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Old 08-14-2004, 04:07 AM   #1
Taz
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Order "Smile".

(Order Usmiechu)

This unique Order was Instituted in 1968. And is the only decoration in the world conferred by children to adults.
It came about from a childrens idea; had been designed by them and can be awarded only in result of their proposal, independently of the color of their skin, domicile, nationality, religion, profession, political views etc. to adults with a friendship and patience manifested to children.
It is the only distinction which is not connected with any government, state, local or any political or social organization.
It was founded in Poland but it is international, being awarded by the children from various countries of the world. It delivers them a feeling of worth, being important, satisfaction that there are some questions in the world of adults which children can decide themselves.
So far the order has been granted to actors, writers, doctors and to many others.

Among the awarded are:

• Steven Spielberg
• Peter Ustinov
• Astrid Lingren
• Pope John Pope II
• Mikhail Gorbatchov
• Dalai Lama.

Its conferment is accompanied by a special ceremony, during which recipients must drink a full cup of acid lemon juice to the bottom, keeping a smile on their faces.
Badge: round, light blue enameled gilt medal, 35 mm of diameter.
Obverse: a golden smiling sun as if drawn by a child's hand.
Reverse: non-enameled, bears the handwritten looking inscription Order Usmiechu.
Ribbon: 25 mm, white with woven golden leaves and blue forget-me-nots.

Eddie.
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File Type: jpg Order of Smile fr-back.jpg (44.7 KB, 38 views)
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Last edited by Taz; 08-14-2004 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:13 AM   #2
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The History of the Order of Smile

The October 1967 issue of „Kurier Polski" daily newspaper included an interview with a well-known Polish children’s poet, Wanda Chotomska. The occasion was the fifth anniversary of a TV programme for children. Chotomska mentioned that when she had met a boy undergoing treatment in a rehabilitation hospital in Konstancin near Warsaw, he had suggested that one of the puppets from that programme be given an Order of Smile. Zofia Zdanowska, the interviewer, agreed that this was a good idea and Włodzimierz Karwan, head of the department for contacts with readers, proposed that children should present such an award to their adult friends. The editors of „Kurier Polski", fascinated with such an entirely new idea, started a widespread campaign. A few days later children were invited on television to take part in an Order of Smile design competition. They were supposed to mark their envelopes with a picture of the sun. Children sent 44 000 designs. The first prize was awarded to a 9-year-old Ewa Chrobak of Głuchołazy, south-western Poland. The shape of the Order of Smile was designed by Edward Gorol, a well-known Polish medal-maker.
Soon children as well as youth organizations and institutions started sending their proposals of candidates for the Knights of the Order of Smile. The Chapter of the Order of Smile was established in July 1968. A well-known children’s poet, Ewa Szelburg-Zarembina, became head of the Chapter. In autumn 1968, at the first meeting of the Chapter, the first Knights of the Order of Smile were nominated on behalf of children. The first medal was awarded to a world-famous orthopedic surgeon, professor Wiktor Dega from Poznań. An official awarding ceremony procedure was also adopted, including the knighting with a rose, making the promise and drinking pure lemon juice. The Chapter also decided that Orders would only be awarded on the first day of spring and on the last day of summer.
In 1976 Ewa Szelburg-Zarembina resigned from her position and was nominated honorary chairwoman of the Chapter. Cezary Leżeński, then editor in chief of „Kurier Polski" and vice-chairman of the Chapter since 1969, took over as chairman. In 1977 he proposed that this wonderful idea of Polish children be spread around the world, especially since the Order of Smile had been awarded to foreigners from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the United States and the Soviet Union since 1973, and as well later to people from other countries.
Later efforts (including Cezary Leżeński’s speech in the United Nations) made it possible to obtain the support of the supreme authorities of UNICEF, especially Director General Henry R. Labouisse as well as the U. N. Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim, for the idea of granting an International dimension to the Order of Smile. It was also suggested that during 1979, International Children’s Year, the award should be presented in the 150 member countries. Due to organizational and financial difficulties only some of those countries were ultimately included in the project.
The first session of the International Chapter of the Order of Smile took place in May 1980. The foreign members were Peter Ustinov (Great Britain), Niki Goulandris (Greece), Sergei Obraztsov (Soviet Union), Helen Pantaleoni (USA), Shankhar Pillai (India), Sergei Mikhalkov (Soviet Union), Efua T. Suntherland (Ghana). The Chapter has had an International status ever since.
When martial law was introduced in Poland in 1981, Cezary Leżeński was removed both from the position of the editor in chief of „Kurier Polski" and from the Chapter. The new editor in chief, Radosław Ostrowicz, became Chapter chairman in 1982, holding the position until 1990. In January 1991, after Ostrowicz’s dismissal, his successor as „Kurier Polski"’s editor in chief, Jacek Snopkiewicz, suspended the Order and the activity of the Chapter without explaining the reasons for his decision.
An initiative group of Chapter members, however, encouraged by the next editor in chief of „Kurier Polski", Maciej Rosolak, decided to re-establish the Order of Smile. In late 1992 a motion to register an independent association was submitted to the proper court. According to the court's decision of 16 November 1992, the Chapter of the Order of Smile was established and started its regular activity. Cezary Leżeński was elected chancellor of the Chapter, while Ludwik Jerzy Kern and Lucjan Wolniewicz were chosen to be vice-chancellors.
In this way, a campaign that had depended on personal and political changes, became a self-governing association, awarding the Order of Smile on behalf of children of different countries. The Great Medal of the Order of Smile, given to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988 and to a few other people, is not included in the new statute, so that this singular form of the Order, being contradictory to the original principles, does not exist any more.
Shortly after that the Chapter regained its International character. Representatives of Byelorussia, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States were invited to join the Chapter. In 1995 Henryk Łyczek was elected secretary and Grażyna Wichrowska became treasurer. In 1996 Danuta Rosner and Paul Lauenburger were elected vice-chancellor of the Chapter. There are no longer any special days for awarding the Order. Now the Chapter meets as often as it is necessary.
In June 1996 the Chapter organised a World Rally of Order of Smile in Rabka, southern Poland. The 440 Knights of the Order, including 100 from 29 foreign countries, were invited to attend the Rally. The only Order of Smile Museum in the world has also been opened in Rabka.
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File Type: jpg 510154173.jpg (52.5 KB, 2 views)
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:29 AM   #3
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Here is a photo taken during Czeslaw Lobrows award ceremony showing his toast with the Lemon juice. To the right is a close up of his Order of Smile.

Eddie.
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File Type: jpg Toast.jpg (32.8 KB, 36 views)
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:32 AM   #4
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And here three Commitee members wearing the Grand Order of Smile on a neck Chain.

Eddie.
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File Type: jpg Commitee.jpg (44.0 KB, 34 views)
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Old 08-14-2004, 05:23 AM   #5
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Here is their website (it is in Polish, but it is not that hard to navigate):
http://www.orderusmiechu.pl/
Marc
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