Former district resident has tea at Buckingham Palace

Eldeen Pozniak, former resident of the Endeavour and Preeceville areas, was invited to, and attended, a Royal Garden Party held at Buckingham Palace in London, England on May 25.

Pozniak was born in Endeavour and attended Sturgis School where her mother Elaine Hrycenko was a teacher. Her great-great grandmother was Granny Preece, a member of the family for whom the Town of Preeceville was named.

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Pozniak graduated in 1986 and moved to Saskatoon to continue her career.

Pozniak was officially invited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in recognition of her commitment to continuous commitment to the occupational health and safety profession and as current president of the International Network of Safety and Health Practioner Organizations.

She said she was delighted to attend the event which was being held to celebrate the safety charity’s centenary.

            RoSPA is the Queen’s charity that aims to save lives and prevent injuries by leading the way on accident prevention, said information on the charity. It began in 1916 as the London “Safety First” Council, after the blackouts of the First World War led to an increase in road accidents caused by pedestrians stepping out into the path of cars.

            His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, greeted guests on behalf of the Queen due to her attending to the victims of the Manchester bombing days prior. He was joined by his younger daughter, Princess Eugenie as they welcomed the 3,500 guests.

Pozniak was one of 200 diplomatic guests, one of the five Canadians invited and one of eight from North America.

            “Growing up I never dreamt that I would have such an honour, or ever be having tea in the Buckingham Palace Garden,” she said. “I do safety not to be recognized but it is work to influence organizations and individuals to ensure that moms and dads, sons and daughters go home from work every day.

“It was an amazing experience that I will always treasure," said Pozniak.

            Pozniak has been working in the safety profession for over 25 years, and owns two safety consulting businesses, Pozniak Safety Associates in Saskatoon and Diggins Safety Consulting in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for her contributions to safety with Saskatchewan and Canadian safety professional awards, by the American Society of Safety Engineers as being one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Health and Safety,” and by the Saskatchewan Safety Council by being an inductee into the Saskatchewan Safety Hall of Fame.

            The Queen hosts three garden parties per year at Buckingham Palace as a way of recognizing and rewarding public service and holds special garden parties such as this one from time to time. At each garden party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed.