Especially Mayor Hazel McCallion of Mississauga knows how to stroke the "German" soul in us. She turns up whenever she can to celebrate our heritage with us and does not let us forget that her grandchild is a member of the Hansa Club and dancing in the junior Schuhplattler group.
But also Bramptonís Mayor Susan Fennell came out with a councilmember to congratulate the group in her domain to its longevity and the contributions made to the community. Both mayors did not just come equipped with words. They also brought that all-important recognition in visible form as a plaque and letter.
Certainly the Club was happy to present the group with a memento of their home club. Rainer Walter would just love it if the group would make a comma behind its name and add: Hansa Club Brampton, like all the other "Untergruppen", sort of like an official anchor and recognition of the home base.
It is lucky that the club can accommodate quite a few people, even if the dance floor is needed for its intended purpose, or otherwise the many well-wishing groups from near and far would not have had room to sit with the many other interested guests. The attending groups were:
All of them contributed richly to a wonderful evening and brought gifts and mementos to mark this special day that started with a fine dinner, an "Aufmarsch" with flags of all the groups and much entertainment by the dance groups, the bell ringers and the Matt Lebar Band. There certainly was a fundraising raffle, without which the evening would not be complete.
The history of the S.T.V. Weiss Blau Bayern is a typical one as far as groups of this nature go, but has interesting highlights:
The founding members of the S.T.V. Weiss-Blau Bayern originated from A.S.T.E.V. Edelweiss and danced out of the Edelweiss Austrian Club in Toronto. Plans to form a new group were begun in 1983 by Walter Zemann. Those plans came to fruition in April 1984, when Walter, Doris Zemann, Monika Kurrle-Taylor, and David and Ingrid Kyle formed a new group, moved to the Harmonie Club in Toronto and chose the name "Blau-Weiss Bayern". Peter Henkel, one of the groupís accordion players, joined up in May of 1984. It was Peter who arranged the groupís first performance - the Caravan multicultural festival in Toronto, June 30, 1984.
The group first introduced themselves to the area Vereine in June of 1984 and attended its first official event the following month - the Alpenland Hamilton Fahnenweihe. In August 1984 the group changed its name to "Weiss-Blau Bayern" in light of the fact that the colours of the Bavarian flag are traditionally referred to as Weiss-Blau. It was at this time that the first pretty dirndls were ordered for the group.
On June 8, 1985 a first dance was hosted and, to no ones surprise, it was a success. In July 1985 the first Carabram festival was on the agenda, held at their current home club, Hansa Haus in Brampton. In March 1986, the Harmonie Club closed and it was decided to move to the Donauschwaben Club in Toronto. In 1986 also began discussions for the formation of a childrenís group. That same year the St. Catherineís Alpenroesl Fahnenweihe in September 1986 was visited and friendships were forged.
After the Carabram performance in July, Weiss-Blau Bayern remained in touch with the then President of the Hansa Haus in Brampton, Mr. Henry Bunge. With his support, they were eventually invited to become members of the Hansa Haus. In April 1987 they performed for the first time as members in their new home.
The group also traveled abroad and went to Germany in August 1990. A total of 13 members toured for two weeks in Germany and Austria, a fitting place to show off the brand new Tracht. Later that same year, the members helped to form Volkstanzgruppe Almrausch and Weiss-Blau Bayern Junior Schuhplattler.
In August 2001, the group once again visited Germany and Austria. This time, a total of 14 people went to dance, take in the beauties of both countries, renew old friendships and begin new ones. And the group certainly wants to go again and strengthen the earlier ties.
Congratulations from all
We wish them well and congratulate them to their success!
SFR. with notes from Gabriel Lopez
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