Guernsey Friends of Biberach

Letter from Biberach

“Dear Gloria,

Well, here we are in Biberach, together with David and Dorothy Le Conte and the Young Ambassadors, where we are being treated right royally. Sabine and Rotraud have pulled out all the stops to ensure the Guernsey Weeks are a success.

Before we arrived they had enjoyed public meetings at which former deportees and their families had spoken. My talk in German (thanks to assistance from Irene in the translation of an official document and the topping and tailing of my speech by Hubertus Lau) attracted about 50 people. It was a PowerPoint presentation in the Rathaus, thanks to assistance with the pictures from David. But the remarkable thing about the evening was the fact that when it came to answering questions at the end, when the questions turned political regarding the formulating of Guernsey’s laws, who was in the audience, all unexpected, but our Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq. Apparently, the Bailiff had hoped to come, but pressure of work forced him to ask Jonathan to come in his place. He flew to Munich and hired a car for 48 hours.

The Chief Minister was also present, together with the Oberbuergermeister, at the Sunday Morning Ecumenical Service in the St Martin’s Church. First I conveyed greetings from the Bailiff, the Vice Dean and the Catholic Dean and I set the theme at the start of the Service, again in German, on the subject of the blessings that spring and have sprung from having become reconciled with each other. This theme was taken up in the hymns, readings and prayers, in German and English, by Dean Pastor Koepff. To my surprise, my introduction was greeted by applause from the large congregation.

David had been busy preparing for his excellent lecture this evening on the Guernsey Flag and the Liberation Monument, which was warmly received. That lecture had been preceded by a deeply moving Evensong and Concert by the 53 members of the Knabenchor, who incidentally will be visiting Guernsey at the start of next August . Fortunately Richard de la Rue was here too, to discuss with them the possibility of arranging a concert or concerts in Guernsey for them. Richard had brought with him a large quantity of Gâche and Guernsey butter, which went well on the Guernsey stall in the Market on Saturday. He also carried some of our grandson’s White Rock beer, which was appreciated by some of the diners at the Bean Jar meal that followed Sunday’s Service.

The Young Ambassadors are having a really exciting time, which I am sure you will hear more about.

But the most pleasant surprise was the unexpected arrival of the Chief Minister.

I will give a fuller report at our next meeting, together with suggestions for a possible way forward.

Greetings from Biberach and warmest regards to all.


Peter Lane, Biberach, Guernsey Week


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