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Ceremonial academy on the occasion of Barbórka of the mining supervision

29 November 2022

On 29 November this year, the Miners' Supervision held its Barbórka celebrations in Katowice. It began with a Mass in the Church of St Apostles Peter and Paul, celebrated by Archbishop Wiktor Skworc, Metropolitan Archbishop of Katowice. During the mass, the new banner of the State Mining Authority, founded on the occasion of the Authority's centenary anniversary in June this year, was consecrated.

The State Mining Authority's Barbórka celebrations were held in the auditorium of the Krystyna Bochenek Cultural Institution Katowice City of Gardens. Among the several hundred invited guests were representatives of state and local government authorities, the military, trade unions, institutions cooperating with WUG, delegations of mining companies from all over Poland extracting various minerals, and guests from abroad: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany, and the UK. Among those present were Deputy Minister of State Assets, Government Plenipotentiary for the Transformation of Energy Companies and Coal Mining Piotr Pyzik, Head of the Civil Service Dobroslaw Dowiat-Urbanski, Silesian Governor Jaroslaw Wieczorek, President of the Czech Mining Authority Martin Štemberka, President of the Slovakian Central Mining Authority Erich Veseleny, Representative of the President of the Council of Ministers of Brandenburg for Lusatia Klaus Freytag and a representative of the UK Health and Safety Executive Paul Bradley.

In his speech opening the academy, WUG President Adam Mirek emphasised that this year's St. Barbara's Day was, on the one hand, an occasion to celebrate the centenary of the establishment of the mining supervisory authorities and, on the other, a difficult year overshadowed by two mining disasters that occurred in April at the Pniówek and Zofiówka mines. In his speech, he also expressed solidarity with bordering Ukraine, which has been affected by Russia's brutal aggression for many months. He stressed that it had been more than 1,000 days since the previous mining supervisors' celebratory Barbórka. This was due to the pandemic, during which the office worked for months in a new and often unpredictable reality. However, this time and non-standard circumstances have not changed the main task of mining supervision - ensuring the safety of mining crews.

In his speech, the President of the WUG informed about important organisational changes in mining supervision. As a result, due to the decreasing number of hard coal mines, the District Mining Office in Gliwice was abolished, its duties being taken over by the District Mining Offices in Katowice and Rybnik. In addition, the Specialised Mining Authority was abolished, and its competences were broadly taken over by the Department of Basic Infrastructure of Mining Plants, established within the organisational structure of the State Mining Authority.

During the academy, distinguished mining supervisory employees were presented with state and departmental medals and several other awards. Mining ranks were also conferred, and the Badge of Honour 'Meritorious for Safety in Mining' was presented. Meanwhile, the State Mining Authority, WUG President Adam Mirek and WUG 1st Vice-President Krzysztof Król were awarded the Golden Badge of Honour for Services to the Silesian Voivodeship in recognition of their activities.

The "Crystal St. Barbara" - an honourable award of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Resource Management at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, which is awarded to people whose work and attitude have contributed to the development of the mining industry, was presented to Krzysztof Król, 1st Vice President of WUG. The official part of the ceremony concluded with the awarding of honorary miners' swords.

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