Chojnacki fell in love with his work and the people of Ethiopia and founded the University College Museum of Addis Ababa in 1963. The librarian was a close friend of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie Stanislaw Chojnacki was a librarian, professor, historian and horiculturalist, but his friends will remember him as the kindest and gentlest person they have known. "He never tolerated anything, he always celebrated what nature gave and that's the lesson that I learned and that I will take with me to my grave," said close friend Meron Yeshoa.
Chojnacki passed away peacefully on the weekend at Sudbury Regional Hospital at the age of 95. St. Casimir's Church will hold a Funeral Mass on Saturday at 10 a.m. He will be buried in Poland. Many friends and family members survive him, including wife Grace and sister Zofia Pratkowska. The former professor and library director at the University of Sudbury accomplished much in his 95 years and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. After spending more than 25 years in Ethiopia, he was recognized as an active member of the Polish and Ethiopian communities in Sudbury. Born in Riga, Latvia Oct. on 21, 1915, he obtained a law degree at Warsaw University before serving in the Polish Army in 1937 and 1938. According to Chojnacki's book, 25 years of service at the university college and the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa from 1950 to 1975, the series of events that led him to Ethiopia began during the Second World War. On Sept. 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland. "My nine days of warfare was followed by close to five years as a prisoner of war in Germany," wrote Chojnacki.
Once released, he worked four years in Rome before relocating to Canada in January 1950. In September 1950, Dr. Lucien Matte offered Chojnacki the position of Librarian at the University College of Addis Ababa, which Dr. Matte had recently founded. Chojnacki humorously recalled asking where in Canada Addis Ababa was located. Not long afterward he discovered that the school was in Ethiopia and soon enough he moved overseas once again. The University College was Ethiopia's first attempt to establish a university in the country. It was inaugurated by the emperor in 1951. Chojnacki fell in love with his work and the people of Ethiopia and founded the University College Museum of Addis Ababa in 1963. The librarian was a close friend of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.