GMU Traditional Maritime Ball to be Held on 98th Anniversary of the Founding of Gdynia
This year’s traditional Maritime Ball will take place tomorrow, Saturday 10th February 2024 in the Tadeusz Meissner Hall at Gdynia Maritime University.
The tradition of the Maritime Ball dates back to the time of the Maritime School in Tczew, GMU’s earliest predecessor, when dignitaries from the emerging maritime industry in Poland were invited to gather within the walls of the country’s first maritime education institution. The decor of the banquet hall was provided by the School’s students, whose friendly rivalry resulted in a rich array of maritime themes and decorations. The tradition of the Bali is still cultivated today, when on the last Saturday of Carnival Neptune, the god of the seas and oceans, invites persons connected with the maritime sector and maritime education to be entertained.
This year’s Maritime Ball falls on an exceptional date in the local calendar - the 10th anniversary of Poland’s symbolic marriage to the sea, and the 98th anniversary of the founding of the city of Gdynia. These two events will provide the themes for this year’s Ball.
Poland’s marriage to the sea, which took place on 10th February 1920 when General Józef Haller symbolically threw a platinum ring into the Baltic, paved the way for the establishment of maritime education in Poland, and the hope of building an independent Polish port. This port, Poland’s ‘window to the world’, came into being in the small fishing village of Gdynia which developed into one of Poland’s fastest-growing cities in the interwar period following the recuperation of independence. Gdynia, or the ‘city made of dreams and the sea’ as it came be known also became home to the oldest institution of maritime education in Poland - Gdynia Maritime University.
Poland’s marriage to the sea, the founding of the City of Gdynia and the historic Maritime University, come together on 10th February 2024 to represent more than 100 years of the history of Poland.