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Life of PTTK


In December 1950 there were fulfilled - originating from before twenty years, projects of the Polish Tatra Mts. Society and Polish Society of Country Survey: it has become to their connection into Polish Society of Tourism and Country Survey (PTTK), furthermore several other smaller ones have joined. The country survey became accepted then as a platform of programmatic principle for all activities of this new organization, though continuing traditions of PTT (established in 1873) and PTKraj. (1906). It has been expressed among others in a recommendation of introduction of a duty of a sightseeing of interested objects at a collecting of all tourist badges. The country survey, practiced in PTTK, consists in a joining of a getting to know of the country with a formation of patriotic attitudes in a tourist way.

Already soon after the union, the High Board formed Commission for Country Survey, but its activity plans did not become accepted by authorities of the Society. Its work has not been developed. In April 1954 the new Commission was appointed which began to act, but only shortly. Most likely a reason stood ideological matters: members of the Commission were person actively engaged about the experience before the World War II, while the contemporary political reality was a deep Stalinism. So only within frames so-called "the March thaw" (the crackup of the ruthless political system) in January 1956 there was renewed a composition of the Commission, what has influenced on a disclosure of a high activity, lasting to the now.

The reactivated Commission has numbered 34 members, in next years - below 30, while since 1991 - 15. Altogether 140 persons actively engaged from all Poland's parts have passed by it, often among them high-ranking representatives of Polish science and country survey. Father Dr. Jerzy Pawlik has an oldest position - since 1965 (since 2002 as the Honourable Commissionman), Włodzimierz Łęcki (many years' chairman of the Commission) - since 1972, Anna Becker-Kulińska - since 1974, and K. R. Mazurski - since 1977 (since 2001 as a chairman). As one of most important in the Society, the Commission is chosen on four years' - terms of office during nationwide country-surveyors' conventions - delegates' of country survey circles from each PTTK branch (sections).

A range and achievements of the Commission are very extensive. Their nearer introduction is contained by the book "Commission of Country Survey in the PTTK High Board in 50th anniversary of the Society" (Wrocław 2000); next, more spacious edition has been published for the golden jubilee. As most important successes there are belonging: a beginning and a continuing of a country stock-taking of Poland - a register of all objects and events of the survey value in a communal arrangement, then - a foundation in 1968 and an aid of regional studies of country survey, an initiation of a continuation of congresses of the Polish country survey since 1970 and their co-organization at ten years' intervals. As the effect of these meetings, standing on a very high essential level and engaging many luminaries of Polish science, one can mention among others a yearly organization of central country survey meetings since 1971 and an institution of a country survey instructors' function, and a cooperation with appointed persons (about 1300).

By several terms of office, the Commission created frameworks of "All-Polish Country Survey Programmes of Tourism" which have found a reflection also in an activity of other organizations and institutions. It was instituted the Poland's Country Survey Badge", and basing on it - more and more popular "Country Survey Canon of Poland" which describes most essential objects in each region. So it gives a base to an honest and many-sided recognition of Poland. The second edition is already in a preparation. The Commission has organized tens essential meetings: methodical and regionalistic, in a large measure in the relationship with preparations to mentioned congresses.

A popularization of a good tourist song and a practice of collecting - by which also one can recognize localities and regions, enrich knowledge about the country and art - was an important trend too. The Commission publishes a special bulletin for collectors. There are organized exhibitions and sessions for them.

For large successes one can number Campaign "Poland of Our Days" which had to advert surveyors' attention on the present day as well as on current problems and changes reaching in the country. It became effected in the years 1976-1979. Only to the PTTK Central Library 8838 works were given, while hundreds others were registered in regional country survey studies. Over 500,000 participants have been involved in this Campaign, among them a lot of school pupils. For them this was initiated a country survey contest, on a national rung as all-Polish country survey-tourist tournaments, since several years the competition "We recognize Fathers' Patrimony".

The Commission initiated all-Polish celebrations of the World Day of Tourism in 1974, the edition of "Geographical-Tourist Dictionary of Poland" and many other publications. At a participation of the Commission specialistic meetings under the name "Forum of Country Survey Journalists" and All-Polish Review of Country survey-Tourist Book (at present in frames of the TourSalon, entertainment of International Poznań Trade Fair) have come into being.

Not only Poland is found in the circle of the Commission interests: this is also foreign Polish marks and Poles living abroad. This reflects in study tours, organized every now and again. There were organized trips already to Poles in Bucovina and Latvia, there were recognized and popularized Polish marks in Italy, Hungary, Greece and Lusatia. A problem of a formation and a support of national identity in the context of Poland's neighbours and a building of the European unity are also essential.

At so rich acquired output of a social work of the Commission, it is necessary to mark, that this is only not large fragment of the country survey work in all Society. It is managed also by other specialistic commissions: of Nature Preservation, of Cares over Ancient Monuments, and of Country Survey Photography. The country survey is present besides in other committees of the High Board and branches, spread in all Poland. This was presented partially during a special session that the Committee organized on 19-21nd of November 2004 in Warsaw.

of Commission for Country Survey
in PTTK High Board
Krzysztof R. Mazurski