Guernsey Friends of Biberach

Newsletter, March 2008

The date of our AGM (Wednesday, 23rd April 2008) is approaching and it is time for me to report once more on what has been happening.

Trip to Biberach

 

The highlight of 2007 has certainly been the visit to Biberach in July for the Schuetzenfest celebrations. A group of 14 people headed by the Bailiff Geoffrey Rowland and the Chief Minister Mike Torode were able to enjoy 4 busy days in Biberach. 2007 marked the 10th anniversary of our friendship and the Bailiff presented the Mayor of Biberach Thomas Fettback with a plaque in recognition of the civic links and bonds of friendship which have developed over these ten years. The plaque has now been put up inside the Town Hall. Canon Marc Trickey and Fr Michael Hore also made the trip and took an active part in Sunday’s ecumenical Church Service in the Town Square. We had many meetings with the Biberach Friends of Guernsey and members of the Twinning Association, so that we were able to renew old friendships and also establish new links.

ECSOC

Later on in July four youngsters from Biberach arrived to take part in the Elizabeth College Summer Orchestra Course. They all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Some of the youngsters stayed longer working as au pair girls. We are always short of families willing to host young people from Biberach, so please get in touch if you have a spare room and are willing to put someone up.

Visit from Biberach

At the beginning of September 27 citizens from Biberach spent a week in the Island. We had organised a varied programme for them starting with a reception at Les Cotils on the evening of their arrival. They were overwhelmed by the hospitality which they received. Luckily the weather played its part and they were able to enjoy all the outings, such as an Island Tour with Sir de Vie Carey as tour guide, a visit to Castle Comet and a day trip to Sark. The Bailiff hosted them at a reception in the new Court Building and Richard Heaume invited them to see the Occupation Museum followed by lunch and a guided cliff walk. We also organised a barbeque at the College Field where both guests from Biberach and local Friends of Biberach could get to know each other a bit more and new friendships were formed.

Trip to Compiegne

At the invitation of the Compiegne authorities representatives from Guernsey had attended the inauguration of a memorial and museum dedicated to 53 000 French and Jewish deportees who had passed through the internment camp there between 1941 and 1944 on the way to the concentration camps. About 130 Islanders had spent about 3 months there in 1943. The 12 people who made the trip headed by the Bailiff were somewhat disappointed that no information about the experience of the Islanders in the camp in Compiegne was available.

However, this was soon rectified and Mr Rowland invited officials from Compiegne to come to Guernsey and interview former internees so their memories could be added to the camp archive. At the ecumenical service on the Sunday the story of the former deportees from Guernsey was told and prayers were said for them.

Forthcoming Events

This summer there will be a large number of young people from Guernsey travelling to Biberach. The Schools’ Music Service is planning their second visit to Biberach in July. The visit will be during the Schuetzenfest Week, so there will be lots of entertainment available. Members of the St John’s Cadets will pay their first visit to Biberach after having hosted young people from the Biberach Red Cross two years ago. Efforts are being made to link Guernsey and Biberach Scout Groups and to this effect representatives of the Guernsey Scouts have been invited to visit Biberach at the beginning of May for the Town’s spring festival.

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