Grußworte der Präsidenten
First of all I would like to extend a huge “THANK YOU” to retiring president Tom Heiting for his service during the past 18 months.
Tom stepped up to the plate when no one else would, even though he was a relatively new member of BSC. I believe that he did a fantastic job. Tom, I certainly wish you and your lovely wife, Gail, all the best in Wisconsin. I know that you will enjoy spending a lot more time with your family, especially the grandkids.
Moving on to the activities at hand. We have a very busy three months in front of us. The Oktoberfest is scheduled for September 23 rd and 24 th with setup the evening of the 22 nd . The Taste of Germany is scheduled for October 9 th . They both require a lot of hands-on to make them a success so don’t be shy about volunteering your time for a few hours. The more bodies we have, the easier the work. These two activities are the fundraisers that make it possible for us to fund the student and adult exchanges every year. Paderborn has several Sister Cities and these exchanges have made us the most popular.
Doris Roach and Ron Fritz have headed up the Oktoberfest operations for the past several years. They will be stepping back a little this year to give some of the other members an opportunity to make their mark on the operations. Rich and Sally Berkel are heading up the Taste of Germany. These events are not manned by the chairpersons alone, so please be generous in your support. One final thought - we also do have a lot of fun at these events.
The May visit from our friends in the DAFK was very enjoyable. I believe that everyone had a wonderful time. We are in the planning stages for a member visit to Paderborn in 2012. This will be the first visit for Susan and I and we hope that each member consider joining us for the festivities in Paderborn. Please complete the survey included in this newsletter to help us determine when it would be best for you to make the trip. Many have made the journey and I hope that they will agree that your experiences will be remem- bered for the rest of your life.
Just remember --So much work
So many miles
So many friends
So many smiles
News from Paderborn
While you are having a heat wave in your region, we here are experiencing wet weather with little sun in July.
On behalf of DAFK we want to welcome Jerry Reilmann in his position as President of BSC.
We wish him all the best for his term. At the same time we want to warmly thank Tom Heiting for what he did as President to run BSC and for how smoothly we could cooperate with him. Thank you, Tom.
So in our review, our group stay in Belleville having started on May 12 th will rank first. There were 22 in the group.
The main purpose of the visit at the time of the “10 th Art of the Square” was the celebration of the 20 th anniversary of the signing of the friendship documents in 1991. But for this highlight we had to wait until May 15th. Even before that event our group had a wonderful time. But those of us who knew Dennis Bielke were stunned by the news that he had passed away a few days before our arrival. He had visited Paderborn several times. We’ll keep him in our memories.
All of us were surprised on the first day when we could attend the unveiling of the giant sculpture called “The Big Red Shoe.” We are sure that this will become an- other of Belleville’s great picture motifs. At the City Hall Mayor Eckert, Tom Heit- ing and Bernd Broer signed a document proclaiming the “20 th Anniversary of the Belleville/Paderborn Sister Cities Affiliation.” After that, Mayor Eckert led a tour to the Cathedral, the Koerner House and to the Labor and Industry Museum. Lunch at the “Shrine” was followed by a tram tour especially for those eleven in the group who visited Belleville for the first time.
The Art on the Square festival welcomed us in the afternoon of the first day without the drizzle of the following days. We were impressed with what we could see. Paderborn had sent the artist Wolfgang Brenner who was full of praise for what he could experience during the show. In the end he won the “Rotary Club of Belleville Award”.
The rain that affected the art show also accompanied guests and hosts on their coach tour to the Lewis and Clark Museum – a wonderfully self explanatory museum – and further to Alton where we of course took pictures with the “Giant” Robert Wadlow. At Aries Winery we had a foggy view of the Illinois river, but we could enjoy the food and drinks.
On Sunday May 15 th we were warmly - as always - welcomed by the friends of Paderborn, Illinois at their parish hall for a buffet breakfast after we had attended a Holy Mass at St. Michael’s with Father James Voelker. On Sunday night the St. Clair Country Club was wonderfully decorated with the flags and colors of both sister cities for the 20 th . anniversary dinner. President Tom Heiting could welcome beside the Paderborn guests and the large number of BSC members and friends dignitaries such as the State Representative Tom Holbrook, Honorary Consul Lansing Hecker and of course Mayor Mark Eckert. There is not enough space here to mention everything that followed the invocation by Father Jim from Paderborn, IL, the dinner, the impressive talks of former BSC presidents remembering their presidencies, Bernd Broer being awarded the BSC Hermann Award, Bob and Ruth Fritz getting the honorary membership of DAFK. To all the people present Bernd Broer and Erich Loewe, treasurer of DAFK, handed out a medal specially coined for the event.
One of the many highlights of the evening was a presentation of the hymn to the sister city by the “BSC Choir”. When the group said Goodbye at the airport on the following day everybody was sure that the bonds of friend- ship between the sister cities. had become stronger again.
We want to express our warm thanks to everybody involved, especially to the hosts, to the BSC board, to Norma, Ruth and Carol who had formed the organizing committee, and to Mayor Mark Eckert, the wonderful supporter of the sister city relationship.
A report (in German) about our trip is at
http://www.dafk-paderborn.de/archiv/2011/110530usareise2011.html (with pictures) and has information about the visit to the Koerner Rombauer Winery in Napa Valley www.rombauer.com during the visit to San Francisco which preceded the stay in Belleville.
In June we hosted Dr. Tom Birkner and his young jazz musicians as well as some adults accompanying them. Their concert was well received by the Paderborn press.
In June we also welcomed Marilyn and Judith Schulte, residents of St. Louis, in Paderborn. We had met them in May in Belleville. While here they did research on their forefathers who had come from the Paderborn region.
The youth exchange between the two cities has been continued this summer with a visit of 12 youths with their chaperones Tanja Borghoff and Andrea Hermes. The Paderborn youths and their Belleville friends will again share great experiences. All of us can be proud of this project having started in 1990.
On August 12 th six high school students from Paderborn will come for a “Sister City Cultural Exchange”. They’ll also attend the high schools.
Doris Roach, the youth exchange committee chairwoman, Andy Gaa and Katie McDowell have done a great job getting the projects going. Many thanks to everybody involved in the youth exchanges.
During the Libori Festival three young ladies from Belleville stayed with families in a private exchange. They had come into contact with the families through a former official youth exchange.
We are looking forward to the visit of a Belleville delegation in 2012.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf