The Union of Poles in America: A Fraternal Benefit Society
The Union of Poles in America under the patronage of our Blessed Mother, began with the merger of two great Unions. The Polish Roman Catholic Union, under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Polish Roman Catholic Union, under the patronage of Our Lady of Czestochowa. This merger occurred at a joint convention conducted in Cleveland Ohio, on May 30, 1939.
The first President of Polish Roman Catholic Union under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which was organized on July 1st, 1894, in Cleveland, Ohio, was Mr. Andrew Skorupski. While the first President of the Polish Roman Catholic Union under the protection of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which was organized on March 11, 1898 also in Cleveland Ohio, was Mr. Francis Szemploachowski.
From the beginning, both Unions worked tirelessly, and then held individual special conventions in May of 1938 where they agreed to hold a common convention on May 30, 1939 in Cleveland Ohio for the purpose of finalizing the merger. The first President of the new organization was Mr. Joseph Missal who was a member of the Our Lady of Czestochowa group.
During its 110 years of existence, the Union of Poles has significantly increased its membership and financial resources. Today, the organization is financially sound and is one of the leading Fraternal organizations in the United States of America. Dividends from earnings surplus have been paid to its members each of the last fifty years.
During World War II and all the succeeding wars, the Union of Poles guaranteed payment of Life Insurance claims in case of death of an insured member serving in the armed forces of the United States.
The Union of Poles is a participating member of the Ohio Fraternal Congress and the Polish American Congress, and has always taken an active part in the many social, cultural, and economic affairs of the Polish community. In addition, assistance to needy members and others is one of the leading programs of the organization.
The Union of Poles is a non-political organization. However, it stands ready to help the city, county, state and country within the established parameters whenever possible.
One hundred and ten years ago our forefathers foresaw an organization which would assist all its members whenever possible. Those that have gone before us would be proud to see the good that has come from their dream.
In 2001, the Union of Poles in America moved its headquarters from 6501 Lansing Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio to 9999 Granger Road, Garfield Heights, Ohio. The Union of Poles offices were at the Lansing Avenue address for seventy-five years, when the building was bought in 1925.
In June of 2004 The Board of Directors and the 2002 Convention Delegates voted to merge with the Polish National Alliance of North America. This merger was to enable the Union of Poles in America to remain a driving force in the Greater Cleveland Polonia aiding people of Polish and Slavic descent.
The Officers and Directors are looking forward to this new century and are confident of the future of the Union of Poles in America. This merger between two great Polish fraternal institutions is reminiscent of the 1939 merger that created the Union of Poles in America.
The Polish National Alliance of North America promises to be a great asset to our faithful member, both adults and especially our juveniles. The many different types of insurance products available to our members as well as the many benefits available to our children such as the Scholarship program, Christmas and Easter activities will enable our newly formed District to thrive. We look forward to the fruition of the merger after the States of Ohio and Illinois approve the documents.