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July, 2006 - Nr. 7


The Editor
Sound of Music
KW & Beyond
Dick announces...
Tie the Knot at CNE
Betraying Our Children
Herwig Wandschneider
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Métis Arts Festival
TSO & Detroit Symphony
COC's Complete Ring Cycle
RBC Seniors' Jubilee
Darstellung Deutschlands
Claudia Schiffer Promotes
German Historical Museum
International AIDS Conference
Werner Herzog Welcomed
Praise after World Cup
Close - but no cigar
Magic of Soccer
German-built Space Lab
Biofuels Show Promise
Easy Border Crossing

Graduation, Good-Bye, Welcome

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

It was an event to remember. The "Absolventenfeier" of the German Language School Concordia, held at the Concordia Club in Kitchener, has always been an event to remember. The "Halle", generously made available to the School by the club for this celebration, was filled to capacity with graduating students, award recipients, family, dignitaries, teachers, and guests. The "Halle" was full of the usual dynamics whipped up by Mrs. Matthaes, Principal.

This time, though, there were several events within the event. For one, it was announced that Mr. Schliephake (German Consultant to Eastern Canada of Germany for many years), after first returning to Germany, will move on to New Zealand.

Then, Mrs. Matthaes officially announced first her retirement from the position as Principal of the school, and second that Mr. Gerhard Griebenow , "Konrektor" (Vice- Principal), would commence his position as "Rektor" (Principal) with the beginning of the next school year in September.

Saying "good-bye" to Mrs. Matthaes was an emotional event underlined by the beautiful songs presented by the School’s Children’s Choir conducted by Ms. Angelika Werner and the "Maibaumtanz" presented by students of the Grand River Collegiate Institute and Ms. Lore Kump & the Alpine Club Klaus Sonnenberg (l.) conducts the teacher's "Ständchen" for Mrs. Matthaes (r.)   [photo: Herwig Wandschneider]Dancers. Emotions reached a peak, when all teachers sang a "Ständchen" for Mrs. Matthaes "Horch was kommt von draußen ‘rein?" with the text modified by Ms. Beate Lovasz and conducted by Mr. Klaus Sonnenberg:

1 Horch was kommt von draußen ‘rein?
Wird wohl mein Feins_lieb_chen sein
Geht vor_bei und schaut nicht rein
Wird’s wohl nicht gewesen sein
2 Leute haben’s oft gesagt
Was ihr für’n toll’n Principal habt
So schön wie’s war wird’s nie mehr sein
So gut kann’s nur unsre Monika allein
3 Wir gönnen ihr die Ruhe schon
Zum Glück gibt’s ja das Telefon
Damit man sie doch dann und wann
Um Rat und Hilfe fragen kann

The emphasis nonetheless was on the success of the School’s students, some of whom have attended the school for twelve years, practically all of their academic life up to this point, every single Saturday morning without fail.

Gerhard Griebenow MC's the presentation of diplomas   [photo: Herwig Wandschneider]The most coveted award, the "Deutsches Sprachdiplom II", achieved by just a very few Ontario students, were presented by Mr. Schliephake to 4, yes four, Concordia German School students: Andreea Popoviciu, Susanna Nowak, Justin Armitage, and Lukas Münch. Congratulations to all of you, and specifically to Andreea for achieving the "Best Student" in this difficult category!

Following coffee and cake in „gemütlicher Atmosphäre", also a generous contribution for this event by the Concordia Club, the crowd slowly dispersed obviously happy to have participated. The teachers and staff, however, gathered in the "Jägerstube" to say good-bye until September, to wish their dynamic Principal of 7 years a happy retirement and to wish the new Principal success. And Mr. Griebenow has everything it takes to assure just that.

He came to Canada in 1969 immediately after completing his Staatsexamen in German, English, and Physical Education at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Then, while working as a Research Assistant and teaching at the University of Waterloo, he obtained an MA at UW in 1974. During his subsequent 29 years of service for the Waterloo Region District School Board, he taught just about all subjects. Also, he previously taught German at the Ida Prüfer and Concordia Schools at grade levels ranging from Grade 1 to the "Sprachdiplom".

Add to this his many executive volunteer experiences with K-W based organizations, his very personable, approachable, and targeted personality and you have a perfect background for the demanding requirements facing him at the Concordia School. Wie die gesamte Schule, so wünscht auch Echo Germanica Herrn Griebenow viel Freude und Erfolg an seinem neuen Vorhaben.


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