Poland honours Ken Balendra

Business leader Ken Balendra was last week honored by Poland with one of that country’s highest and most prestigious decorations – The Cavaliers Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland.

Balendra, a former chairman/CEO of John Keells Holdings (JKH), has served as Poland’s Honorary Consul-General here for the past several years.

He continues to be active in business and in social service post-retirement from JKH and is the non-executive Chairman of the Ceylon Tobacco Company and sits on the boards of several of the country’s best known quoted and unquoted companies including Caltex Lubricants, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Brandix and many more.

The Polish decoration was conferred on Balendra by Dr. Krzysztof Majka, Ambassador for the Republic of Poland based in New Delhi and concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka at Balendra’s Colombo home.

The ambassador said that he was conferring the honor on behalf of Polish President Lech Kaczynski who confers this award to both citizens of Poland as well as foreigners for outstanding contributions in different walks of life – public, social, international and also military services.

Balendra is the first Lankan to receive this award "for his outstanding contribution to the development of bilateral relations between our respective countries," the ambassador said in the citation.

Replying, Balendra said that whatever he was able to do was possible thanks to the cooperation he had always received from wsArsaw and the Polish Embassy in Delhi, his own staff who helped him with is work and ``my uncomplaining wife, Swyrie.’’


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