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Festive celebration of St. Barbara's Day

President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda took part in the most important miners' holiday, which was organized in Gliwice. During Barbórka, participants did not forget about the miners who tragically died recently. A minute of silence was held to pay tribute to them.

photos: Dawid Lach

St. Barbara's Day celebrations were special due to the 30th anniversary of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa celebrated this year. On this special St. Barbara's Day, the miners and employees of the mine began their festivities with a Holy Mass at the St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Knurów, after which they honored the patron saint of miners by laying flowers in front of St. Barbara’s monument.  The further part of the ceremony took place at the PreZero Arena Gliwice. During the ceremony President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda handed out state decorations.

- I am with you, the community of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, not for the first time.  I thank you for going underground every day and taking risks, I thank you for saying goodbye every day at home to your loved ones, who, after the terrible accidents that befell you in 2022, know what this work means and that a miner may not return home from his shift.  I thank you for this service from the bottom of my heart on behalf of our entire society, because it is essential. Thank you immensely that you made the decision to choose this difficult profession, very often following family tradition.  It is immensely important, and any mining service is extremely important. May Saint Barbara have you in her protection and wrap you in her mantle in all difficult situations, especially down there in the darkness of the mine, when this care is so hugely needed.  May Saint Barbara always be with you and your families - said Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.

The ceremony was attended by MPs, local government representatives, uniformed services, clergy, trade union organizations, mine authorities, the management of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and many invited guests. St. Barbara’s Day celebrations were an opportunity to celebrate three decades of the existence of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, as well as 120 years of the Knurów mine. There were also roundups of the passing year and thanks to the miners.

- This one day of the year - the holiday of our patron saint - is a special day for us, it triggers a lot of emotions in miners.  It is a time of wishes and thanks for the effort and dedication you put into your work every day.  You are the heart of our Company, and your hard work is the foundation of our success. Barbórka, according to the old mining tradition, is also a time to reflect on times past.  We remember our colleagues who have departed for the eternal watch. We remember all those who died performing their duties and especially the recent miners who died a few days ago in the Staszic-Wujek and Sobieski mines - said Tomasz Cudny, President of the JSW Management Board.

The official part of St. Barbara’s Day celebrations ended with the performance the "Śląsk" Song and Dance Ensemble, which emphasized the unique character of the miners' holiday.

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