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August 2001 - Nr. 8


The Editor
The Last Mohican
Antje berichtet
Klaus Hofer reports...
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Views & Reviews
Fred Wagner
Down On The Town
Seniors at CNE
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Join us...
50 Years...
Stem Cell Imports
Folk Festival Fun
From Love Parade...
Goethe Papers
Royal Tomb

In Memoriam


I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Fred Wagner died at about 10:30 on Tuesday, July 10th 2001, in Brantford, Ontario.

Fred WagnerTo all of those who were fortunate to know and associate with him during his many active years in public life, it will be just as much of a shock as it was to me. I knew Fred mainly through my association with "Karneval" – or Mardi Gras, as we often refer to it now. He was the president of the BDKK (Bund Deutscher Karneval in Kanada), a job he took over with a vengeance in 1989, when Rudi Koch (our "Bundeskoch") retired. Not many decisions that concerned carnival were made without his help and advice, born from many years of experience. He was the driving force behind the annual "Manöverball" as was his wife Ingrid who, like a mother hen, looked after the welfare of her "Garde"girls very ably assisted him in many of his duties. Thanks to her untiring efforts, the Narragonia Dance Guard became so accomplished that they won almost every possible prize in all competitions and were admired as far away as Germany and Las Vegas in the USA.

Fred Wagner and Narragonia dance guardIt was an incredibly dedicated and unbeatable team that all of us took for granted – for many, many years. Fred and Ingrid always seemed to be in the best of spirits with lots of get up and go. I don’t think anyone of us ever dreamed that all this would someday come to such an abrupt halt.

Fred first learned about carnival from his wife’s parents – Willi and Irmgard Gansser. Fred’s wife began teaching dancing at the Fidelio in 1962 and convinced Fred to join in 1965, only to become an active member in 1970. In the 1971-72 season Fred and Inge were the "Royal Couple" (Prinzenpaar) of Hamilton.

He founded the K.G. Narragonia, Brantford in 1975 and has since been its president, as well as the president of the German Club, whose home is the "Sonnenhof" in Brantford.’ Ontario since 1988.

Fred was born in the Black Forest village of Schiltach on April 1st, 1932. After attending high school and completing an engineering degree at Offenburg University Fred was married to Ingeborg Gansser in 1953 in Germany. The newlyweds left Bremerhaven on the 12th of December of 1953 arrived in Hamilton on Christmas Day, the 25th of December, to begin a new life in Canada.

Fred’s first job was with Massey-Ferguson in Brantford. From there he went to Brown Box in Hamilton and then Elmet Parts of Dundas. In 1967 Fred and Ingeborg started "Apex Tool and Die Company" in Alberton, Ontario. Fred closed the company in the late 80’s and worked briefly with Fleetline Products of Brantford, and eventually returned to Elmet Parts in Dundas, Ontario, where he kept working as a consultant until about a week before he went into the hospital.

Fred hosted a retirement party when he turned 65 – but that didn’t stop him from still going to the office every day. He never really retired!

Funeral services were held in the chapel of the Dennis Toll Funeral Home in the morning of Monday the 16th – amidst a sea of flowers and over 250 friends, many in the uniforms of their respective carnival society. Even Volker Wagner from the BDK and Fred’s two brothers had arrived from Germany to attend the service. Afterwards a wake was held at the Sonnenhof Club, where snacks and refreshments were served. Many eulogies and speeches reminded the audience of Fred’s many achievements, trials and tribulations and how sorely he will be missed. A short address by the Narragonia Dance Guard ended with "This dance is for you, Fred" – followed by a flawless guard dance by the girls. A last honour for Fred Wagner – who had always been like a "Father-figure" to the girls – and a very fitting tribute to his memory. Needless to say that this was a very moving experience for the assembled guests.

Fred Wagner - Cheers to all!Well, Fred, it will most likely not be possible to replace you with an equally active and dedicated individual and we say "Farewell old friend with a last Alaaf, Helau and Ahoi".

Dick Altermann

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