Albert Czetwertyński – businessman, philanthropist, bridge player. Founder of the Prometeusz for Seniors Foundation, which helps over 200 elderly people in and around Warsaw.
You lived in Canada for many years. However, you have decided to come back to Poland. What was driving you?
In the 30 years I spent in Canada, not a single day did not make me think about returning to Poland, from which I was expelled in 1960. I tried to return to the country twice, but each time communist Poland rejected my applications. After the changes in 1990, after the change of the political system into a democratic one, I received a message that I would now be allowed to return to Poland together with my whole family.
Your family is with you in Poland? How did they take the decision to change their place of residence? How did they find themselves here?
The most important thing for me was the positive decision of my wife Elizabeth, who supported me during my talks with the children. My three daughters were old enough to decide for themselves and everyone, except the eldest, Kinga, came and settled in Warsaw.
We met thanks to bridge. You are a great player and I love bridge too. Where did this passion come from ?
I am not a great player, but I like social bridge a lot. I can’t get used to sports bridge.
Two of my friends who often played bridge lived in our neighbors’ house 70 years ago. During my studies, I was drawn into the group of bridge enthusiasts by older students and members of the teaching group.
In addition to your company, you have created something special. I mean Prometheus for Seniors. Tell us about it.
After returning to Poland, I realized that a large number of Seniors live in extreme poverty. And foundations to help them are almost non-existent, and the Polish state has not fulfilled its obligation to provide health and a comfortable retirement for seniors.
It seems like a big part of your life is helping others. Now you have become very involved in helping the needy in Ukraine. How are you helping? And where do you get the time and energy for this?
We help Ukrainians by sending medicines necessary under war conditions. I have been retired for a long time, so I have plenty of free time.
I know that volunteers are also involved in your activities.
Our small group of volunteers works very hard and with great enthusiasm to cope with all projects related to aid for Ukraine, not forgetting to help the 220 people under our care on a daily basis. Here, I would like to mention the hundreds of people who responded to my appeal by sending very generous funds to purchase drugs and surgical products. We got the most from family, friends and ordinary Canadians. We have got a lot from Poles and Spaniards, then Belgians and Dutch. On behalf of the Ukrainians, I would like to thank all the donors.
What are your plans for the future?
To write a book about my parents and travel with my grandchildren to the Grand Canyon and visit my family and friends in Canada. Hope to come back to our charity bridge tournaments soon. We are planning one charity tournament in June and one in October this year, which I cordially invite you to.