Germanica 2004 Honours 8 with Heritage Awards
by Herwig Wandschneider
Germanica celebrates German-Canadian History and its contribution to Canada. It is organized by the German-Canadian Congress (Deutsch-Kanadischer Kongress or DKK), President Tony Bergmeier and its Ontario Division, President Ernst Friedel. Germanica Festivities are generally held every two years and was last held in 2002 at the Concordia Club in Kitchener and in 1998 in Delhi, On. (Germanica 2000 was not held due to interference with other activities).
This year’s Germanica celebration took place at the German-Canadian Club Hansa in Mississauga, near Brampton. The club has a very impressive hall, which easily accommodated the 260 plus participants and was decorated beautifully for the event.
Special Guests to the event included John Milloy, MPP, Ulrich Schmidt - German Vice Consul, Dr. Karl Schmidt - Consul and Trade Commissioner of Austria, Dr. Arpad Sölter - Director of the Goethe Institut, and Presidents and Chairmen from German speaking clubs and organizations. Also among the special guests was Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga for over 25 years, who at 83 and a very busy schedule took time out to join in the festivities and address the participants in her usual dynamic way.
The participation of so many personalities underlines the significance of this event and the value of the heritage certificates awarded to individuals, who have played an exceptional part in recent German-Canadian history and have made outstanding contributions, either as volunteers or hardworking idealists or both.
Eight individual were honoured at Germanica 2004:
The honours were bestowed on these well-deserving individuals for their long term perseverance and dedication to provide unselfish service or guidance to maintain and/or further a part of the German culture or language in Canada.
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, publisher and chief editor of this publication, had also just been honoured the day before to recognize her efforts in support of the German Culture during the festivities of the Ethnomedia week. The honour and plaque were bestowed on her by Lieutenant Governor James Bartelman and Thomas S. Saras, President of the Ethnic Press Council of Canada.
Sybille's table hopping
And more persons of statue
The Germanica 2004 award ceremonies were of course the highlight of the evening, but one cannot forget the delicious dinner, from salad to dessert, prepared and served expertly by members of the Hansa Club.
Performances of the Hansa Club Schuhplattlers, the Hansa Club Mixed Choir and a folksong sing-along with Ingrid Seilern Szauter deserve special mention. A surprise performance of the Szauter Family Choir led to many more songs, including some North German Seemann’s Lieder, before the evening ended in harmony and good spirits.
The event was well organized by the DKK and the choice of the Hansa Club proved to be excellent for the facilities, the dinner, and the support services for execution of the programme.
Hopefully there will be many more individuals, who devote their time and effort for the love of their heritage, so that Germanica can honour more of these admirable people in the future. The German community in this country, and Canada for that matter owes them a big DANKESCHÖN.
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