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November, 2004 - Nr. 11


The Editor
Die Pelle
Eternal Promise
Rachel Seilern
From the Lockerroom
Dear Mom
Vorsicht Satire!
"Community Matters"
KW & Beyond
Zweibrücken/Barrie Exchange
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
National Arts Centre Orchestra
COC events
First Night Toronto
Christmas Markets
Branding Toronto
Nana's Kitchen
Collective Soul
German Pioneers Day
Kitchener Club Events
K-W Oktoberfest
KSW Lawsuit

Zweibrücken/Barrie Exchange

   They are sometimes called "Maple Palatines". Initially, this term applied to those Canadians born in and around Zweibrücken, Germany, of a German mother and a Canadian father. It would later encompass any of the Canadians who lived for a period of time between the years 1953 and 1969 in that part of Germany known as the Pfalz or the Palatinate.

It was during these years that the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) maintained a major Air Base in support of NATO. The base was one of three Canadian Air Bases in Germany; the others were located at Lahr and Baden-Soellingen.

As a result of this Canadian presence three Canadian communities twinned with German communities to recognize the ties that had developed between the citizens of the two countries.

In 1997, the City of Barrie, which is located near Borden, Ontario, "Birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force" twinned with the City of Zweibrücken. This German city was the location of the first Canadian Air Base in Germany in support of NATO.

Since the twinning documents were signed, there have been a number of cultural exchanges between the two cities. Again this year, visitors from the Palatinate visited Barrie on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay. Local families hosted the group of 39 strong between the 17th of October and 28th of October.

The adult group was a hobby hockey team. Their home ice is called the "Peter Cunningham Memorial Arena". The arena was built by the RCAF in 1955 and was named after a Canadian Sabre pilot who was killed in a mid-air collision. He was a great sportsman and played for the "Flyers" hockey team. The name Flyers was very well known to the local German population. At the 1948 Olympics in St Moritz, a team called the RCAF Flyers won the Gold Medal in ice hockey.

At the time the arena was built, it was one of only two covered arenas in all of Germany! Many of the visitors from Zweibrücken who play in the "Hobby Flyers" hockey team learned to play the game from Canadian coaches in that arena.

Zweibrücken group photo

During the 11 days that our friends were with us, they spent a couple days in Mattawa as well as a day trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto. At the falls they boarded the "Maid of the Mist" and then visited the historic village of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Toronto trip included the CN Tower and a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame!

During their visit to their twin city of Barrie, many of the Maple Palatines now residing in the area came out to renew acquaintances and friendships. The activities taking place had the support of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association Wing 441, the German Canadian Club of Barrie Inc. and the German Twinning Committee of the City of Barrie.

As soon as they departed, after having played a number of hockey games and visited our beautiful fall countryside they were already starting to plan the details of the reciprocal visit to take place next March/April when they will host the "Canuckers" as we were and still are affectionately called.

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