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April, 2007 - Nr. 4


The Editor
Return of Spring
Hoffnung im Frühling
Der Osterspaziergang
Let Us Be Lovers
Paul Bernhard Berghorn
An Austrian Delight
K-W & Beyond
Musings of a "Schulleiter"
The Club
Herwig Wandschneider
50th Treaties of Rome
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Alicier Arts Concert
The Merry Widow
Mooredale Concert Season Concludes
CanStage Presents
Orchestra Toronto
Backstage Toronto 2007
Kristine Bogyo
Living Arts Centre
Deborah Voigt, soprano
Combat Climate Change
Glass Sky Bridge

The Club

   In the first issues of Echo Germanica we printed five successive articles about the German club scene. This was in 1990. We were quite often reminded that these articles covered a lot of ground and answered a lot of questions that club presidents and members concerned with the survival of the German clubs had been asking. As we at Echo Germanica are not in the habit of re-reading articles of the past we had no idea why so many of our readers referred back to those articles.

Then we visited Club Loreley Oshawa early this year. What we observed was quite a positive change compared to our previous experience. At our previous visit to Club Loreley we saw the same picture that presents itself to visitors at the majority of other German clubs: An aged membership void of a younger generation, void of a future. Now a joyous change at Club Loreley presented itself to us: Lots of children and their parents and their friends, and yes their grandparents. All of them enjoying German culture and customs. No attention paid to "German only".

This was a demonstration to us that things can change from succumb to survival within a very short time span. We at Echo Germanica know that such changes come about only through the determination of a few survival-oriented individuals to turn things around and we want to thank those responsible.

After our visit to Club Loreley we looked up those club articles of Echo Germanica from 1990. We found that they are just as valid today as they were in 1990.

Why do we emphasize "no attention paid to German only"? We had to listen at high functions in German heritage clubs to German professors telling us there is no German culture without the German language. Where is their foot in reality? To whom are those professors talking? Were they mistaken the German heritage club for an academy? They definitely had not the youth of the German heritage, their parents and their friends in mind! Just a few of our youth still understand, speak or read German fluently. There is no studying of Goethe or Schiller in our clubs and that is not their purpose. Our clubs are a meeting place. A meeting place where the original immigrants met to celebrate their German heritage, their customs, etc. Eventually they brought their non-German-speaking spouses and friends with them. And there is lots of testimony that these non-German-speaking visitors had a good time taking part in German culture and customs. That’s how the German community gained a lot of friends. Again, whom do we actually want to attract with our "German only" policy? What is left to attract the German heritage youth, their parents and friends? The German culture and customs, of course! German culture and customs convey a lot of clean fun, a lot of wisdom, of lot of what it actually means to be of German heritage, a lot to be proud of. It transcends the language barrier. Once we have that we can start thinking about reviving the language skills.

With these thoughts in mind, Echo Germanica will reprint those 1990 articles in the course of the year.

Rolf Rentmeister


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