Grußworte der Präsidenten
There are many wonderful things about being part of the Belleville Sister City and a visit from our partner city is one of the highlights.
October 12th through l6th we had the pleasure of having twelve Paderborn guests, under the leadership of Dr. Otmar Allendorf and President Bernd Broer. Those of you who hosted or attended the party with our Paderborn guests during their four day visit know that meeting our fellow partners is one of those delightful experiences. There is always something to be learned from each encounter. The twelve were hosted in nine different homes. Four of the guests were first time visitors, and four of our hosts were first time hosts.
Ruth Fritz and her committee worked hard to plan an interesting program. The group visited the Arch, Cathedral Basilica and Forest Park, on Saturday. On Sunday, they attended Mass at the Belleville Cathedral and were greeted by Bishop Braxton. St. Michael’s in Paderborn hosted a lunch at their new facility, with music by Clyde Kraus. Fr. Jim Voelker played for us during a visit to the church. A gracious thanks to our local Paderborn, IL members.
Bob & Ruth Fritz hosted a party at the Hospitality Room at their business on Sunday evening. There was an official visit to City Hall on Monday, where Mayor Mark Eckert spoke about city business and introduced various officials. The group toured Belleville by limo bus, with the Mayor enthusiastically showing off the city and describing its’ past, pre-sent and future. After lunch at Our Lady of the Snows, a delegation met with school personnel at Belleville West where several Paderborn youths are participating in a 90 day school exchange. Landrat Manfred Mueller met with his counterpart, County Board Chairman Mark Kern. Eighty guests attended the party at Chicken’s Restaurant in St. Libory on Monday night. Other special guests at the party were the three Paderborn youths who are here on the 90 day student exchange and their hosts. The party had a Country Western theme with music provided by a five piece band led by Jim and Kathy Laquet, thanks to Bob Fritz. Throughout their visit, there were many words of greetings, expressions of gratitude and presentations of gifts by our visitors. After leaving Belleville, they visited New York before returning to Germany. Many thanks to all who hosted and took part in the visit.
We are happy to report that the Oktoberfest was a financial success for our club. Two days of beautiful weather brought out good crowds. Our band of workers, led by chairmen Doris and John Roach and Larry Schaltenbrand, was small but mighty. It’s a lot of work but always a great time for socializing behind the stand. Our group is one of the four sponsoring organizations for the Oktober-fest, sharing in the beer sales profit. Jim Sheridan, Herm Schoener, John Roach and Larry Schaltenbrand represent our club on the Oktoberfest board.
Fall’s other big event was the Taste of Germany dinner at Fischer's on October 7. Chairman Rich Berkel saw to every detail, resulting in a superb evening. The food was wonderful, the music was great and the two annual awards were well deserved. Marie Reichling was recipient of the Membership Award for her many years of service, and Jerry Reilmann of Rice, Sullivan & Company received the Herman Award for his tax and financial advice.
As this is my last President’s Message, I want to take this opportunity to bid you “auf wiedersehen” as President. It has been an interesting two years, with many great experiences. Please know that I tried to serve you well. I encourage everyone to continue supporting our club and our new president, Ron Fritz. There will be an election of officers at the November 15th General meeting at Fischer’s. The board welcomes new faces and new ideas. If you would be willing to run for any office, please make it known .
Norma Bergkoetter, President
News from Paderborn
A delegation of our Deutsch-Amerikanischer Freundeskreis (including some first time visitors) has just returned from a visit in Belleville (12th thru 16th October) and a trip to New York City. We are full of wonderful impressions of the hospitality we experienced in our sister city and surrounding communities.
Our visit began with a warm welcome by our hosts at St. Louis airport. Dottie Brauer was there too. She also stayed in Belleville during our visit. On Saturday, a tour of St. Louis included the Arch, the Cathedral and Forest Park. On Sunday we attended Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral. The Bishop, Most Reverend E.K. Braxton talked to us after mass and we came together for a group picture with him. Three generations of the Holdener family and others welcomed us in Paderborn, Il. with a wonderful lunch in the new hall. At St. Michael’s, Father Jim played the electric organ; we also saw the glass picture of the five martyred nuns. We also went to the cemetery to see the grave of Father Weskamp who was a priest at St. Michael’s from 1939 to 1943. A member of the group, Ingrid Votsmeier, wife of deceased husband Bruno, lay a flower bouquet recalling that her husband was a nephew of Father Francis Weskamp. By chance, the day of our visit, October 14th , was the anniversary of Father Weskamp’s death.
Sunday evening, Bob and Ruth Fritz received the guests and hosts in their business’ hospitality room on Mascoutah Avenue where everybody enjoyed a delicious buffet.
Monday was the day of the official reception by Mayor Mark Eckert at City Hall. The Mayor ex-pressed his great joy that he could welcome the delegation from Belleville’s sister city. President Bernd Broer and Manfred Mueller, County Board Chairman of Paderborn, who was in Belleville for the first time, emphasized in their short addresses how important these exchanges between our cities are. Mueller also met with Police Chief William Clay as an exchange of policemen has been planned for next year. After the reception Mayor Eckert took us on a bus tour thru Belleville. His comments during this one hour tour showed us how dynamically the city is developing; we were very much impressed. We also stopped by the grave of former Mayor Rich Brauer and then at the Koerner House where Wolfgang Stueken, who has been doing research on Koerner, took pictures of the officials.
After lunch at the Shrine restaurant, the members of BSC and DAFK Student Exchange Committee went with Mayor Eckert to Belleville West High School where they met with Belleville West Principal Robert Dahm and German Teacher Katie McDowell; Belleville East German Teacher Linda Driesner (also representing Belleville East Principal Kniekamp who was out of town on a meeting), and the three ex-change students from Paderborn and their Belleville host students. Both Mr. Dahm and Mrs. Driesner con-firmed that the exchange should be continued in the future. The Committee was pleased to hear that the exchange was so successful. An exchange of teachers would also be considered.
Manfred Mueller also had a meeting with County Board Chairman Mark Kern.
This wonderful stay came to an end with a Farewell Dinner at Chicken’s Restaurant in St. Libory. The rain finally came that afternoon making it a challenge to get there (and home again). The food was great. Members came in western dress and a band played country dances. Our three exchange students and their hosts were there too. Bernd Broer and Manfred Mueller said, “Thank you to everybody involved in the program.” Rita Eckert had brought some presents from the Mayor who had a meeting of the City Council and could not be present. We also took home 100 little Belleville flags that the Mayor had given to us for display here. Norma Bergkoetter said that she was very happy with the visit and said, “Goodbye until next year in Paderborn ”
Home again after three interesting days in NYC, we want to repeat our words of deeply felt gratitude to all of you who have made these days unforgettable for us.
Pictures of the visit will be found on our homepage www.dafk-paderborn.de click on “Fotogalerie” and go to 2007. On our homepage you’ll also find new links to websites about Germany, click on “Links”, on the left side.
Welcome in Paderborn next year!
Dr. Otmar Allendorf