In celebration of twenty years at Enter Stage Right -- Bionote of Mark Wegierski (Part Three)
By Mark Wegierski
In 1990, Mark Wegierski took courses (two days each) in WordPerfect 5.0; dBase III+; and DOS/WP/Lotus/dBase Intro.
On January 17, 1991, Mark Wegierski placed first out of 54 persons in a branch-wide Management Skills Exercise (Division Support Branch, Computer and Telecommunication Services Division, Ontario Ministry of Government Services).
Also, in 1991, Mark Wegierski completed a Records Management Seminar (7 sessions – 21 hours in total), from RIM Services Inc., Toronto.
In January to March 1992, he took the WordPerfect 5.1 course (Winter 1992), at the Toronto Board of Education, Western Technical-Commercial School, Evening School.
On January 12, 1993, Mark Wegierski attended the first public meeting in Toronto of the National Party of Canada with Mel Hurtig (Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Auditorium, 252 Bloor Street West).
In October 1993, Mark Wegierski published an op-ed piece in The Toronto Westend Express, a free-distribution newspaper (circulation 82,500), and a letter-to-the-editor in the November 1993 issue of that newspaper.
In 1994-2001, Mark Wegierski served on the Editorial Board of the ‘zine Reality & Meaning (Morphology Institute), Toronto. The ‘zine published a broad variety of articles, including political and cultural articles by Mark Wegierski, and an assortment of pieces of so-called “dissident physics”. RAM Group also organized presentations for members and other interested persons. Mark Wegierski remembers making two such presentations, one on the concept of “The Dilemma of Hypermodernity” (at an elegant Metropolitan Toronto Hall meeting room), and another on Canadian politics (in a City of Toronto community centre meeting room).
In 1994-1996, Mark Wegierski served on the Editorial Board of Transforum: Essential Media for the New Renaissance, Toronto’s fifth-largest alternative general-interest free-distribution newspaper. This newspaper was open to contributions from across the spectrum, and Mark Wegierski was able to publish a number of pieces there. This print newspaper was said to presage the emergence of Internet-based self-posting forums. The newspaper also promoted a lively social scene, including presentations at pub-like venues, and participation in the then-prominent Trivia Quiz League. This was an organized effort across various downtown Toronto pubs and restaurants, with the events usually held on Monday evenings. Not only were these occasions for pleasant social interactions, they also helped the businesses bring in customers on their “off” nights, who might purchase drinks and various snacks and finger-foods. So, it was a “win-win” situation. Unfortunately, the Transforum team failed to achieve a high ranking in the Quiz League standings. Also, Transforum promoted alternative currency “barter” exchanges, such as LETS (Local Exchange Transfer System). Despite its high ambitions, the Transforum newspaper eventually failed because of a perennial lack of major advertising revenues.
In August 1995-December 1995/January 1996, Mark Wegierski published four columns in the monthly free-distribution newspaper, Our Toronto Free Press (circulation 60,000), edited by the well-known Toronto Sun columnist, Judi McLeod.
Mark Wegierski was shortlisted in the Ludwig von Mises Institute (Auburn, Alabama) "Secession, State, and Economy" Essay Competition (1995).
In the 1990s, Mark Wegierski was a member of the Voice of Canadians Committees (VCC), a lobby group created by Richard (Dick) Field, a WWII veteran and long-time political activist.
In 1995-1996, Mark Wegierski was an Adviser for a provincial riding association in Toronto.
In 1996, Mark Wegierski was a scriptwriter for the POLAND CD-ROM Project (Toronto: International Business Productions and New York: Polish National Tourist Office). Areas included Polish history, literature, music, art, architecture, folklore, and geography.
In September 1996, Mark Wegierski travelled by car from Toronto to Barry’s Bay, Ontario (in Renfrew County), stopping by at Combermere, Ontario, where the Madonna House Apostolate is located. He stayed for one night near Barry’s Bay, before returning to Toronto the next day.
In 1996-1997, Mark Wegierski was Vice-President and Acting President of a federal riding association in Toronto.
Mark Wegierski returned to studies at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, in 1998, with three Writing seminars.
He then studied at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, with four Creative Writing Workshop courses in 1999-2004.
In 2000, he participated in the prestigious Taddle Creek Summer Writers’ Workshop (four days) (with well-known Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer as his instructor) at Hart House, University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies.
On July 3, 2004, Mark Wegierski attended “American Day” – a festive commemoration of the American Independence Day and Polish-American friendship – in Nieszawa, Poland (near Torun in the Kuyavia-Pomerania voivodeship).
On July 10, 2004, Mark Wegierski travelled by car from Ciechocinek, Poland (near Torun in the Kuyavia-Pomerania voivodeship) to Czestochowa, Poland, to take part in the 60th Wedding Anniversary of a relative’s grandparents. Before the sumptuous reception, there was a commemorative ceremony at the world-famous Czestochowa Jasna Gora Monastery and Shrine of the Virgin Mary.
On August 29, 2004, Mark Wegierski attended the official local ceremony of Polish-German reconciliation and the unveiling of a commemorative monument to both Polish and German victims of World War II, in Nieszawa, Poland (near Torun in the Kuyavia-Pomerania voivodeship).
In 2005, Mark Wegierski achieved the Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA), The Humber School for Writers (an eight-month program).
In 2004-2009, Mark Wegierski achieved the Certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies. Among other courses taken, he received a grade of “Honours” – equivalent to 90% or higher – in the “Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction” course taught by Caitlin Sweet, a noted Canadian fantasy and science fiction author.
In 2006-2008, he was a member of a private writers’ group (the Round Room Society) meeting about once a month in the Round Room of Massey College (4 Devonshire Place), University of Toronto, Downtown/St. George Campus. Other members included, among others, a Dean of a major public college in Toronto; a corporate finance officer; and a lawyer who had served as Justice of the Peace in rural Ontario.
On June 21, 2008, Mark Wegierski attended and help organize the 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration of his parents, Feliks and Henryka Wegierski. There was a commemorative service at Divine Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Torun, Poland, and later a reception in Lysomice (wee-so-mee-tse), near Torun. (Feliks’ family had fled from the German invasion to Lysomice in September 1939, briefly taking refuge there.) At the reception, Mark Wegierski gave a long tribute speech to his parents. Also, a privately published album-book and memoir of Feliks Wegierski was distributed. It included a history of the Polish Second Corps (in which Feliks had fought), by Mark Wegierski; reproductions of dozens of original sketches that Feliks had done during the war; Feliks’ memoir; reproductions of photos of Feliks’ sculptures, as well as reproductions of numerous family photographs.
In 2007-2009, Mark Wegierski participated in eight sessions of the Humber Writers’ Circle, at Humber College, The Humber School for Writers. Each session lasted 135 minutes, and included an hour-long lecture, and 75 minutes during which the “first pages” of up to twenty participants, previously submitted electronically, were given quick “flash” assessments.
On August 4, 2009, Mark Wegierski travelled by car from Toronto to Kitchener, Ontario to meet with Mary Nowak, M.A., an early Polish-Canadian graduate of the University of Toronto, and a longtime Polish-Canadian activist. He returned to Toronto late in the same day.
In 2010, Mark Wegierski was nominated for the Manning Centre for Building Democracy (MCBD) Pyramid Award (Ideas and Public Policy).
On March 24, 2011, Mark Wegierski attended the 55th Anniversary Commemoration of the Adam Mickiewicz Foundation (Canada). This was marked by a Commemorative Lecture by Professor M.B.B. Biskupski (“Hollywood’s War with Poland”: The negative portrayal of Poland during World War II in American films) at the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College Alumni Hall.
On June 9, 2011, Mark Wegierski attended the reception for Creative Writing Graduates and Marina Nemat Award Winners (Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty Club) University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, and gave a short but well-received graduation speech.
In 2012-2013, Mark Wegierski attended three meetings of the Montgomery Tavern Society (MTS), which had been revived by its Chairman, Richard (Dick) Field, a WWII veteran and long-time political activist.
In 2013, Mark Wegierski took a three-month Online Mentorship with Caitlin Sweet, a noted Canadian fantasy and science fiction author, at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies.
On May 13, 2015, Mark Wegierski attended the Toronto Premiere of the Warsaw Uprising (2014) Polish film, at Runnymede Public Library, Toronto Public Library System (arranged by the Consulate-General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto). This film is a unique rendering of the Uprising – the director looked at all of the existing documentary footage of the Uprising, originally filmed by the Polish Underground, and edited and shaped it into a movie (colourized and with sound and dialogue added).
On September 24, 2020, Mark Wegierski travelled by car from Toronto to Combermere, Ontario (in Renfrew County) where the Madonna House Apostolate is located. He returned to Toronto late in the same day.
To be continued.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical l researcher.