News & Events - Guernsey Biberach
Guernsey Friends of Biberach

Guernsey Newsletter, May 2018

Dear Friends,
It is that time of year again to update you on the activities of the Guernsey Friends of Biberach Association.

2017 Review

September 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the start of war-time deportations by the German occupying forces. It also marks the 20th anniversary of the “Week of Reconciliation” organised by the Churches of the island. This played a part in the process that has resulted in Guernsey now enjoying a unique and special relationship of friendship with the town and people of Biberach commented Jurat Rev. Peter Lane.

The reconciliation service to celebrate Spiritual Friendship was held at the town church conducted by the Dean of Guernsey and the Lutheran Dean of Biberach, Dekan Hellger- Koepff with support from three local choirs.

Friendships had evolved during the years in captivity and after the war. Visitors from Biberach started coming to Guernsey to meet friends as early as 1957.

The GFBA were pleased to welcome 18 visitors from the Biberach Friends of Guernsey, many of whom stayed with local families. They met for coffee, gache, gache melee at our Chairperson’s home, Gloria Dudley-Owen, where they viewed an exhibition of Asian textiles and family memorabilia, photographs of Biberach camp, followed by a fish and chip lunch at L’Eree hotel. Some brave people ventured to Lihou island, despite the fierce winds and rain.

The Dean of Guernsey the Very Rev. Tim Barker with the unstinting help of his wife put on a delicious buffet supper at St. Andrews Rectory for the Biberach visitors who were very appreciative of the friendship shown to them and the efforts made by so many people to welcome them to Guernsey.

Stephen Matthews presented his book to the Friends and Deportees association, of his childhood memories in Camp Lindele at St. Martin’s Community Hall and took questions from the floor.

The GFBA held a joint meeting with the BFGA to discuss how we could take forward our well established links and friendships. Various matters were discussed including the different financial status of the 2 groups, the necessity for the regular exchange of information, especially advance notice of visits and an indication of how and where GFBA might be of assistance. The importance of keeping young people interested in the relationship and friendships with other youngster from Biberach is of great importance to both of our groups.

We joined with the Guernsey former Deportee Association at the BFGA invitation to meet for drinks and canapes at a very enjoyable evening at Les Cotils where memories were exchanged.

We also thank and congratulate Rotraud Rebman who was awarded a highly respected achievement award on 22nd Nov. 2017, by the Mayor of Biberach for her work she had done between furthering the relationship between Biberach and Guernsey.

Guernsey Young Ambassadors chosen from various schools have visited schools in Biberach with much work and organisation by Mr. Ken Wheeler. We are very grateful and thank Ken for all his work and enthusiasm he has shown over many years in helping to inform knowledge and friendships between young people and the help given from sponsoring organisations. The young people visited schools and also participated in promoting visits to Guernsey in the attractive old town market place. An invitation has been extended for students from our schools to attend a short German language course in Biberach and last year one student attended from Guernsey. Youngsters from Biberach continue to attend the yearly music school scheme held at Elizabeth College.

Committee vacancies

If you are interested in joining the Committee please put yourself forward for election at the AGM.  In particular, there is a current vacancy for an Education/Youth Coordinator.

2018 outlook

Biberach citizen trip

We look forward to welcoming a citizens group of 30 people from Biberach who will be visiting Guernsey from 23 to 29 May 2018. They will be staying at Les Cotils. If you would like to meet the group you are welcome to join them there for a pre-dinner drink on the day of their arrival at 6.30 p.m.

Youth Choir trip to Biberach

The youth choir is travelling to Biberach from 12 – 16 July and is looking for donations to support their trip. Anyone who would like to contribute should contact Susan Tostevin-Hall, tel 756097 Schools Music Service.

German Language Course in Biberach

Every year Biberach holds a one-week intensive German course for young people from its partner towns. The course is advertised for people over 18, but if the young people have their parents’ permission younger people such as GCSE students would also be welcome. This year’s course will be from 22 to 28 July 2018. If you are interested, do look at the Guernsey Biberach website for details or get in touch directly with the Town of Biberach’s Kulturamt: Their Secretary is Sabine Engelhardt. Last year, this course was attended by one student from Guernsey.

Exhibition in Biberach museum in October 2018 of the Camp history from 1936-2018

If you are interested in the Friends’ activities throughout the year, please visit Guernsey Biberach which Chris Betley, the Honorary German Consul, always keeps updated. Also visit the website for the Biberach Friends of Guernsey.

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