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November 2006 - Nr. 11


The Editor
At Lake Huron
German Gala 2006
German Pioneers Day 2006
An Evening in Vienna
KW & Beyond
SOS-Herwig Wandschneider
Bitzer Event 2006
Diaspora Conference
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
German Christmas Cookies
Heaven or Hell
TSO November Listings
Christmas at the TSO
Forte in Formal
Despite Kyoto Rift
Eggs Can Be Good
Schumacher's Farewell
Canadian Ski Areas
After the World Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Canadian Holiday Stamps

Wilfrid L. Bitzer Event 2006

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

As every year, and this year for the 33rd time, 15 hard-working and talented students, who competed in German proficiency in May and won, received awards from the German Canadian Business and Professional Association (GCBPA) and its German-Canadian Education Fund. The awards were given in person by executives of the many sponsors to the 15 winners October 24, 2006. 53 additional awards were mailed to successful German Language students.

Dr. Marga Weigel, President of the German-Canadian Education Fund, again organized and managed this very worthwhile event. In conjunction with the co-executives of the fund, she selected the Alpine Club in Kitchener for its German atmosphere of "Gemütlichkeit" this time, in contrast to the equally appropriate, but academic atmosphere of the Universities, where the event had been held in the immediately preceding years.

Klaus Koeppen, Ulrich Schmidt, Carl Zehr & Ken Seiling  [photo: Herwig Wandschneider]The cozy atmosphere, underlined by the warm welcome, the decorations and the huge flower display on stage, was well received by the participating dignitaries, who included Dr Ulrich Schmidt, German Vice Consul-General, Anton Bergmeier, President German Canadian Congress of Canada, Chair Ken Seiling, Region of Waterloo, Mayor Carl Zehr, Kitchener, Chair Gerhard Griebenow, Co-operative Council of German-Canadian Clubs and Dr. David John, Director of the Waterloo Centre of German Studies, who each addressed the audience and sincerely congratulated the award recipients.

The four top awards went to:

  • Rachel Konnerth of Bluevale C.I. (Regular Category)

  • Michelle Kuschmierz of Elmira District S.S. (Advanced Category)

  • Kate Sibley of Bluevale C. I. (Regular Category)

  • Andrea Popoviciu of the German Language School Concordia

Dr. Marga Weigel presents Wanderpokal to Ms. Linda Jung  [photo: Herwig Wandschneider]The "Wanderpokal" (School Trophy) went to Bluevale C.I., which this year had the best students in German with the highest scores in the competition held at Wilfrid Laurier University in May.

In addition to the student awards, this year, the GCBPA and German-Canadian Education Fund presented its "Distinguished Teacher Award" to Mrs. Monika Matthaes, Past Principal of the German Language School Concordia, for her outstanding life-time achievements associated with her positions as German High School Teacher and Principal of the German Language School Concordia. In presenting the award, Dr. Manfred Richter quoted a teacher as saying: "Monika is able to combine professionalism and healthy authority together with her kindhearted personality, so that school becomes a home for the students, and teachers feel they are among friends."

Keynote address by Mrs. Monika Matthaes  [photo: Herwig Wandschneider]In her subsequent keynote address, Mrs. Matthaes told the audience in her usual dynamic and charismatic way that she taught German to well over 2000 students, because "I love the German language". No one doubts that statement as she managed to motivate so many high school students, teachers, parents and increasing numbers of German School students, young and old, to get up every Saturday Morning to learn German.

And she answered her own question, " ….why do parents want their children to know German" with … surely jobs, grand parents communication, travel etc…., but mostly: "I think, they want them to learn German because they are proud of German …... Parents and grandparents want their kids to get to know their culture and traditions, of which they are rightfully proud."

Both the introduction by Dr Richter and her own address were rewarded with well deserved "Standing Ovations" and lasting applause.

The evening concluded with extended conversation over superb hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, with preparation and service donated by Werner Kuehlenborg of Pear Tree Catering, and pastries donated by Willi and Magda Ristau, all members of the GCBPA.


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