Die "Hochwilde Böhmische"…
..."Trachtenkapelle" from "Südtirol" (Southern Tyrol) were recent guests at the Danube-Swabian Club. About 12-1/2 musicians - the ½ was 5-year old Josef who plays trumpet and drums - entertained almost continuously to the surprisingly full house in the great hall.
When I say full house, than the walls to the restaurant section are opened and the mezzanine, upstairs, is practically full. And all that happened on a Tuesday evening - that was the real surprise! I wondered if the free admission had anything to do with it.
The sound was great with lots of old evergreens included in the variety and the guests kept the dance floor filled - including the mezzanine dance floor area upstairs.
By the time the band started, most of the guest had eaten the tasty schnitzel-dinner provided by the club, at the buffet in the club’s foyer.
Steel City Oktoberfest
"Mister Oktoberfest", Albert Kergl, and his helpers had their hands full organizing everything and keeping the flow going according to schedule. (But then, what is an Oktoberfest in Hamilton without Albert?!)
One of the highlights of the event was the visit by about 20 ‘BDR’ (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer) contestants, and their minders from Germany, that were competing in the recent bicycle races in Hamilton.
As we found out – after the race – they had won two Gold-, one Silver- and two Bronze medals. Congratulations! (Read also Dietrich Eckert’s report in this issue!)
After the NU-TONES band had played a few introductory tunes to get the crowd dancing and in the proper Oktoberfest mood, these visitors were asked to pose in front of the stage for a ‘photo opportunity’.
After the barrel was laboriously hoisted on to the stage, it was tapped by David Simon, president of the carnival society and ably assisted by Hugh Turner (you may remember him as a recent ex-prince of Mardi Gras) - much to the delight of the many beer lovers who had brought their beer mugs for a gratuitous fill.
The coronation of the new Miss Oktoberfest was next on the agenda and Albert instructed the guests that the voting was their responsibility. By applause they voted for their favourite – they had three girls to choose from – and Renée Louden was acclaimed winner and proudly received the crown from the old ‘Miss’. The people had spoken!
A couple of honorary guests were David Christopherson, MPP, and City Councillor Larry DiIanni, who were both running for Mayor in Hamilton in the municipal elections. We’ll tell you if one of them won, in the next issue.
"Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit" and lots of dancing for the rest of the evening.
The Germania Club celebrated 139 years of existence recently. This is quite an achievement if one looks back on the general history of German or Austrian clubs in this area. Not too many have survived. Some, because there were too many Chiefs and not enough Indians, some clubs died because of lack of interest or lack of younger members to keep it alive. So it is gratifying to see a club that can still often fill its great hall.
The MC, David Simon introduced himself – the job that had usually been filled by Albert Kergl – and introduced well-wishers and those with congratulatory messages or contributions from the sub-groups and guests.
The Germania Choir then opened the official part of the evening with "Oh, Canada" and the German and Austrian national anthems.
In memory of the members that had passed away the choir also sang "So nimm denn meine Hände" while the MC read the names of the departed members, between the first and second verse of the choral.
Past-president Hans Bastel also read the interesting and enlightening biographies of many of the over 50’s members, and how they found their way to the Germania club in the past. Some of them are still actively working in their chosen profession.
Award to the Members
The choir concluded the official part of the evening with some wonderful renditions of "German Folk Songs" - including "Ännchen von Tharau" - that were jubilantly received by the guests.
After moving some of the tables - to clear the dance floor - it was dancing to the sounds of D.J. Christa for the balance of the evening.
3rd annual "Traubenfest"…
Photos supplied by the Szauter Family
Some of you may remember from past events that a latticework, or trellis, is set up in the hall, around the dance floor, and all sorts of goodies are suspended from it. Something the members of the youth group had started to do in the morning already.
The idea is that the dancers steal these little bags of fruits or veggies while they are dancing and the youth group’s "Police" have to catch them. When they do, the thieves are taken before the judge - Frank Poos this year - and fined. After they pay their fine they get rewarded with a drink. (Then they are released to - hopefully - steal some more!)
After Nicole Hudson welcomed the guests and the "Traubenglocke" - a huge bunch of grapes - was brought in, the Fred Rohrer band started to play and the "thieves" went into action. Needless to mention, that the police was kept really busy, but that was the fun part and the whole idea of the evening.
During the evening Alisha Szauter, "Miss Danube 2003" led a ‘Polonaise’ through the premises, but that didn’t stop the thefts. Additional entertainment was the performance of three dances by the youth group that once again brought down the house, said Annie.
Since the financial contributions by the thieves wasn’t as high as expected, the Szauter Family donated $600.00 from their "Lachfest" and Mr. & Mrs. Schinagl contributed another $200.00 to the Youth Group. The Traubenglocke was later raffled off and won by Irene Doriat.
The balance of the evening was spent dancing by the "die-hard" dancers in the audience.
The members of the host group, the "Almrausch" Folk Dance Group and other members of the club eagerly await this annual event. Since the general public is also invited this happening usually turns out to be a huge success. Well, not that huge this year, but great anyway. (There were still some seats available).
One of the highlights of this evening’s entertainment was the performance of Herodoto M. Vargas (Otto) who performed a fantastically intricate dance routine in an Inca-type costume, to the great delight of the audience.
The Mexican dance group also performed three Mexican folk dances - with beautiful costumes - that were very well received. Great show!
The Hansa kitchen outdid itself again with Vlasta’s fabulous goulash etc. and Mexican fare. The comments from some of the guests: Wow!
Bayern Klub Oktoberfest
Well, with so much being offered on that Saturday that was not really a surprise. Steam Whistle beer was a favourite again and the new Krombacher Pils didn’t last all evening. By the way, the Pretzels sold out too!
Neat Halloween Party…
…at the Hansa Haus, with the PAR THREE Band. A number of the guests had arrived in costumes, adding colour to this event. Since the hall wasn’t very crowded this time, there was plenty of room on the dance floor.
Three guitars and a computerized rhythm section made this band easy to listen to. They accompanied their tunes with vocals that were better than most. Unfortunately they only started to play at 9:00 pm, which meant that most of the guests had to wait one hour before the dancing started – of course that meant that there was lots of time to take advantage of the delicious offerings of the Hansa Kitchen - while Albert Dittgen entertained with his "One Man Band". It was a very pleasant event that more people could have attended.
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