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July 2017 - Nr. 7
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief


Dear Reader

For once I am not wanting to start writing about the weather, even though it leaves a lot to be desired, because I know what I want to say. My heart and mind are full of many thoughts and sentiments regarding the 150th birthday of Canada. Coming from Europe 150 years seems a very short time in history and hardly worth all the hoopla. Yet it is this newness that attracted us to come here in the hopes of being able to help shape something worthwhile. The old world was just that to us, old, and not much capable of change, or so we thought as young people 50 years ago.

Frederike & Walter Lasser from Austria celebrate "Canada 150" with the rubber duck at Toronto's Harbour

Frederike & Walter Lasser from Austria celebrate "Canada 150" with the rubber duck
at Toronto's Harbour

As I am watching this year’s Canada Day celebrations unfold I am torn between pride and shame. Pride because of what Canada stands for in the world and what Germany, my original country, has become; shame because of what all that was built on. We cannot speak of humanities proudest moments in that regard, but be reminded that humanity is its own worst enemy and capable of the same mistakes repeatedly.

Like the natives of this country we chose this day not to dwell on the negative but concentrate on all that is positive and celebrate. We had the best seats in the “house” in front of a nice large TV screen. Going out and being with thousands of people is no longer our cup of tee; it simply is too strenuous. Since we have much younger visitors from Austria and they wanted to see as much of the city as possible, the timing could not have been better. They became our eyes and ears throughout the festivities and then some. We now have an up-to-date point of view on our city through their eyes.

On Multicultural Day, we sent them to Ford York to be educated on the natives of this land by the natives of this land. We saw them on a tv news program while they attended a lecture. They checked out the humongous rubber ducky for us, attended concerts at Nathan Philip Square listening to Buffy Saint Mary and the Bare Naked Ladies.

They walked many miles exploring our city, sailed our lakefront to get ideal shots of the skyline and stayed up and out late at night to enjoy the fireworks on July 1st, all to explore and celebrate our glorious city.  They are Walter and Frederike Lasser and their son Luke. They did this while we either worked or watched the important happenings on our tv screen. We shared many meals, especially long drawn out breakfasts and leisurely dinners in the garden, exchanged stories and generally got to know each other bet\

er.

And while the weather was not conducive for a Lake Erie trip and sitting on a sand dune, they did walk our local lake shore for miles, enjoying it.

We thank them for their visit and their enthusiasm about our city. Photos of their stay will appear here and on our website.

This leaves me to say on all our behalf: “Happy Birthday Canada!”

I know that the German community has been making contributions to this land for over 300 years, that 3 Fathers of Confederacy have German connections and some of it you can read in the reports of Christian Klein and Gerhard Griebenow. We are profoundly thankful for their reports.

Until next time

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Lukas Lasser, he took the picture of his parents with the duck

We got to know Lukas at a previous visit to Toronto.
In Toronto he bought a guitar. We heart him daily improve his skills playing that guitar. To those sounds he composed one song after another and then he had his first performance here in Toronto. A real privilege to know him and call him our friend!
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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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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

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