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February 2007 - Nr. 2


The Editor
Herz und Rose
KW & Beyond
Albert Kergl
Herwig Wandschneider
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Growing Organic Needed
New German Films
Goethe Institut President Limbach
Peter Hessel's New Book
A Schubert Valentine
Canadian Opera Company
The Erik Bruhn Prize
Orchestra Toronto Event
Yo! Germany Raps
Grade 5 SnowPass
Crime of the Century
The Falun Dafa Association
Arctic Voyage
Ontario Good Citizen Award
Boost to Arts Education
Heart-Healthy Meals
Clean Wood Burning
Wood for Energy
Centre of European Union
'Industrial Revolution'
Food to Karamoja

Dick reports...

Dick Altermann at his computer

Ostanek still ‘King’

Polka King, Walter OstanekThe ‘King of Polka’ is still top draw in the German Community. The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. Despite the inclement weather about 360 guests arrived at the Danube Swabian Club in Scarborough. The big hall was packed wall to wall.

The Walter Ostanek Band

All those folks that don’t do carnival appeared to have come from far and near. Walter Ostanek has a fantastic repertoire of dance music.

Dancing to the Rhythm

The GrünthalsNo wonder he is winning award after award with his showmanship and professionalism. He kept only a very few of the guests in their seats. Most of the polkas, waltzes and other tunes were reminiscent of the areas in Europe Birthday child, Dr. Keith Douglas & his wifemost of the audience came from, and I guess it this familiarity that made everyone so alive and mobile.

It was a happy crowd that came back for this year’s instalment of the Polka Kings performance. Walter Ostanek with Julia & Henry BetschCouple that with the excellent food and drink available at this establishment and it is clear why so many came out on a cold winter evening.



On the Mardi Gras – or Carnival - scene

Mississauga’s Treue Husaren

On the Mardi Gras – or Carnival - scene, Mississauga’s Treue Husaren hosted their annual costume ball at the Hansa Haus. It did not seem to be as crowded as in previous years but most of the other Carnival Societies send some members to make an appearance. The weather could have something to do with that.

The visitors

Some of the visitors came from the Narrenzunft in Kitchener, the BDKK, the Loreley Club in Oshawa, Treue Husaren, Toronto, Ontario Prinzengarde, KG Hansa, Narragonia, Brantford, KG Ascendia, Hamilton plus many others. The Germania Club in Hamilton is still mourning the passing of Albert Kergl and did not think it right to send a delegation so soon after the tragedy of his passing.

The Golden Keys

Dancing to the Golden Keys

The Treue Husaren Mississaug Girl Guard car wash ensembleThe Golden Keys from Kitchener provided entertainment for the guests and the girl guard from the host society did a neat show-dance that they also presented at the Manoeuvre Ball last year.

The many Costumes

Hans Schuhmacher & Gerd Jüngel Jürgen & Gunhild Budczinski
Hans Schuhmacher & Gerd Jüngel Jürgen & Gunhild Budczinski
Helga & Albert Koch Pretty Witch
Helga & Albert Koch Pretty Witch
Boe Hladysch & Reiner Walter Old-fashioned loyalty
Boe Hladysch & Reiner Walter Old-fashioned loyalty
Greta & Gerd The Loreley contingent - The Henningers
Greta & Gerd The Loreley contingent - The Henningers
Who is that? Hans Hetzer & the Bavarians
Who is that? Hans Hetzer & the Bavarians
Karlene, Hans & Greta A young and most enthusiastic dancer
Karlene, Hans & Greta A young and most enthusiastic dancer
The Mouseketeers & Rescue at hand Guy & Isolde
The Mouseketeers & Rescue at hand Guy & Isolde
Three Graces Karlene Krush
Three Graces Karlene Krush

Some colourful and often very innovative costumes were in evidence and the winners for the best couple were the "Mice". Best male: a biblical figure type and best female was the Phillis Diller look-a-like.


Club Loreley

The next Mardi Gras event was the costume ball at the Loreley Club in Oshawa. One thing that was immediately noticeable was the fact that there were a great many children running all over the place having a great time. Apparently this club has realized that you have to bring in the children in order for the club to survive.

Children to stay young with

Ruth & Julia HenningerSomething I have been preaching for years without success. The result is that the carnival societies have been closing up for lack of younger membership. Forty and fifty years ago, when carnival was in great shape here in Ontario,Miss Loreley, Lori Pflanzer, & escort thanks to some of the old-timers, everything had to be done the German way and in the language that most of the kids - born here in Canada – were not all that familiar with. After all, when in Rome…! So the parents tried to speak Heinz & Ruth HenningerEnglish and did not teach them German. So when these kids attended some of the carnival functions they quickly became disillusioned and stayed away. Tammi Delima & Holly HenningerThe ‘Garde’ dancers tried to bring their boyfriends along – to introduce them to carnival – but they only came once and then stayed away. It took a long time to switch most of Mardi Gras to English and the Germania Club in Hamilton – at the Tom Henninger, M.C.urgings of the late Albert Kergl – was one of the first societies to slowly switch to English and so gradually did some of the others. Only now it was already too late and the younger ones stayed away.

The Girl Guards

The Loreley Club turned that trend around – at least in Oshawa. They now have more "Girl-guards" – in more age groups - than even Brantford.

The Can Can

Watching the Can Can
The Loreley club will probably last a long time to come – thanks to the foresight of past and present leadership. "Wie die Alten sungen, so zwitschern die Jungen". Translate this and you will know what I am talking about!

The Band

The Euro Connection

The Dancers

The ‘Euro Connection’ did an admirable job in keeping the dance floor full and it was great to see some wonderful costumes – in various age groups - enjoying the event to the fullest. No one seemed to mind the odd ‘youngster’ getting underfoot either!

The Costume Parade

The winners

Yes, you are a winnerAt the costume parade, the judges picked 13 winners and they would have picked more but ran out of prizes. It was a glorious event. Kudos to the organizers, including Tom Henninger – who led us through the evening’s program as a very capable M.C.

The visitors

Joan and Steve Haas Ken & Kirsten Matheson
Joan and Steve Haas Ken & Kirsten Matheson
Ulli Müller, Monika Jüngel & Andrea Müller Erika & Wilfried Küsters
Ulli Müller, Monika Jüngel & Andrea Müller Erika & Wilfried Küsters
We are going to win! Greta Krush & Hans Schuhmacher
We are going to win! Greta Krush & Hans Schuhmacher

Thanks also to the many members of other organizations that came to visit and helped to enrich everyone’s experience to the fullest.

As always

Dick Altermann


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