We all are familiar with the concept of networking. It has been a staple of community building for a quite a while now and led to many successful ventures.
Actually it is not a new concept at all; people have always gathered in a common interest and then made the best of the offered opportunities. Networking just happens to be the buzzword of the nineties, and probably was added sometimes during that decade into the dictionary. (This is purely speculation on my part; I did not have the time to research. I do know however that an expression from a failed Hollywood film/relationship entered the dictionary this year: when something is really bad it can now be referred to as really ‘gigli’, after the name of the movie that infamous couple starred in it, Lopez and Affleck.)
Toronto is not only an old gathering spot, but also a trading location, something the natives already established. H.J. Janthur knows this well. As president of DEPAG and Chairman of the Federation of Export Clubs, and specifically also the one in Ontario he has gotten people to come together for their mutual benefit for many years now. Every year he organized 10 meetings, usually in the Albany Club in downtown Toronto and introduces interesting guest speakers to an interested audience, which is looking for further networking opportunities. This is very conducive for doing business, for trading and creating new ventures.
March 24 saw the 251st meeting of this kind, and being somewhat of an anniversary Mr. Janthur looked to make it extra special. This he did indeed with a gathering of Indian Chiefs of Canada’s First Nations, including a Grand Chief. The much-anticipated gathering also drew interest from other business leaders and dignitaries, such as Dr. Karl Schmidt, the Austrian Trade Commissioner.
An Elder spoke at length about trade and treaties with an astoundingly wise perspective, all the while pointing out that he did not study much, but does rely on inherent simplicity of wisdom. He also managed to draw everyone present into a spiritual realm with a cleansing ceremony to which young natives chanted and played the drum.
Several displays of varying Aboriginal groups from Sault St. Marie and Sarnia and other places in Ontario came with displays and business opportunities under the leadership of Chief Brian LaForme, who even was familiar with Germany, having served there as a member of the American Army.
Mr. Janthur with good foresight had invited several possible matches for business to the meeting and made the introductions. Much information changed hands while the bar was open and finger food awaited consumption.
Individuals interested in doing business with our First Nation should get in touch with Mr. Janthur’s office at 418-364-4112.
Personally I invited some young native people to participate in our youth forum. Hopefully we hear very soon from one of them. The perspectives should be most interesting!
During the many years I have attended the ball there have been many changes and even improvements to the proceedings that easily could become too long and laborious. This year I think the ideal scene was created. The ball is strongly patronized by the local power hierarchy. Politicians know that the German presence in Kitchener still carries a lot of weight and has brought prosperity together with perseverance and hard work to the region over literally centuries. And even though there are many other ethnic presences in the region nowadays the German Canadian Clubs and organizations have together enough clout to move to make a difference. Thus MPs and MPPs as well as the Mayor and other entities gladly show up for an evening of rubbing elbows with the opinion leaders of the German Canadian community.
To read off and acknowledge the long list of dignitaries, officials and special guests can be time-consuming and tiring. The newest version of getting the job done deserves mentioning and emulating elsewhere: Names are grouped together in similarities, as in all politicians, all club officials, all German oriented organizations, into which we fell. After the names of a category have been read and everyone got up and stand to the end of that list, the rest of the people applauded. This moves the official part forward very swiftly indeed. Applause by category- simple!
This event was planned by a committee led by Rita Allmendinger. Her daughter Sarah was the Master of Ceremonies and led swiftly through the proceedings. Everything was streamlined this year and seemed to flow better. This led to an earlier end of the official part and left more time for the casual rest of the evening with dancing.
From the beginning champagne reception through the delicious 4 course dinner with wine, the introductions, the commemorations and thank-yous, the concert part, the dance offerings of traditional and ballroom, right to the swearing in of the new board of directors, everything went without nearly a hitch.
Nothing but smiling faces were to be seen, especially by those that were given an acknowledgment for their good work, such as Monika Mattheas, who received a nice cheque for the popular and successful Concordia School, Bert Steg for leaving the board of Directors after serving for quite a while.
At least 6 elected government officials, including Kitchener’s Mayor Carl Zehr, 8 plus German Canadian club and association presidents, including our own Herwig Wandschneider, President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Business and Professional Association, Ernst Friedel, President of the German Canadian Congress, 8 other opinion leaders within the community, including James Breithaupt, Chairman of the German Pioneer Day, myself for Echo Germanica and Kitchener’s own radio personality Heinz Kreitzer, 9 past presidents including Bob and Maria Huschka and Elisabeth Rowsell and many others found special mention and a warm welcoming atmosphere at the Concordia Club, famous for its quality hospitality, so amiably and reliably created on a day by day basis by Manager Peter Pijet, who was there with his pretty wife Sabina.
The entertainment part was special, as always. The Alpine Dancers performed and we recognized some familiar faces from Brampton’s Weiss-Blau Dancers as part of the group.
The Concordia Choirs
And after the board was sworn in and the new president confirmed to be the old one, namely Werner Schlueter, he and his wife could open the ball, soon to be followed by nearly everyone onto the dance floor to the sounds of the popular Black Forest Band.
Loving Couples & V.I.P.s
While the party went on we drove home to Toronto without trouble, reflecting on a very pleasant evening.
German Wine Tasting
Consul General Dr. Klaus Rupprecht welcomed an amiable and sometimes professional crowd to Roy Thomson Hall for an annual wine tasting of some of Germany’s best-known labels like Deinhard or G.A. Schmitt.
To make the event more interesting Lufthansa promoted the " world’s best business class flight" and gave away two tickets in a draw. The winner was Maryann Lang from Kitchener, who was quite thrilled to be able to go to the country where her daughter had lived for a few years.
Ample and delicious food supplies and bread bits, and all the other required wine-tasting paraphernalia was available and people moved from display to display to taste and discover something new.
I am thrilled to have found my perfect summer wine from Weingut Langguth Erben. Looking pale green in its light bottle the Langguth Riesling Secco tasted as crisp as a chilled cucumber on a hot summer’s day, had almost but not quite a fizz, left a fruity aftertaste and tingled the pallet. This wine is as "spritzig" as a pretty young girl in a pretty dress, or so one gentleman said, great for the garden or patio.
I also liked a Badenser Red and a Rhein Hessen Franz von Metternich Riesling Spaetlese. Added to our local wines created by German Canadian award winning winemakers Reif or Konzelmann, we are really well served with anything our hearts could desire.
Amazing also was the fact that some of these very wonderful wines are to be sold below 10 dollars. That makes them eligible for house or open wines. Other wines of course have much higher price tags but will reward the connoisseur with an unforgettable experience.
There is to be another wine tasting early September, so look out for the invitation to participate.
In the meantime I wish everyone a very Happy Easter and many, many Easter eggs.
Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send mail to email@example.com
questions or comments about this web site.