Translation from the book
Z Kresów Wschodnich R.P. Wspomnienia z Osad Wojskowych 1921-1940
(From: The Eastern Borderlands of Poland, Memories of Military Settlements 1921-1940)
Pub: Ognisko Rodzin Osadników Kresowych (OROK) (Association of the Families of the Borderland Settlers)
London, UK. 1992 and 1998
ISBN 1 872286 33 X
Province (Województwo) WOŁYŃ
ZOFIA REPA (STEPEK)
Postal District (Poczta) Czaruków
Municipality (Gmina) Połonka
District (Powiat) Łuck
I often think about our settlement. It was so long ago. The memories bring on the tears.
When I think about the work of my parents, especially their voluntary work, I feel only awe and a kind of admiration. These were young people filled with the ideal of rebuilding Poland, overcoming huge difficulties with their stubbornness and perseverance.
“My” new school was built by settlers with help from local people. My father, Władysław Stepek, arranged horse carts and workers. He sought to recruit teachers by travelling to Łuck and knocking on doors of various authorities. In a Ruthenian village of Radomyśl, he approached rural gentry reminding the Ruthenians (Ukrainians) that the majority of them are Russified Poles. In the village of Jeziorany Poleskie he also founded a Riflemen Association [Związek Strzelecki], devoting whole evenings to young people, teaching them Polish history, language and songs.
Meetings of the Village Homemakers Circle [Koło Gospodyń Wiejskich] took place in our house. Its founder and chairperson was my mother. In school, lunches were frequently distributed to poor children - bread, butter, cured meat, cheese. I took part in the distribution of these lunches, and frequently brought foodstuffs from home. I remember the joy and pride of my mother, when our orchard, planted by my parents, received third prize in the Łuck District. Mother had qualified following a year-long horticulture course after finishing high school in Jasło. Our settlement was named Maczkowce, after general Maczek. I was born in Jeziorany Uroczysko - such was the previous name of our settlement. It was a large estate taken back from a Russian, who had settled there after the January Uprising while the legitimate owner was forcibly deported to Siberia [Ed. note: So called “January Uprising” took place in 1863 against the partition and occupation by the Russian Empire].