About 1000 people were again attracted to the annual "Anna Picknick" – called in honour of St. Anna, whose day is actually the 25th of July.
Quite a number of "Annas" were present at the picnic and eight of them posed for a photo opportunity, in front of the stage – including Anna Gubasta who is well known for her dedicated work at the "Donauschwaben" Club in Toronto.
The weather was almost ideal - warm, but with a slight cloud cover that prevented the sun from doing damage to sensitive skin. However, that did not prevent the younger visitors from having a great time in the pool or from enjoying other fun-facilities.
After the traditional church service at 11:00 a.m. food was the next item on the agenda. Delicious "Schnitzels", Krainer sausages, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Sauerkraut and more were consumed in copious quantities. After the bar opened the visitors finally had a chance to re-hydrate with well-cooled beverages. The beer of choice: Austrian "Gösser", of course.
Kudos are in order for all the volunteers that slaved over hot stoves in the cookhouse, the kitchen, the bar and many other tasks, to make this event another unmitigated success and an event to remember.
The ladies had also baked numerous delicious cookies and other pastry that was offered to the guests for dessert at a nominal price. Nobody that I know of had objections to any of the prices charged since the proceeds – after expenses – went to a charity.
Then the "Golden Keys" from Kitchener, after the national anthem, started playing from their rich repertoire of well-known and treasured dance music. It did not take long for the concrete apron in front of the stage to fill up. It stayed that way all the rest of the day, although it was a little difficult to execute the perfect waltz on concrete.
A great surprise was in store for Joseph and Margit Find. Their son Harry had staged an anniversary "Special" to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and their 50 years in Canada. They had no idea – the surprise was perfect. Great job, Harry!
Enztäler Musikanten at the Hansa Haus
It was refreshing to listen to the sounds of the old "Heimat" and to see the wonderful "Trachten" – especially of the ladies – from the old Banat Region in eastern Europe.
The group that visited the Hansa Club last Wednesday was founded ten years ago (in October) and consists of 8 couples of whom 5 couples are presently on a tour of North America. They all hail from the area around Heidelberg, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Leimen – where they congregate to practice those wonderful dances.
When I arrived at seven o’clock – the time they said the doors would open – it was already almost impossible to get a seat. The parking lot was nearly full, which is always a good indicator of the popularity of the event being staged. Luckily I found a seat and proceeded to put the flyers for our Lake Ontario Cruise – in September (see ad) – on every table. Since the performances were scheduled for eight o’clock, the visitors had plenty of time to partake of the delicious food from the club’s kitchen, and to study our flyer (!)
I am still wondering why so many guests showed up on a
Wednesday evening, but then over 400 guests attended the performances of the
same group the next evening – to great acclaim - at the Danube-Swabian Club.
It sure helps to advertise!
Randfichten at the Donauschwaben
Another great group that performed at the Danube-Swabian Club last Saturday were the "Randfichten". Three talented artist – two accordions and a guitar – entertained about 400 guests in the great hall of the club. They had even brought a cameraperson ( an attractive young lady) and an other assistant along from the MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk) to tape the performances that will be aired in Germany on the 8th of this month. The group hails from Saxony - near Chemnitz and Zwickau – and had picked the name for their group "Randfichten" from the special fir-trees (Fichten) in managed forests in Germany that are planted at the edge (Rand) of the forest and feature branches that are only growing on one side of the tree. Who would have thought!
Introduced by Radio Herz and Toni Baumann, the likeable group had immediately established great rapport with the audience who willingly followed all the suggestions by the band for audience-participation.
- - -
Unfortunately I am also the bearer of sad news. Albert K. Perl, the well-known - Canadian born – Hamilton attorney has passed on. Albert was substantially involved in making the Germania Club in Hamilton the successful venture it has since become.
A great deal of information was made available to us by Eugene F. Rapp, from Pensions International in Hamilton – for which we are very grateful.
Albert’s untiring efforts earned him the honorary presidency in 1967 already, when he was also chairman of the committee for the 100th anniversary of the Germania Club.
His achievements regarding the German presence in Hamilton are too many to properly pay tribute to in the scope of this report. Witness to his popularity was the fact that about 200 mourners attended a commemorative service held at the Germania Club in Hamilton.
Our condolences go out to his wife Ute and the rest of the family. Albert will be missed.
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