Grußworte der Präsidenten
Thank you for your confidence in asking me to serve as your president for the next two years.
I hope I am able to live up to the expectation of the board and members. I must admit I am no Doris. I can’t speak German and I can’t sing, among other things.
Doris did a wonderful job as President for the past two years, and has given our group a bigger presence in the area. One of the accomplishments during her term was the establishment of the three-month student exchange, and we thank her and Linda Driesner for all the work and frustrations they went through. The programs had fabulous results in that the four German youths and their host families all gained a lot from the program and were good ambassadors for their countries. Three of the host students will go to Paderborn in exchange late this summer.
Our Belleville Sister City is one of over 700 in the United States. Fifty years ago Dwight Eisenhower instituted the program, and it is touted as probably the best organization for promoting peace throughout the world. Our group works for that aim mostly through adult and youth exchanges. Our Sister City group was formerly established in 1990 and seven great presidents have led us into an organization we can all be proud of: Dottie Brauer, Rich Berkel, Ruth Fritz, Gary Hopfinger, Karl Mandel and Doris Roach.
Would you believe they have already run out of Germans? Not only do I not have any German blood in me, I don’t live in Belleville. I could be recalled. I did marry a German. And I must tell you why St. Libory was invited into your organization. When our local church, St. Liborius celebrated its 150th anniversary in l988, delegates representing the Diocese of Paderborn, Germany and the city of Paderborn, attended one of our events. It was a big honor for St. Libory.
Our Catholic church is considered the daughter church of St. Libori in Paderborn. Ellen Rost, then president of the German Democratic Party in Paderborn informed me we must join with Belleville, and she said she would never say Belleville without adding St. Libory. And I am sure that is how she always thought of us. So I marched into a meeting at the City Hall, and the rest is history.
If you have any thoughts on what you would like to see our organization accomplish in the next couple years, please tell me. I have a very capable board and vice president in Ron Fritz, so working together; the Belleville Sister City should remain an important presence in the community for the next two years.
Two new projects now being proposed are a teachers exchange between our twin cities, and a three day bus trip in late summer for members. Our youth will be making their visit to Paderborn in July, but there will be no group adult exchange this year.
One of the major projects we will be working on for the next two years will be the hosting of the Illinois Sister City State Conference in 2007. Columbia, Waterloo and Millstadt will be co-hosts, and it will be held at Our Lady of Snows. We will need the help of many to put on a great program.
Norma Bergkoetter, President
News from Paderborn
Dear Friends in Belleville and Around:
First of all we warmly welcome Norma Bergkoetter as the president of BSC for the next two years, and also the new board. We wish Norma all the best for her term. We are sure that we’ll cooperate with her and the board as successfully as we have worked together with the preceding presidents.
It’s a wonderful task that all of us have: promoting the understanding of people.
Of course we also thank Doris Roach and her board very much. Doris has done a wonderful job of fostering the friendship between our two cities and regions. The successful exchange of youth groups was one of her great objectives for which she worked intensively in close cooperation with Linda Driesner to whom we ex-tend our thanks as well. So we look forward to Doris being the contact person in charge of the future student exchanges.
The four students who had stayed at high schools in Belleville from August thru November 2005 gave a lively report of their experiences at our Thanksgiving Dinner. They thanked very much their host families, the schools, their school mates and BSC for what they had done to make their stay such a wonderful experience. Our Thanksgiving Dinner was a great success, it was attended by 130 members; Margit Keikutt’s youth dancers whom she had brought to Belleville some years ago showed parts of their program.
On November 11th Friedel Schuette, an honorary member of our society, gave a lecture on his book that was published in October 2005: The title: Westfalen in America (in English: Westphalians in America), 256 pages, with many pictures, ISBN:3-7843-3356-7.Publisher’s website: www.lv-h.de (search for “Westfalen in Amerika”). Schuette portrays about 40 men and women who immigrated to the US where they became either famous pioneers and/or successful entrepreneurs. He calls them “heroes”, among them William Boeing, forefather of the founders of Boeing aircraft. As far as a Paderborn citizen is concerned he gives the story of Sister Pauline von Mallinckrodt who helped develop the American elementary school system in the 19th century. He also describes the sister-city relationships between Westphalia and the US, where he praises what Belleville and Paderborn have achieved.
Up to now he has received very positive reviews of his book. We congratulate him on his great work. A copy of the book will be sent to BSC.
Finally, an anecdotical note: Not long ago we realized a report of a visit of Paderborn residents to Belleville in May 2005. The Liehr family had heard of the sister city relationship and went to Belleville from Kewanee/Il. Where their daughter stayed at high school for a year. Here they visited City Hall. While they were studying the contents of the showcase with Paderborn memorabilia Mayor Eckert passed by and talked to them. They gave an enthusiastic report of their meeting. It would have been good if we had known of this visit before so that we could have announced it to BSC…
To all our friends we wish all the best for 2006. Sincerely,
Dr. Otmar Allendorf