civic pride.”
From 1939-1945, Mr. Chomko acted under the Canadian flag as a Tank Troop Commander for the Polish Army. In 2012, his biography entitled Drop Your Weapons: The Kaz Chomko Story was published. It recounts the hardships he went through during the Second World War and how he emerged as an agent of peace.
Mr. Chomko was ordained as a deacon in 1976, and continued to teach the lessons of friendship, faith and peace that he took with him following the war.
He resides in the Hesperus Fellowship Community in Vaughan and is eager to share his wisdom, humour and personal story with others. He enjoys wood sculpting and volunteering at the nearby Waldorf School where he helps students learn to read. Mr. Chomko celebrated his 102nd birthday last November.
“Mr. Chomko is a true ambassador for peace, and he is wonderful example of volunteerism,” said Ward 4 Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco, who nominated him for the award. “He is dedicated to improving the community by helping students develop their literacy skills and he uses his message of peace to motivate others to remain actively involved in civic life.”
The Civic Hero Award is presented annually to one resident from each of Vaughan’s five wards. The awards recognize outstanding achievement and individual contributions to the community.