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May 2007 - Nr.


The Editor
My Mother
Was ist eine Mutter?
At Least One Chicken...
Germanica 2007
KW & Beyond
For the Youngster...
Two Very Special Concerts
Nine New "Chevaliers"
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
John G. Diefenbaker-Preis
Canadian Stage Company
German Films in San Francisco
Goethe Institutes in Canada
EU Poetry in Motion
Bee's Knees Performance
Berlin Philharmonics 125th
Ontario Girls Honoured
Liquid Assets
Physicist Von Weizsäcker Died
Powerhouse in Solar
Solar by Germany to Korea
Wind Energy Grows Fast
Brighter Future for Germans
Bunker Attraction

Dick reports...

Dick Altermann at his computer

We have a new "Princess"…

…at the Danube Swabian Club in Toronto – and a "Mr. Danube" – Samuel Scully - also.

Welcome to the Princess Ball/Willkommen zum Prinzessinball

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.

The Golden Keys
The Golden Keys
Cheering the festivities

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 Danube Swabian Youth Group Picture posing
The Danube Swabian Youth Group Picture posing

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".

May I have this dance?It was a grand spectacle when the exquisitely gowned young ladies and their escorts entered the festively decorated hall to the strains of waltzes by the ‘Golden Keys’ from Kitchener.

Anne ScullyAfter 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".

Henry Betsch's welcoming addressHenry Betsch said: "The envelope please!" and here they are: Runner up: Dianne Vincent - and the new "Miss Donauschwaben": Natasha Szauter! Congratulations!

The "coronation"After placing the tiara on Natasha’s head – followed by congrats and flowers, hugs and photo opportunities, the new princess opened the floor with a first waltz.

The runner-up and her sponsors Congratulations Natasha Szauter
Runner-up Dianne Vincent
& her sponsors
Natasha Szauter
Natasha and Princess 2006, Lisa Poos Miss Danube 2007 & runner-up
Natasha and
Princess 2006, Lisa Poos
Miss Danube 2007
& runner-up

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.

Natasha with Mrs. & Mr. Adolf ShankThe 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.

Frohe Ostern / Happy Easter

Easter Brunch at the "Donauschwaben" was a family affair!

Roast beef carved by the chef himselfTraditions 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 Choices, choicesdiners, 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.

A family affair
A family affair
Natasha, Miss Danube, greets her guests Toy rabbits for a toy crowd
Natasha, Miss Danube,
greets her guests
Toy rabbits for a toy crowd

DeliciousWhat 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!

Dancing their own style   Beauty in "Trachten"
Dancing their own style  Beauty in "Trachten" 

Samuel Scully & Natasha Szauter representing the hostsIt 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.

Children groups in front of a full house View from the mezzanine
Children groups in front of a full house View from the mezzanine 

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.

Children gather for a photo opp
Children gather for a photo opp
Showing off their "Trachten" Kitchener's Danube Swabian Dancers Getting ready to perform
Showing off their "Trachten" Kitchener's Danube Swabian Dancers Getting ready to perform

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.

Toni Scherfel, Joe Folk & Brigitte Wecker Women's representatives flanked by Henry Betsch (l.) & Michael & Susi Lutz (r.)
Children groups in front of a full house Women's representatives flanked by Henry Betsch (l.) & Michael & Susi Lutz (r.)

Andy Mora and his mother, age 102Presentations 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.


Andrew Mora's address Andrew Mora & Henry Betsch
Andrew Mora's address Andrew Mora & Henry Betsch

Katharina Braunser, M.C.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.

"Trachten" Parade
Dance of "Trachtengruppen"
The Donau Dancers Kitchener
The Donau Dancers Kitchener
The local "Heimatgruppe"
The local "Heimatgruppe"

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.

Joe Groh gets honoured with gold pin through Henry Betsch
Joe Groh gets honoured with gold pin through Henry Betsch 

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

Local drummers

M.C. clowning aroundSpeaking of great entertainment and being nosey, I attended the Customer Appreciation Night at the St. Lawrence Market. Yes, girls drum, too!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 "We are from Poland"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 Free samplesgood 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!

Children's choir

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:

  • Strengthening the local economy and supporting new businesses
  • Keeping your money working and circulating locally
  • Bringing decision-making back to the community
  • Creating new employment opportunities
  • Supporting community projects with the funds received from the 10% merchant contribution.

How it works:

  • Consumers exchange 1 Canadian dollar for 1 Toronto dollar through participating organizations or at the Toronto Dollar booth at the St. Lawrence Market (open on Saturdays)
  • You spend Toronto Dollars as you would Canadian dollars at participating businesses. There is a registration fee of $25 for new businesses.
  • The 10% solution: each time a Toronto Dollar is purchased from Toronto Dollar Inc, 90 cents is
     deposited in a reserve fund and 10 cents goes to the Toronto Dollar Community Projects Fund
  • Businesses can spend the Toronto Dollars for services or products at other businesses, hire part-time staff or they can redeem their Toronto Dollars for 90 cents.

    This concept is more closely explained on the website: or in information you can pick up at the St. Lawrence Market when shopping.

    As always

    Dick Altermann


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