FOR THE YEAR 2009/10
The past year has seen the continuing success of our Partnerschaft with Bad Wurzach. It has involved considerable work organising various events, at all times fulfilling our commitment to furthering cultural, educational and historical events.
Whilst the events do not always show a profit such as the Fete de Noue celebrations organised by Tourism we learn from our mistakes and look for new ideas!
The Partnerschaft was invited to participate in the Europa Youth Work Camp in Bad Wurzach in August 2009 but were unable to find any adults to accompany a small group. It was with considerable regret that we had to withdraw our participation.
The former internee get togethers are proving very popular and our November gathering was no exception. Doug Tanguy once again presented a music quiz which was followed by tea and cakes and a raffle. Carol Thebault produced an excellent DVD recording of the 2009 visit to Bad Wurzach. Sadly due to the size of the hall some of the quality was lost but nonetheless it is a wonderful record of the visit. We are most grateful to the Parish for the use of the Assembly and committee rooms for our meetings and gatherings. I would like to thank the sub-committee for all their support and hard work in making these occasions so special.
The annual Remembrance Sunday commemoration service in Howard Davis Park was attended by only a small group of 12 people. This was probably due to the wet and cold weather. However an excellent tea with scones was enjoyed by everyone at the Ommaroo Hotel.
The student exchange programme with Les Quennevais School early in February this year was welcomed as it appears that the German language will no longer be taught in the Island’s schools. German language teacher, Brian Springthorpe, had made considerable efforts to ensure that 5 of his students were able to enjoy the winter half-term holidays in Bad Wurzach. The Partnerschaft feels that the sponsorship provided will encourage such exchanges even if German is no longer taught in local schools.
The Concordia Ladies Choir under the direction of Mr Hugh Linc├® gave a wonderful pre-tour concert in the Town Hall in March. It was very well attended and again our thanks to the Parish and in particular, to Kevin McCarthy for all his assistance in setting up the drinks and nibbles.
The Youtheatre under the guidance of Daniel Austin, continues to be a huge success and some 19 budding thespians presented The Life of Galileo in Bad Wurzach from 10-17 April which was being studied in German for students in BW. A return visit of 20 students will take place for 8 to 15 June; they will be accompanied by Hermann Bilgeri and Ingeborg Ege. The Partnerschaft again approved a grant of £700 towards the travel costs as in previous years. This contribution was made possible at the last minute thanks to the Parish of St Helier providing an additional grant of £2,000 towards the 65th Liberation Day celebrations in Bad Wurzach for which we are most grateful.
This year’s official 65th Liberation Day celebrations on 28th April were enjoyed by some 18 former internees together with their families including grandchildren and committee members, in total 58 people. The official party was led by the Bailiff, Mr Michael Birt, accompanied by Chief Minister, Senator Terry le Sueur together with their wives, Deacon Iain MacFirbhisigh and Constable Simon Crowcroft. 21 members of the Concordia Ladies Choir also accompanied the group and their concert in the Kursaal together with the German Liederkranz choir, was a great success. Thanks to the warm weather conditions, the official commemoration service, wreath laying and cemetery visit were enjoyed by everyone, especially the moving ceremony involving the laying of red roses on the graves by Katie and Megan, granddaughters of Mary Cornish. The ceremonies were accompanied by pipers Iain MacLeod and his son Alisdair, who gave a special touch to the day’s events. Whilst this year’s visit involved many hours of preparation, our thanks must go to Hermann Bilgeri and the BW twinning committee for all the arrangements and ensuring that our visit was once again, a huge success.
In conclusion, I feel that as a Committee, we must now increase our commitment to setting up a viable student exchange programme. This can be achieved by getting local language teachers involved and also including young students on our annual visit to Bad Wurzach.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the committee members for their commitment in making this Partnerschaft with Bad Wurzach so successful. My special thanks to Lola and Peter, our two elected officers, for their support. Also to Clive Armstrong for ensuring that our events and photos are placed on the evolving website.
May 19th 2010