Home of Echoworld Communications

To Echo Germanica Homepage
June, 2004 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Vorsicht Satire!
Vienna Connection
Rachel Seilern
Zurich Connection
Dear Mom
KW & Beyond
Concert Season's End
Old Customs in New World
Heidelberg Village
Royalty in Burlington
Dick reports...
President's Pep Talk
Nachfolger von Rau
German Cuisine
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
Drugging of Children
Continental Divide
Via Salzburg
Event at The Fringe
Pearls in Color
No to Film Scene
German Beauty in Troy
A Truly Canadian Experience
Children's Writer
Returned to Bremen
Bach Festival 100th
Slow Meltdown
New Immigration Law
US Author in Berlin
German Olympians
Training for Olympics
Bremen Captures Trophy

Celebration of old Customs in a New World

  Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

An inviting stairwayIt was like stepping into the past. May 16th saw a lot of people flock to the little church on College Street, corner of Lippingcott, which had not been there for a while, because they had moved away. But on this day of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the German Canadian congregation at the church of St. George many parishioners arrived to celebrate. Already outside it could be seen that something special was happening. St. Georges KircheThe steady flow of arrivals went up the few stairs and entered through the adorned doors into the inner sanctum, which was festively decorated with flowers throughout. Each pew had a pretty bouquet attached.

Pine Ridge BrassChurch elders advised people as to where to sit, and thought of me just as someone to take pictures. Little did they know or remember that I too have plenty of memories that tie me to this church even though I do not belong to this congregation.

Dr. Wolf Goegginger at his 82nd birthday with his wife Erika and the youngest in the familyDr. Goegginger, who was there from the very beginning in 1952 as an Assistant Pastor when the first German Canadians congregated together at Sherbourne and Bloor Street and who took over the congregation in full in January of 1954 as a newly formed and full fledged German Canadian congregation at St. George the Martyr became much later, when we founded the paper, a close friend of Echo Germanica. He wrote many an inspiring article of a philosophical and spiritual nature for this, our community based paper and spawned many interesting discussions. His wife Erika and some of the family came that day, too. His first organist, Fekko von Ompteda, a very gifted and amazingly progressive musician actually recruited me into the ranks of German-Canadian cultural Festive decorationactivities for shows at the German Club Harmonie on Sherbourne and later also for activities in the basement of the church for this congregation, all of which I have very fond memories of.

Traditional serviceIt was also my honour to give eulogies of some prominent congregation members, including Fekko von Ompteda, Otto Leib, and more recently Werner Graf.

Just like myself there were many who had their special memories of life and people. No matter what life held for all of us, Pastor Katharina Möller, installed as the congregations Pastor on Decemer 1st, 2002, reminded us of what is important in the Christian faith by quoting Psalm 103.2: Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is.

Bishop Michael PrysePastor Möller led in many other pastors who had come to celebrate, as well as Bishop Micheal Pryse, who later, at the appropriate time during the festive service, held a sermon offering his thoughts on the history of the congregation.

I must say, the organ sounded lovely, the church looked great - all freshly renovated, painteRenita Rietzd and decorated, the organ sounded marvellous and inviting to sing along under the able hands of Elke Eble-Streisslberger aErika Goeggingernd the additional playing of the Pine Ridge Brass, as well as a solo performance by Renita Rietz. This truly was a communal service to be remembered for a long time.

Pastor Katharina Möller leads out the pastors...

...followed by the BishopAfter the clergy had ended the service and was led out again by Pastor Möller the congregation moved into the basement. To fit in all those people was not easy, but somehow it worked out.

Buffet timeA huge buffet, much of it donated by Ida Brandt, who always has been helpful and generous to this congregation over many years, was just the right thing A celebrationto stay and reminisce, and perhaps to think about how this congregation can be revitalized even more into a congregation of all ages.

The English and German concept, as it was presented in the service and whole program of the festivities, was a great idea. It was inviting to those that are not fully able to hold their own in German. Thus anyone could participate in what we as a congregation hold dear, and do not want to see swallowed up by the big city and its hectic activities.

von links nach rechts:
(1. Reihe)
  • Pastor Martin Giebel, Christ the King-Dietrich Bonhoeffer Kirche
  • Pastor Prüfer
  • Pastorin Susanne Hofmann (Für 1 Jahr in der Martin-Luther Kirche)
  • Pastor Eberhard Schwantes
  • Pastor Joachim Knaack
  • Pastor Ralph Wushke, Bathurst United Church
2. Reihe
  • Pastor Swante Olson, Peace Lutheran Church in Square One, Mississauga
  • Pastor Stefan Wolf, Martin-Luther Kirche
  • Pastorin Katharina Möller St. Georgsskirche
  • Pastor Peter Mikelic, Epiphanias Kirche Scarborough
  • Bischof Michael Pryse, Eastern Synod ELCIC
  • Pastor Kevin Flynn, Anglican Church St. Steven in the Fields, College Str.
  • Pastor Hoeppe, Katholische St. Patrickskirche


The church holds copies of a Festschrift with all the historical data in English and German. All those who helped to make this such a wonderful occasion a great Thank You.

To Top of Page

Send mail to webmaster@echoworld.com  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to info@echoworld.com .

Copyright ©2010 Echoworld Communications