Guernsey Friends of Biberach

Newsletter, March 2005

As our AGM is not far away - it will be on 23rd April- we felt it was time to update you on what has been happening over the last 12 months.

There have been several highlights, such as the Bailiff s visit to Biberach in July 2004 and the Guernsey Youth Orchestra and Choir trip to Biberach. Members of the Biberach Friends of Guernsey came here to attend the Victor Hugo Music Festival at the end of September 2004.

Enclosed the Agenda for our AGM.  We would like to see as many of you as possible, and if you know of anyone who would like to join our Association, please bring them along. As last year, our AGM will take place at 12 o’clock prior to the Deportees Association’s annual luncheon at 1 o’clock at the Peninsula Hotel, so if you would like to stay for that, get in touch with Betty Gibson on 720384.

Now some more details and reports of our activities during the past year:

The Bailiff’s Visit to Biberach:

Our Chairman Chris Day reports:

“In early July 2004 the Bailiff and Lady Carey, at the invitation of the Mayor of Biberach, attended their annual Archers Festival- the Schiitzenfest - accompanied by Jurat and Dr Mowbray. They attended the official opening ceremony and the parade of those who celebrated an anniversary (40th, 50th, etc) that year. All the Guernsey guests were invited to an official meeting at the Town Hall attended by Councillors and other local dignitaries. The main parade through the market square and the surrounding streets followed. It is a colourful historical pageant with different participants, groups, clubs, etc. representing major periods, people or events in the town’s history, all in costume with much use of horses and horsedrawn exhibits accompanied by many bands from the area. If three words could sum up the parade they would be colour, music and horses. Altogether it was a magnificent display compelling, exuberant, cheerful yet at times moving. It was altogether a magnificent day. As usual all the Guernsey guests were royally entertained both by the Mayor and our increasing number of friends.

At the end of the week, the Guernsey Youth Orchestra and Choir arrived on a visit. It must be recorded that all the feedback from our friends in Biberach was very complimentary; they were clearly highly impressed with the quality of the performances, which is most gratifying.”

Guernsey Youth Orchestra and Choir Trip to Biberach:

The visit of the Guernsey Choir and Orchestra organised by the Schools’ Music Service under the leadership of Mervyn Grand and Christine Anthony has been a great success and we have heard many favourable reports especially on the joint concert given by the Guernsey Choir and the Pestalozzi School Choir. The Swabian Newspaper reported on it under the headline “Music Builds Bridges” referring to the song “Bridge over Troubled Waters” which was sung by the joint choir. And the Guernsey group was specifically praised for their rendition of the Biberach  Schiitzenfest song in German.

Helga Reiser, Secretary o/the Biberach Friends o/Guernsey writes:

“We will remember the joint concert for a long time to come. We hope that it was only the first of many meetings between our young people.”

Visit from Biberach to attend the Victor Hugo Music Festival:

Chairman o/the Biberach Friends o/Guernsey Pastor Eberhard Goehner writes, as reported in the Swabian newspaper:

“Apart from attending high-quality concerts we met with the Head of the Government Bailiff Sir de Vic Carey and the Governor, Representative of the Queen, and also attended a meeting of the Island’s parliament. We also met former deportees and representatives of the churches. We were given an insight into the education system and had ajoint meeting with the Guernsey Friends of Biberach.

Special highlights were the cliff walks, the exploration of ancient churches and picturesque houses, often coming across former German wartime fortifications. But the most important experience was the hospitality received in the families ofthe “Friends of Biberach”. The new beginnings of understanding and friendship bode well for our future cooperation which is toinclude the young generation more and more.”

Honour for Thomas Fettback, Mayor of Biberach

We are delighted to be able to report that Thomas Fettback has been awarded an honorary OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services for British - German relations. It is very pleasing that the growing links between our two communities have been recognized in this way.

Future Events:

The Bailiff has invited the Mayor of Biberach and other dignitaries to attend our Liberation Day festivities and the Council of Churches has invited the Committee members of the Biberach Friends of Guernsey. If you would like to meet anyone of them please get in touch.

At the present moment Biberach Police Cadets are working on a model of Camp Lindele which they are planning to bring to Guernsey in the near future. We hope that we will find a suitable place to exhibit it.

During May an exhibition will take place at the Guernsey Museum in Candie Gardens entitled “Liberation Memories”.
We hope that you will be able to attend our AGM on Saturday, 23fd April at 12 o’clock at the Peninsula Hotel.

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