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 June 2009 - Nr. 6
The edior: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Dear Reader

There was much to celebrate this last month in our community that reminds us how long German people have been here and have contributed to the culture of this country.

As you can see on our front page, we went to church for a very special occasion, the 80th anniversary of the Männerchor Harfentöne. This was not the only festive occasion. The Germania Choirs of Hamilton proudly celebrated a 145th anniversary; that is 3 more years then the 142 we are commemorating for Canada. The Federal Republic of Germany can mark 60 years of existence and of the "Grundgesetz", and there were a few other celebrations along the way, some of them of a more private nature, but not less important.

We definitely need to celebrate all our achievements and be proud of our contributions to Canada’s culture in general and to our own community.

There were other concerts to attend, political visits, and of course our own Germanica, where local residents are honored for keeping up the German Culture in this fine land.

Truly Canadian or a Happy Birthday feastThere were folk fests and there will be more, after all, it is summer in Canada and we celebrate that like nowhere else. We pack all we can into the few warmer months of the year and hope that out crops explode with good health, restore our bodies with much needed nutrients that only became available through sunshine, and thus spend as much time as possible outside. Nothing more appears more important to us. We look forward to every picnic and gathering that can serve as an excuse to celebrate.

We really love to see things grow and this year more than ever folks are experimenting in their gardens. I myself have taken to more container gardening. The now obsolete blue and grey boxes, due to their holed bottoms and nice depth, are ideal containers for growing plants of all sorts of descriptions, including tomatoes and herbs and so far everything is growing in abundance.

This year I am spotting more birds in our neighbourhood and also more squirrels and raccoons, another very Canadian "citizen" in our midst. I simply do not discriminate and feed them all. They can be annoying by getting into everything, yet I chose to see the better side of them. A little leftover food or stale bread occasionally keeps them out of the garbage. My bank is not broken when I buy some bags of peanuts for the bigger birds and squirrels and small seeds for our little feathered friends. My cats keep them all on their toes ad everyone is amused and entertained.

Next in line for celebration of course is Canada Day, Pfingsten (Pentecost) and Father’s Day, and we will also have Carabram, where I will hang out to explain to the masses some of our German customs…and NO, I will not sing.

There will be many more celebrations to come this year and we shall be around to enjoy them with you. Just now we would like to invite you to a little contest:

The movie Defiance with Daniel Craig of James Bond film fame just came out in Blue Ray and DVD. Anyone interested in a tale of freedom fighting will not want to miss this one, called a true testament to the human spirit. The 5th person who will call me (416-652-1332) or email me at on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, will win a copy!

So let me hear from you!

In the meantime I wish you all a Happy Pfingsten and a glorious Father’s Day and of course we wish Canada a Happy Birthday.

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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