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October 2017 - Nr. 10
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

I had just started to put away my summer wardrobe, when the weather took an unexpected turn and gave us the hottest days of the year. In fact, it was so hot, we made it to the beach one more time! Hallelujah!


Mary Ng, Member of Parliament for Markham-ThornhillBut that is not the only highlight of the month. The most astounding thing happened: I heard a Canadian official, MP Mary Ng, Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill, call Moll Berczy a co-founder of Toronto!  I swear it is true and the name Simcoe never even came up in the same speech.


A picture of Moll Berczy from 1807It happened at the unveiling of a statue in Markham of William Moll Berczy and a park named in his honour. Present were the Mayor of Markham Mr. Scarpitti, the Lord Mayor of Noerdlingen (Oberbürgermeister), where Moll Berczy hailed from and the local historian, Mr. Lorne R. Smith, who happens to be one of the decedents of the original group of German settlers that built the road and cleared the land and established the community that is now in the heart of Markham. He appeared in costume and read a wonderful speech as William Moll Berczy, while his wife, also in costume, looked on.

The statue of William Moll BerczyThey and many other dignitaries that came even from the United States were introduced by Dr. Richard Always, of the St. Michaels Board of Directors. Of course, the German Consulate had also sent a delegate, Michael Lauber, but his seat remained empty. We wondered why. Well, “A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum”, to borrow the English film title:

Mr. Lauber lives right downtown close to the Consulate. As he was trying to pull out of his underground garage he was prevented from leaving it. The International Film Festival, still in full swing, was building tents for a reception. When he finally got out of there after a half hour or longer of waiting, he made it finally onto the Don Valley only to be boxed in and standing still with nowhere to go or get out. I guess they do not call it a Parkway for nothing. By then there was no chance to arrive while the ceremony was still on, so when he could he just made his way back home, frustrated and hoping they would let him into his garage. He is fully aware how important this ceremony was for all Germans, locally and abroad. And by the way, next morning there was much talk on TV about the terrible traffic jams the festival has caused.

We are happy to tell Mr. Lauber how it was. The report of Mr. Smith as Moll Berczy tells the story beautifully and you too can read in this issue.

Other than that, we attended some Oktoberfests and an operatic concert that was not everyone’s cup of tea, but we loved it and laughed a lot. We all can use some more laughter in our lives, I am sure.

The next theatrical performance will be Opera York’s “Carmen by Bizet”, a wonderful story which never gets old. Hope to see you there and everywhere.

Until next time

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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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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