Every Christmas season gives me another set of memories. Some of them are glorious; some are wonderful, some are sad. This year was an extremely mixed bag. Everything went extra special and was great. The house and porch were decorated with lots of evergreen trees and lights. In the door a wreath was adorned with a teddy bear and inside the house another real tree spent his fragrant odour. Toys and teddy bears everywhere, and that even though we have no kids or grandchildren. But why not, I always say. I have to practice this lifetime, so I know what to do in the next one. And people laugh and agree.
For the same reason I always go all out cooking and doing all those other things one does for Christmas, even though there might no one be around to share it, because they all took off to Florida or Europe or have families of their own to share the holidays with.
But that does not mean that I have to stop celebrating Christmas with all the trimmings, which means goose, tree and all…one never knows who might be popping by. So this years surprise was an unexpected visit by two of my favourite people, Caroline and Elizabeth. Visiting from their busy schedule in Europe for just a couple of weeks they found or made the time to come by for some Christmas cheer and to bring me some extra decadent Swiss Chocolate with cardamom and cinnamon! What a treat! Thank you girls, it was special. Hope you enjoy your musical hearts, which I found at the Christmas market in Toronto. (This really might have been the last one. Vendors were sooooooo unhappy about the lack of support and I can only say that I do not blame them.)
Everyone sent greetings in writing or by phone, except one person, who lives near by. But it is always like that, isn’t it? Where there are highs there are usually also lows. And being busy just does not hold water as an excuse for the lack of consideration in special relationships.
We also had a visit with some very dear and close friends who did not go away for the holidays. Others could not come because of illness and we hope that they are better soon!
We had Christmas parties to attend and followed a few invitations, including one by the Consul General Dr. Rupprecht, which was aimed at establishing a better working relationship between the Consulate and the media.
There was a concert by the Harfentoene, which turned out to be the last concert with the guest conductor of several of our community choirs, George Zadubán. He unexpectedly passed away on December 29th and I found out New Years Eve, which we spent at the Hansa Club. The service is to be held on Saturday, January 10th, 2004, at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 432 Sheppard Ave. East. The choirs he conducted will be singing a musical farewell.
There were other sad events, other people that are no longer with us and who were perhaps not important in our everyday lives to all of us, but they certainly enriched the lives of others and it is important to acknowledge their contributions.
One of the most devastating news was the early dismissal of Martin Fisher-Dieskau as Principal Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. As I already mentioned in my letter from the editor, something needs doing urgently to rectify this obvious mistake that meets with so much disapproval outside of a board that appears to not have the finger on the pulse of its community and lacks confidence in their own ability to support a fabulous orchestra. In that case it is not the right board and should be replaced fast, before it can do more damage.
So, can you imagine all the things that are on my wish list for the New Year?
I would love to have our cultural institutions strengthened and more harmony and co-operation among them. More support for them and our industry, so we can do the public work that we should be doing. That is something we cannot do alone. It takes a lot of money to create a paper. Therefore I wish for a lot more subscribers and advertisers and sponsors. I also want to encourage more of the younger crowd to participate. I want to hear from them in different ways. We are still looking for more participants in the youth forum. If there are people with special abilities, artists, writers, painters or anything else that might be of interest, please, let us hear from you. Tell us about you and the world around you and what matters to you. Exchange your views with others. Are there difficulties that you have encountered and found a solution to? Tell us! Do you like to travel and have been to great places? I am sure our readers want to know about that. The internet has unlimited applications…Write in response to our other writers, or write something original… if at all possible we will include you in the forum. As long as the story has a positive spin, as in solutions and adventures versus just boredom, disaster and problems, we will try real hard to make it happen.
Let us build more of those bridges that we have started already, strengthen them and build more between countries, cultures and generations.
Life is a journey. Let us take it together! I will do my best to help out as much as I can.
These are my New Years wishes for 2004. Hopefully they will come true with your help!
( Echo Germanica, German-Canadian, arts, entertainment, heritage )
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