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(Local) Busta, Litwin recognized by Polish community

by Unknown
Wed, Oct 15th 2014 11:00 am


LYNN - Two Peabody residents who have made significant contributions to the city's Polish community were honored at a special tribute dance last Sunday at St. Michael's Hall. Lola Busta, 82, and Bob Litwin each won Community Recognition Awards at the event, which after expenses are paid, will help a Polish veteran.
Busta has been a face of Peabody's Polish community for decades. Born on Pulaski Street, her late parents were Polish immigrants who came to the United States about 100 years ago.
A lifelong resident, Busta graduated from Peabody High in 1949, worked as a bookkeeper at Dan Dooley's Garage in downtown Peabody. She then held a short stint at Rose Leather before she moved on to work at Bond Leather, where she was employed for 34 years before retiring.
It's her contributions to her heritage, however, that were recognized. A lifelong member of the former St. Joseph's Church, Busta served as a member of St. Cecelia's Choir, president of the Holy Rosary Society for 10 years, president of the St Joseph's Ladies Guild, member of St. Michael's Society, board member of the Peabody Historical Commission, member and elected official in the Mass. Federation of Polish Women's Club and president of the United Polish Organizations of Peabody, a post she has held for 38 years.
Busta is also a past recipient of the Pride in Peabody Award, and remains active in many other community activities. Among those is Polish Constitution Day at City Hall.
Busta said she got involved because of what her predecessors did.
"I followed and learned from them," she said.
While Busta was unsuccessful in leading the charge to keep St. Joseph's open after an archdiocese directive closed it in the late 1990s, she attends church in nearby Salem and has kept the church's activities going through annual Polish picnics, babka sales and more.
Like Busta, Litwin carried on the legacy of keeping Polish music alive following the death of his father in 1981. His dad, Frank, played a Polish music show out of his family-based garage in Salem from 1967-1981. Bob Litwin, who worked as a mechanic in the business, took over for his father and has been playing Polka music every Sunday for the past 33 years.
The show is now aired from 11 a.m.-noon. Each Friday afternoon, Litwin burns a music CD and brings it to the Chelsea studio of WESX. He picks up the tab for the expenses.
"I do this for the home-bound,"  he said.               
Litwin comes from a musical family as well. His father played the drums and his uncle the fiddle. Litwin used to play the tenor sax.