We have a new "Princess"…
…at the Danube Swabian Club in Toronto – and a "Mr. Danube" – Samuel Scully - also.
The Toronto Donauschwaben Jugend Gruppe (Youth Group) staged the annual crowning ritual of the new princess – or Miss Donauschwaben - for the 17th time on the last day of March 2007.
This festive occasion has always been an event the group is looking forward to. It is staged by and for the benefit of the Youth Group as a vehicle to raise funds for activities that are planned for the coming year.
The function of the new "Miss" would be to represent the club at various functions during her reign as a "Good Will Ambassador". Some of these events are the Kindertrachtenfest, Landestrachtenfest, Kindermaskenball, Mother’s Day Banquet, Rosenball, Traubenfest, Kirchweihfest, Christmas Banquet and other related events such as "Oktoberfest" that is staged to replace the festivity that used to be "Caravan".
After the welcoming address by the Youth Group president Anne Scully, the reigning ‘Miss Danube’, Lisa Poos, gave an account of the happenings in the past year in her welcoming address to the audience. Her recollections of the club’s activities go back to the old location on Main Street – where she started dancing when she was only three years old.
"This past year hasn’t been too busy", she said, "but over the years, our group has had many trips which were great travelling opportunities". She also mentioned that – thanks to Annie Hudson – the group had been to Disney World, Hunter Mountain in New York and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City; the ‘Tag der Donauschwaben’in Chicago, where we toured the city and the Navy Pier and the ‘Magnificent Mile’ - just to name some of the highlights the group had experienced in the past.
Lisa ended her address as follows: "I would like to say a special thank you to all the people who make our youth group and the club a possibility and work so diligently to keep it going. And I thank them for giving me this opportunity. Mostly Annie Hudson, our mama guppy, who always makes things fun for us and works hard to keep us all here, and coming back every Monday. And to our parents who are always right behind us, even though they tend to party harder than us kids sometimes. I also like to thank Lori Gruenthal, my sponsor, and congratulate her on her recent marriage. I wish you all the best".
Unfortunately the group has been shrinking a bit and there are only five male members active and 13 females left. Let’s hope some of the younger children in the club will soon be old enough to join the group.
The Youth Group would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have given support this past year: Mr. and Mrs. Adolf Shank for their generous donation of the first prize and the ‘Cultural Committee’, who donated the second prize. Once again Annie Husdson donated Miss Danube’s crown. Thanked were also the ‘Vorstand’ (Board of Directors) for support and giving a foundation on which to continue the all-important heritage.
Good Luck to Natasha during this important phase in her personal growth - from us at Echo Germanica. Once again one of the Forget-me-not clan is shining for the Danube Swabians.
Easter Brunch at the "Donauschwaben" was a family affair!
Traditions prevailing – the annual Easter Brunch was a total success. Many more people than the 250 - that had registered – arrived and the whole area was open to diners, including the restaurant area. The kitchen did a fabulous job in getting the rich variety of delicious food items at the buffet ready and keeping it supplied even when more than the calculated guests kept arriving.
What really impressed me was the fact that many families attended with up to four generations sitting at one table. You could see that the youngsters were really intrigued and fascinated by all the available goodies. It really was "A Family Affair"! It is also a great opportunity for the ‘Old-timers’ to introduce the club and get the family members interested in it – if they not already are.
How time flies when you are having fun!
It has been four years since the last "Landestrachtenfest" of the Danube-Swabians. This glorious event took place on Saturday, the 14th of April at the Club, in Scarborough again. It was a full house – including the mezzanine – with visitors from all over including dance groups from Kitchener and Windsor.
The participating dance groups were: The Toronto Children’s Group; Windsor Junior Group; Donau Dancers Kitchener; Heimat Group Toronto; Windsor Youth Group; Kitchener Youth Group and Toronto Youth Group – with Windsor, Kitchener & Toronto - concluding the evening, with enthusiastic dance performances, around midnight.
The guests arrived about 3:00 pm for a cocktail party hosted by the ‘Dachverband’ board, Club Presidents and invited guests. After the Toronto Children’s Group concluded their activities the MC – Mike Lutz, welcomed the guests and after grace by Pastor Knaack and Father Karl Hoeppe C.Ss.R.,i.R a scrumptious dinner was served and quickly demolished.
Presentations by Guests of Honour, Henry Betsch, President of the Toronto Club; Andrew Mora, President of the ‘Dachverband’ (the Roof Organisation) were followed by the presentation of traditional "Trachten" – costumes – from the areas were the Danube-Swabians originated such as Banat, Slawonien, Ofner Bergland and many, many more.
Katharina Braunser was undertaking the many introductions of those rare fashions. Some of the costumes could be considered "rare works of art" and are now most likely the only ones left in Canada and virtually irreplaceable.
Henry Betsch also presented a Gold pin to Joe Groh, Vice President from Kitchener for his dedication and many years of service to the Danube Swabian Community.
The Danube Swabian Brass Band looked after the background and dance music with a vast palette of evergreens that are loved by almost everyone.
Another ‘highlight’ was the ‘Tombola’- the raffle organized by the Women’s Auxiliary of Toronto at the end of the evening – at least for the many winners.
Great company – great food – great entertainment… what more could one want!
At the St. Lawrence Market
Speaking of great entertainment and being nosey, I attended the Customer Appreciation Night at the St. Lawrence Market. After looking around a bit and watching some of the wonderful entertainment such as Ron Cross and the Rhythm Connection, St. Michaels School Choir, the Toronto Saxophone Quartet, Greek music and Japanese Drummers, I noticed a small bar that was dispensing beer – from Great Lakes Brewery -one of Toronto’s oldest ‘Craft Breweries’. When I wanted to pay, the man said that my money was no good here and that only Toronto Dollars will be accepted. "You can get them at the entrance of the hall", he said. Well, I wanted a beer so I went to buy Toronto Dollars and found out what they are all about at the same time. Fascinating!
The Toronto Dollar began in December 1998 and the project has operated on the basis that 10% of every Toronto Dollar that is sold is directed to a fund to support local community projects.
The Toronto Dollar is a symbol of caring, created by community –minded citizens in the hope that it will help to build a more just and compassionate city. The work of the Toronto Dollar is to encourage more caring social and economic relationships among people from the community, business and government sectors -- and particularly among those in the community in greatest economic need.You can help make a difference by using Toronto Dollars. The Toronto Dollar is a local currency that benefits the community by:
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