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May 2002 - Nr. 5


The Editor
Vorsicht Satire!
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K-W and Beyond
German Theatre
COC Opera Duo
Die Alte Dame
German Studies
Gone Fishing
40 Years Lein's
Wines of Austria
Sportclub 64 Toronto
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Ganghofer Treffpunkt
40 Years Beatles
Deutsche Regisseure...
Lost Film Era
Historical Centre
Der Nürburgring
Deutsche Autos in USA
To Do Business
Stained Glass Windows
Berlin History Museum
Online Village
World Cup 2006
Economic Upswing
"Hesse Year"
German Beer Day

Dick reports...


Dick Altermann at his computer

Country Road, take me home!

Country Blue Gras and Gospel music – not in Tennessee, but in the Danube Swabian Club in Scarborough. It was fantastic.


It is amazing what a family of about 25 people, dedicated to bringing pleasure to many audiences, can accomplish. I well recall the beginnings of the "Forget-me-nots" many years ago when some members of this talented family were very, very young and performed semi-classical music to the delight of members of the Newmarket German Club.

Opening szene of Country, Bluegrass & Gospel   (Danube Swabian Club)

The boys and girls from this group have now grown up to be young men and young ladies and full-fledged members of the "Szauter Family" team, whose spiritual "head" is Ingrid Szauter.

Danny - man of the hour   (Danube Swabian Club)At this latest event we were given the opportunity to listen to almost three hours of "Country Blue Gras" performances with Ingrid’s son Daniel as the star. His performance reminded me a little of Ivan Rebroff, since Daniel has an impressive voice that ranges from a high tenor to bass. His instruments? Guitar, banjo and "mouth organ" – believe it or not!

Country, a cappella   (Danube Swabian Club)He was accompanied by Ingrid’s brother Manuel Seilern, who mostly played the base fiddle, and his son Mathias on guitar, at times also by Ingrid herself and some of the girls (like Rachel who plays a mean fiddle) plus other members of the team such as Steve Adam – not a blood relative but a good friend and long-time member of the team, or Manuel’s son Timothy who tried his hand at the base fiddle in one of the numbers, and Annie Scully who accompanied Rachel on the violin.

Clogging to the rhythm of country   (Danube Swabian Club)An impressed audience also gratefully appreciated the four dance performances –clogging – by some of the female members of the team.


"Dolly" and "Porter"...

...by Rachel Seilern and Chris Turman

The Judds from Tennessee   (Danube Swabian Club)A sketch of Dolly Parton (Rachel Seilern) and Porter Wagner (Chris Turman), as well as guest performances by the Judds from Tennessee, started the second half of the performance after a short intermission. This break gave the visitors a chance to load up on delectable baked goods – provided by the Szauters and the Youth group of the club – available in the foyer.

The big cake charity sale   (Danube Swabian Club)Proceeds from the sale of these cakes and pastries – and the whole evening - went into the kitty of the Danube Swabian Youth Group. Little baskets on the tables encouraged the guests to contribute with some donations since there was no admission charge for this wonderful evening.

A barbershop gospel   (Danube Swabian Club)Some of the highlights of the performance were "the duelling banjos", Country Road, the Gambler and Let my life be a light – almost but not really a Barbershop Quartet, since the harmony is different in this case. It is impossible here to list the 36 selections that were performed plus a special tribute to birthdays and anniversaries among the audience and a special tribute to Tony Baumann, the president of the club, with the Austrian song "Edelweiss".

Bluegrass, country and gospel by the younger generation   (Danube Swabian Club)One of the instruments in the performance played by Samuel Scully, was a "Hackbrett" – a hammered Dulcimer – whose distinctive sound is almost as rare as that of the Zither these days. While I am on the subject of instruments, the group needs a harp. Anyone who can provide one or knows where one is available, please notify the Szauters at 905-887-4410.

Rachel and Anny playing a mean fiddle   (Danube Swabian Club)One of the guests remarked to me "They are almost like the von Trapp family (Sound of Music) only larger".

Well there is some similarity here. Captain (Navy) Georg von Trapp left Austria when Hitler invaded it in 1938 – with 9 children and the governess Maria - to come to America. They spent the next 18 years on the road. When George von Trapp died in 1947 the children started to rebel because they wanted to settle down and start families of their own. All the children eventually broke away and the von Trapp Family stopped touring in 1956, bought an old farmhouse in Stowe, Vermont and eventually began the Trapp hotel business. The rest, as they say, is history.

An interesting aside though concerning children in the Trapp family: Son Rupert, a medical doctor died at age 80 in 1992 leaving behind six children and ten grandchildren; Werner became a dairy farmer, had six children and thirteen grandchildren; Johanna has six children; Eleonore (Lorli) has seven children and ten grandchildren; Johannes, now president of "Trapp Family Lodge Inc" has two children.

Looks like the Szauters and Seilerns have their work cut out for them, if they want to emulate the Trapps!

Winding up the show with a clogging dance...   (Danube Swabian Club)

Well, "you have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them" and I think they know.

...folksongs   (Danube Swabian Club)

A standing ovation by the guests concluded this wonderful evening.


at the Danube-Swabian Club

This annual event is as much a delight to the children as it is to the attending adults. The kids are noticeably proud of their "Trachten" – the regional costumes the original immigrants brought with them – and the parents and grandparents are obviously proud of the kids.

"Kindertrachtenfest" at the Danube Swabian Club

Miss Danube Rebecca Szauter, Joe Braschel & Rachel Seilern   (Danube Swabian Club)Also in attendance was the new "Miss Danube 2002", Rebecca Szauter as the official representative of the club.


You, too, belong in here   (Danube Swabian Club)For the children it is a great opportunity to meet with peers that they do not often meet. It is also a chance to renew old acquaintances or make new friends. They critically check out each other’s costumes to find, to their delight, that they are all the same.

"Have you heard?"   (Danube Swabian Club)This helps to unify them, makes them realize that they are a large "family" with an interesting heritage. It also familiarizes them with the club and what the club is trying to do for their community. Let’s face it, they are the club’s future.

Lining up for a dance   (Danube Swabian Club)

Ingrid and her labour of love, or growing up with a song in your heart   (Danube Swabian Club)Some of the activities – after a welcoming address by Klara Rotter from the senior dance group - were a group sing-along of German folk songs led by Ingrid Szauter and folk dances led by Carrie Turman.

The ice cream break   (Danube Swabian Club)For the kids it was also lemonade and ice cream as a delightful refreshment and reward, after the performances.


"Kindermanöverball" in Kitchener

Armin Hellmann's address   (Concordia Club)The same sentiments I mentioned above apply also to the children that serve to keep "Karneval" (or Mardi Gras) alive for the German community here in Canada. This is also the last "Alaaf & Helau" for the preceding season and as much fun for the young guard-dancers as it is for the attending parents and other members of the carnival societies.

"Misses" Hospitality   (Concordia Club)These events help to establish a sense of belonging to the community, keeping valued traditions alive, meeting their equals and establishing pride in their performances. This year was a little different than before. About 100 Junior and Kinder dance guard participated in the competition. This makes it the largest competition ever, very gratifying and a good sign for the future of carnival.

The new KG Ascendia from Hamilton brought its "Kinder guard" along, not to participate, but to give the youngsters a chance to see what this competition is all about. They plan to compete next year.

The judges   (Concordia Club)

Here are the results of the "Kinder" Competition:

  • "Originality" 1. KG. Blau-Weiss Sarnia.

  • "Show Dance": KG. Narragonia Brantford (and Wander Trophy) followed by KG Blau-Weiss Sarnia and KG. Narrenzunft Concordia.

  • "Garde Dance": KG. Narragonia Brantford plus Wander Trophy with KG. Treuer Husar, Mississauga in second place followed by KG. Narrenzunft.

  • "Funkenmariechen (Funky) Solo": KG. Treuer Husar, Mississauga garnered the first spot and the Wander Trophy, followed by Blau-Weiss Sarnia and (!) Narragonia Brantford.

  • The results of the "Junior" Competition: "Originality" Also KG. Blau-Weiss Sarnia.

  • "Show Dance": KG. Narragonia Brantford (and Wander Trophy) Followed by Blau Weiss Sarnia and the Treuer Husar, Mississauga in third place.

  • "Garde Dance": This time Blau Weiss Sarnia got the top prize (plus Wander Trophy) followed by Narragonia Brantford and Treuer Husar, Mississauga.

  • In the "Funky Solo" competition it was Narragonia Brantford on top (incl. Wander Trophy) Narrenzunft Concordia next followed by Blau-Weiss Sarnia.

Congratulations to all participants – not only the winners!

K.G. Treuer Husar Mississauga - Seniors

K.G. Treuer Husar Mississauga - Kinder

1. K.G. Loreley Oshawa

G.K.G. Narrhalla 58 Hamilton

1. K.G. Sarnia Blau-Weiss - Kinder

1. K.G. Sarnia Blau-Weiss - Juniors

Narragonia Brantford - Juniors

Narragonia Brantford - Kinder

1. K.G. Narrenzunft Concordia Kitchener - Kinder

1. K.G. Narrenzunft Concordia Kitchener - Juniors


These young contestants know that they cannot possibly all win the "First Prize" but it helps to nurture this spark of interest in the heritage of their parents and grandparents. They love to dress up in their fancy traditional uniforms and the camaraderie and experience gained are unique to this event and may last a lifetime.

The real challenges, in this type of competition, are the show dance costumes and the music that goes with the performance. These kids have demonstrated a truly unique variety and ingenuity – with a lot of help, of course, in the designs and performance envelopes.

Kudos to the many, many helpers that toiled in the background – including the dance teachers – who are rarely ever mentioned or given credit, but are a vital component of the whole endeavour. Alaaf and Helau – see you all in November again!


44 Years Hansa Club in Brampton

Club President Reiner Walter   (44 years Hansa Club)The annual anniversary was celebrated to a sold-out house last Saturday. It was officially opened by the Hansa Choir, under the direction of Wolf Schepp, who led the guests in the singing of the national anthems of Canada and Germany.

Herbert Gross as the M.C.   (44 years Hansa Club)After the welcoming address by Herbert Gross, as the master of ceremonies, an address by the club’s president Reiner Walter and the invocation by Henry Bunge a wonderful dinner was served. A large helping of pork pot roast with mashed potatoes; red cabbage and baby carrots followed the chef salad and was concluded by a giant slice of cake – baked on the premises as well, plus coffee or tea. Reif Estate Winery’s white and red wines that were served as part of the dinner well complemented this sumptuous meal.

Reiner Walter & Consule General Dr. Ulrich Hochschild   (44 years Hansa Club)After dinner the Hansa Choir entertained with well-known selections of the maritime genre and invited the guests to participate in the performance. (Das kann doch einen Seemann nicht erschüttern etc.) Songs you do not often hear anymore unless you still have old records or tapes.

The new honorary members   (44 years Hansa Club)The next item on the agenda was the recognition of service to the club and the awarding of the honorary memberships. The recipients were: Lou and Lilo Wegener, Jürgen and Barbara Kuhlmann and Albert and Angelika Kaltz. Congratulations!

This ceremony was followed by a performance of the Weiss-Blau Bayern Juniors and Seniors dance groups that not only included the Schuhplattler-type folk dances but also a rendition by the youngest members who performed a bell-ringing song as a group, followed by a more traditional bell-ringing performance by Melanie Bunkis Lopez.

The last item in the performance schedule was a folk dance performance by the combined "Almrausch" and Weiss-Blau Bayern Group – Seniors and Juniors - that filled the large dance floor.

The Oberkrainer band   (44 years Hansa Club)The rest of the evening was spent dancing to the sounds of the Oberkrainer Brass Band.



Madelaine and grandma   (Hansa Club)And by the way, the Frühschoppen the week prior also turned out to be a busy venue for the club. At first it didn’t look so good. Roswitha and Benno   (Hansa Club)Many tables remained empty. But suddenly the hall filled up, the line at the kitchen-counter grew long, (I heard the pork hocks were huge) and the Harmonie Brass Band had lots of people dancing on the floor.

Harmonie Brass Showband   (Hansa Club)

Young cowbell players   (Hansa Club)And when the kids finally performed all hearts grew soft and gooey. There is nothing like the little ones trying hard to emulate their bigger brothers, sisters and friends.

The beauty that is our future   (Hansa Club)

Clean fun for teenagers   (Hansa Club)Early beginnings   (Hansa Club)





Power powwow - f.l.t.r.: Reiner Walter, Ekko Hildebrandt, Dr. Ulrich Hochschild   (Hansa Club)Consul General Dr. Hochschild also had turned up with an entourage to solicit support for the German Festival.

As always,

Dick Altermann

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