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September, 2005 - Nr. 9


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GS Hospitality Connections


The Editor
Rachel Seilern
Recht! - Menschenrecht?
KW & Beyond
Swiss Canadian Relations
Paul Tuerr turns 85
German Language Awards
Dick reports...
Picnic at the Hansa Haus
Highly-Anticipated Films
Huntgeburth's The White Masai
Phyllis Nagy's Mrs. Harris
Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown
Goethe Prize
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Midnight Madness Returns
TSO's Season Opener
Bach Festival in Toronto
Royal Ontario Museum
Handel's Rodelinda
COC's Wagner Lectures
Many Museums of Hamburg
Bust of Nefrititi
Palace Feasibility Study
Health Newsletter
Germany to Help Katrina Victims

Letter from the Editor

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

When I took the photo on our front page I was contemplating the meaning of life. Attending a wedding at the Wild Wind Farm in the area of King Township on the day that once was my mother’s birthday made me think of the different dynamics that shape our lives, and this scene put it again into perspective for me.

Under the tree of lifeThe tree of life stands tall and reaches into an endless sky. Dwarfed at the bottom a gathering of people, a young couple making vows to each other in the presence of friends and family and before their God. Handsome young men and pretty young women attending to the needs of the two people about to engage on a voyage that they can make into an exciting adventure or a life of boring routines.

The elements cooperated in an unusual way. A grey sky prevailed and a small amount of wet sprayed from the heavens to bless this union. The wind made it difficult to light the ceremonial candles.

This scene represented life in itself; it has, just like life, varying elements, and the difference between a good and a bad experience lies often in the hands of the participants. Decisions had to be made on how to handle the disappointing weather, the slightly irate guests without umbrella, the photographers who would rather not photograph the ungainly umbrellas but people, bridesmaids that shiver in the cool wind, girls having trouble standing or walking on a lawn with high heels, uncooperative wind for bubble blowing and candle lighting, and so on.

In each case it was chosen to just keep the purpose in mind, focus on what this gathering was really about and – voila – the rain, except for the sprinkling of a light blessing, held off until later, when all guests had arrived at the banquet hall. Thus the affair turned out to be a big success for all, included real life adventurous elements and thus provided an interesting lesson to be remembered for the new couple and their friends, as well as for the seasoned guest.

Little did we know that the evening’s rainy torrent was but a short lived blessing, for in New Orleans and the Golf Coast this would not be the case a couple of days later.

By now we are all informed about the horrible devastation in that region. There and around the world the slow government response has posed a lot of questions about the integrity and workability of the policies of our friends south of the border.

And the world is indeed watching, and has offered to help speed up a recovery program. We all will keep our eyes and minds and hearts on the purpose, and if we really do this then the impossible can and will be accomplished – sooner rather than later.

We who stand at the bottom of the tree of life can overcome any obstacle if we stand together, keeping the purpose in mind and are not afraid of the adventure that life presents us with every day. If we are to climb up to loftier heights we must remember to take all of us with us and not abandon those that need us; or else we are not going to make it either, for the weight of responsibilities not taken will drag us down.

Here in Toronto we carry on with life as though little has happened. Perhaps this is good, as long as we are prepared to lend a hand in what is necessary when we have our own difficult situation in the world we live in.

It is hard to believe, but summer is over, Toronto’s International Film Festival is at hand – look at for comprehensive coverage of schedules and programs; Oktoberfests are waiting to be celebrated, an election is looming in Germany, concerts want to be heard. The Toronto Symphony has a magnificent program; go to to find out more. The Canadian Opera has a wonderful season planned, which you can review at, and so do all the art venues like Opera York, Via Salzburg and so on. As we go along we shall report to you the events that are important to our community and culture and how they interweave with the Canadian cultural landscape, which relies so strongly on contributions made from our heritage, and– being supported by us now as admirers continues to shine and give pleasure to so many people.

We hope to see many of you in the coming season. Please, continue to speak to us and let us know what you want to hear about.

Until next time

Sybille Forster–Rentmeister


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