Final Farewell to Professor Andrzej Perepeczko
Family, friends, locals, and the Gdynia Maritime University community bid farewell to Senior Mechanical Officer and Professor Andrzej Perepeczko on 16th November at the Srebrzysko Central Cemetery in Gdansk. Professor Andrzej Perepeczko - a graduate of the Maritime School in Gdynia - was a teacher, lecturer, dean of the Faculty of Marine Engineering, the author of textbooks and a talented maritime writer.
The ceremony was attended by the Rector of Gdynia Maritime University, Professor Adam Weintrit; members of the Senate; the dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Andrzej Miszczak; the GMU Guard of Honour; members of the Association of Senior Marine Engineering Officers; and the Association of Master Mariners. The funeral service was also attended by many students and education staff. Among them was the Secretary of State, Marek Grobarczyk.
Speaking of behalf of HM The Rector of Gdynia Maritime University Professor Adam Weintrit, Aleksander Gosk said:
Andrzej Perepeczko was a mariner, a man of the sea, ship mechanic, lecturer, teacher and educator of maritime personnel, who later became a maritime writer.
He taught lectures at the Faculty of Marine Engineering at the Higher Maritime School and went on to become the dean of the Faculty. He remains in the memory of his students as an extraordinary lecturer. In addition to the enormous amount of knowledge he passed on to his students, he created an atmosphere in his classes that was far from rigid. He talked to his students, combining humour and the openness of a true humanist, even when passing on knowledge in relation to more mundane topics such as ship boilers, steam engines, pumps, and compressors.
This paid off later when during frequent breaks in teaching he set out to sea, completing more maritime qualifications, offer finding himself under the command of his former students who had quickly advanced in the maritime ranks. This was something he welcomed rather than resented. He continued to educate generations of ship mechanics.
He also wrote. He created academic scripts, stories based on his own experiences at sea and those of others, the volumes of his "Wild Ants" adventure series, and finally an entire range of popular science publications describing various marine battles of the 20th century. As well as senior ship mechanic, he also acted as the chronicler on board the "Dar Pomorza" and later the "Dar Młodzieży".
He was an active writer. Often writing 15-20 pages a day. He always wrote with a fountain pen on plain paper. When I asked him what motivates him to write, he said "Well, if something interests me then it's certainly going to be of interest to others as well". The popularity of his books show that he was no doubt right in this assumption. After his retirement, he defended his doctorate in humanities for his work on German submarines during WWI.
When Andrzej Perepeczko entered a room, a classroom, or anywhere else, he was immediately noticed and heard. No one was unmoved by his humour, energy, and frankness. He was a real institution. We all knew him, and even if someone didn't know him personally, they knew who he was - because Andrzej Perepeczko was, is, and will always be a brand of his own.
On behalf of the "Mechanics' Brotherhood", the chairman of the Association of Mechanics, Lechosław Bar, bid a final farewell to his professor, who he described as a "great lecturer and friend, a highly deserved member of the Association and educator of most of us. We are losing a great man who has made an enormous contribution to the development of maritime education and the education of the vast majority of marine mechanics.", he added.
The captains broke four double glasses and one single glass on the ship's bell. His son gave a beautiful eulogy. At the end of the ceremony, a trumpet played the song "Serwus panie chief" [so long chief], which was also the title of Barbara Kanold's book on Andrzej Perepeczko, part of a series on outstanding citizens of Gdansk.
So long Chief, so long Dearest Professor!
Written by Małgorzata Sokołowska