Grußworte der Präsidenten
The summer has gone by fast with all the events that took place the past few months. Our summer exchange students left here July 11th , spending three weeks with their hosts in Paderborn, attending the Libori fest and traveling to Berlin and Koln.
Upon returning some of the students attended our August gen- eral meeting telling us what a great time they had in Germany with their hosts and sightseeing.
A delegation of 22 BSC members traveled to Paderborn July 25 thru 29th for the 20th anniversary of the DAFK celebration. Mayor Mark Eckert, his wife, Rita, and three children accompanied us on the trip. We were given a warm welcome on Friday night by President Bernd Broer, Landrat Manfred Mueller and members of the DAFK and at Kloster Dalheim. Saturday, we attended the Libori fest with Burgermeister Heinz Paus, who tapped the keg at the festhall. A reception at the Rathaus in honor of DAFK’s 20th anniversary was held on Monday. Dr. Allendorf gave a presentation with pictures of the past 20 years. Later that evening we dined at Das Gastliche Dorf for the farewell dinner. Tuesday, we bid our friends farewell. Our time in Paderborn was memorable…
making new friends, greeting old friends and visiting with friends we had not seen in years. Twenty years of friendship, this is what Sister Cities is all about!
On Aug. 15th six students from Paderborn arrived for the 90 day exchange. A welcome reception was held at the Sundowner Swim Club with hosts and board members. Thanks to Marie Reichling, her daughter and Doris Roach for getting everyone together.
We had our very first policeman exchange Sept 19th thru Sept 23rd . Six officers and three of their wives came. Saturday, the officers, wives, hosts and 90 day students were guests at the Scott Air Force Base air- show. The performance by the Air Force Thunderbirds was outstanding. On Sunday, the group toured the St. Louis Arch and Anheuser Brewery . That evening Mayor Eckert and Rita welcomed everyone to their home for dinner. Monday began at City Hall with breakfast followed by tours of the county jail, city hall and jail, and the county courthouse. Lunch was at Eckert’s Restaurant where Police Chief Clay was presented with a uniform of the Paderborn Police. A short tour of downtown Belleville followed. Monday evening Sully & Jackie Sullivan opened their bar and patio for the farewell dinner hosted by Bob & Ruth Fritz. By the conver- sation that evening, I think everyone had a great time over the weekend, making new friends and looking for- ward to seeing each other again. I would like to thank everyone that helped make this exchange a success--- Mayor Mark Eckert & Rita, Chief William Clay, the Belleville Police Dept., Bob & Ruth Fritz, Norma Bergkoetter, Doris Roach (who served as translator for the weekend); and especially the hosts—Dennis Bielke, Officer Steve & Stephanie Britt, Robert & Julia Cole, and Bill & Cindy Wetzig.
The following weekend everyone pitched in for the Oktoberfest. With weather that was perfect and a hard working crew, we pulled off another winning year. The final results will be in soon. Many thanks again to all the many volunteers who worked a shift or, in some cases, worked all day. Food chairman, Doris Roach and Beer Chairman, Larry Schaltenbrand—great job!
This year’s Taste of Germany dinner was a great success. Many commented on the delicious food and wonderful entertainment from Rothenbach, Germany. Many thanks to Rich Berkel, chairman of the dinner, Herm Schoener, ad chairman and all those members who devoted their time and hard work to make this a suc- cess, also a special thanks to Robert ‘’Chick ‘’Fritz Inc. who donated a Warsteiner beer glass and coaster to each attendee. This year’s Hermann Award was presented to Mayor Eckert and the city of Belleville for out- standing support of Belleville Sister Cities and BSC programs. The membership award went to John Roach for his dedication, hard work and support of BSC. Congratulations to both!
Our next project will be a float in the Christmas Parade on Friday Nov. 28th starting at 10:00AM. Anyone with ideas for a float or willing to help, contact me at 235-3795.
To all our members and their families, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
News from Paderborn
Looking back at last summer we are proud to focus on several exchanges between our two cities and regions. Belleville students were in Paderborn in July (see Newsletter of August), a delegation from Belleville came to Paderborn to attend the 20th anniversary of DAFK on July 28th , six high school students stayed in Belleville for three months (August-November) and a group of policemen and their partners visited Belleville in September.
The 23 person delegation from Belleville, including Mayor Mark Eckert and BSC Presi- dent Ron Fritz, arrived on July 25th and left Paderborn on the 29th . Besides the Libori Festival which the group attended, the biggest highlight of their stay was the celebration of the 20th anniversary of DAFK on July 28th at the City Hall. DAFK made Mayor Eckert, Paderborn’s Mayor Paus and Rich Berkel Honorary Members. The visit was a wonderful time for the hosts and we hope for the guests as well. Mayor Eckert and his family stayed longer in Paderborn, in part to attend an official meeting of Paderborn’s six sister cities on August 2nd and 3rd.
Six police officers from Paderborn and three partners visited Belleville from September 19th thru 23rd . Landrat Man- fred Mueller and Mayor Eckert had prepared this visit while the Mayor was in Paderborn. Arriving at St Louis Lam- bert Airport on Friday, the group headed by Manfred Greitemeyer was warmly welcomed by their hosts. During the next days Mayor Mark Eckert, Police Chief William Clay and his colleagues as well as President Ron Fritz of BSC and Sheriff Justus and Major McLaurin of the County’s Sheriff’s Dept. showed them around, informing them about the City and how Belleville Police and County Jail operate. Their visit also included tours to Scott Air Force Base, the St. Louis Arch, the Anheuser Busch Brewery and Eckert’s Farm. During the official function at the City Hall the German policemen also wore their uniforms.
The policemen and their partners returned home (after a stay in New York City) enriched and with wonderful memo- ries, they talked with enthusiasm about the hospitality they experienced in Belleville. They are now looking forward to welcoming their Belleville colleagues for a counter visit to Paderborn. On behalf of DAFK we also want express our warm thanks to everybody involved!
One of the exchange students from Belleville this summer, Kyle Pointer wrote in his blog of July 23rd , “I’m going to regret having to go home. There’s a lot of stuff over here that I have really come to appreciate. … But I do miss my friends, and I do miss colloquial English (who wouldn’t?). I also miss drumline and band.”
And when he was home he wrote: “Now all I need to do is find out how I can become an English teacher in Ger- many… which is essentially what I want to do with my life… either that or be an airplane pilot. I’m not quite sure yet, but I think I’m finally deciding what I want to do with the rest of my life, and I think I’d like to keep German involved. Thank You Frau” (26.08.08). We think with “Frau” he means his English teacher. Isn’t this a statement a teacher can be proud of? From August 15th thru November 8th six students from Paderborn had a wonderful 3-month stay in Belleville. Three attended Belleville West High School, Lea Mischendahl (staying with Family Davis), Daniel Schmidt (Nick Stauder), Christian Stemberg (Ms. Robin Dronen) and three were at Belleville East, Maren Ruerup (Amanda Reichling), Eva Wallaschek (Victoria Francis), Simon Potthast (Jonathan Crawford).
Eva Wallaschek, one of the six exchange students from Paderborn, wrote in her blog (October 18th , three weeks be- fore the end of her stay), “Those were the best days of my life.” We have the impression from what we have heard from the other five students that they would easily agree with that statement. Our thanks go to the principals of the schools, the teachers , the students and host families, to the board of BSC and to Doris Roach, chairwoman of the Youth Exchange Committee.
This summer Linda Stephan stayed with two families for six weeks, Family Hutchinson (Columbia) and Family Welge (Highland), her comment, “Both families made me feel at home and welcome. They allowed me to experience America. I am so happy and pleased that I got the honour to meet them.” Our thanks go to Mac Chamblin of the Itty Bitty Theatre Group in Belleville who helped to arrange this stay.
We think that such exchanges have a deep impact on forming the character of young people that are involved on both sides.
On October 26th we welcomed two Belleville area residents working for Boeing Corporation in St. Louis: Scott Martin and Mike Hayes. Boeing is one of the partners in the Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) at the University of Paderborn.
We congratulate Mayor Eckert on being honored with BSC’s “Hermann Award” and John Roach receiving BSC’s “Membership Award” during this year’s TOG.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf