The Medal of the Centenary of Regained Independence honours the efforts of all the Polish citizens who actively worked to strengthen Polish independence within the last hundred years. By the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, the medal was awarded to Andrzej Wiśniowski, the founder and owner of the WIŚNIOWSKI brand. This honour is a form of recognition of the contribution of Polish entrepreneurs who have been building the image of Poland as an ambitious and trustworthy country over the last several decades.
Andrzej Wiśniowski received the medal from the Deputy Voivode of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Zbigniew Starzec, during a ceremony held at the Heron Live Hotel***** by Lake Rożnów. It is a symbolic place which best sums up the 30 years of Andrzej Wiśniowski's efforts in developing not only the country, but also his home, the Nowy Sącz region. Lake Rożnów used to be a prominent destination for summer trips and holidays. But around the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s it started losing its edge. Andrzej Wiśniowski's actions – the construction of a luxury hotel and establishment of the Horyzont360 Foundation – revived this beautiful area.
“It is a great joy that at a time of such importance to our country, the President remembered about the entrepreneurs who have focused on building the economic power of Poland since the political transformation. I am proud that today in Europe, the WIŚNIOWSKI brand is associated with our country. The effort we have been putting in developing our products for so many years creates a positive image not just of the company, but also of the entire Polish business across the world. I hope that we are now starting the next – even more prosperous – hundred years of our homeland's history,” said Andrzej Wiśniowski after accepting the medal.
A hundred years of independence
In 1919, Poland regained independence after 123 years of foreign rule. Towards the end of the 18th century, three European empires divided up the territories of the First Polish Republic. During the next decades, the Poles made numerous attempts to regain freedom, but uprisings ended in failures.
Fate changed only after the tragic events of World War I, which led to the fall of empires and enabled many nation states to emerge. The nations which gained the right to self-determination also included the Poles.
The major figures of those times were the fathers of independence: Marshal Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski, Ignacy Paderewski, Wojciech Korfanty, and thousands of Poles who sacrificed their lives for the country undergoing rebirth. The last hundred years of Poland's history have been a taxing time of rebuilding in the interwar period, the tragedy of World War II, and the period of the communist Polish Peoples' Republic when our country was sealed off from Europe with the Iron Curtain.
After the fall of communism, in which the "Solidarity" labour union and Pope John Paul II played a crucial part, a period of arduous reforms aiming to place the country among free-market and democratic states began in Poland. During this time, Polish entrepreneurs played a major part, building the image of a dynamic, brave, and innovative country within the three decades since the foundation of the Third Polish Republic.
The celebration of the 100th anniversary of regaining independence is a moment when the Poles commemorate the figures thanks to whom we can live in a free country today. We look back at the past with gratitude, but at the same time we proudly appreciate everyone who contributed to the current condition of Poland: thinkers, politicians, entrepreneurs, social activists, and artists.
WIŚNIOWSKI in Europe
The WIŚNIOWSKI brand is one of the contemporary ambassadors of Poland across Europe. We focus on developing safe and convenient products. Their quality has been recognized in many countries of the Old Continent, including Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, and Slovakia. This is how WIŚNIOWSKI takes active part in building confidence in Polish companies.
Within three decades, the brand has become an ambassador of the Polish engineering and technological thought. As one of the first companies in Europe, WIŚNIOWSKI started implementing investments that transformed it into a pioneer of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). We are proud that Andrzej Wiśniowski's efforts were noticed by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda. It is proof that bold development of a company founded on responsibility and innovation ultimately becomes a success of the entire country.
The Medal of the Centenary of Regained Independence
The Act on the establishment of the Medal of the Centenary of Regained Independence was passed by the Sejm last June. The document states that the decoration is “a proof of gratitude and regard for people who rendered particular services to the Country and society.”
The President of the Republic of Poland awards it to people who contributed to Poland's regaining or strengthening its independence over the last hundred years. The text of the Act emphasizes in particular the merits of the figures who aspired to build a civic society and the national identity of the Poles and contribute to “the development of sciences, rendering the good name of the Republic of Poland famous through culture and art, human and social development, strengthening bonds with Poles living abroad, and growing the economic well-being of the Republic of Poland”.