Name ‘Syrenka’ chosen for our Society, is laden with historical meaning. The name is shared with Warsaw’s crest, as well as meaningful with regards to the origins of rowing activities in the capital. Back in the days, there were two rowing clubs under this name, one of them more of a boat club. ‘Syrena’, the rowing club, was set up in 1927 and had a base by the marina of Czerniakowski canal. Warsaw’s municipal chronicles mention that the club was supported by the council’s workers trade union. Between the wars new sections and disciplines were introduced, but rowing remained at the forefront of the club’s activity. By the early 30s club’s sportsmen were among the best achievers in the capital.

defilada-620Clubs crews parade at the season’s opening, 7 May 1939

Apart from sharing the same name, our club is also trying to achieve similar goals to the old Syrena club. Pre-1937 the club had slightly more of a social than sporting focus. In general, it aimed at promoting sport among residents of Warsaw, particularly among council workers and their families. In 1931 the club had 360 members, a number which had grown significantly to 1300 sportsmen, after it opened doors to other disciplines. Before the WWII, Syrena merged with smaller clubs (‘Prąd’ and ‘Wichura’), and become a third largest sports club in Warsaw. The club was successful at attracting best sportsmen from other organisations, by providing very good conditions and training facilities. After 1936 the club opened a ‘tourism’ section, which organised sailing and canoeing rallies.

II Word War put a stop to club’s activity. During Warsaw’s Uprising in 1944 the club’s main building had been destroyed, and the place also witnessed German soldiers executing twenty young Polish fighters.

After the war, the club’s land had been taken over by Polish Tourist Association. The main building, which was rebuilt, did not have the same architectural style. Nowadays, the site is used by yachtsmen’s PTKK ‘Rejsy’ club, at the address of Solec 8. The new ‘Syrenka’ club officially started on 13 May 2012.

 

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Season opening ceremony at the SYRENA marina in 1937

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SYRENA club building, View from Czerniakowski headland