80th Anniversary of Vancouver Alpen Club!
Saturday, February 26th, 2016 between 2 pm and 4 pm, the Vancouver Alpenclub celebrated their 80th Anniversary. As VAC President Justin Hoffman put it, “In perspective, Disneyland is 61 years old!”
The program started a typical “Saengergruss” and then with MC Dieter Momeyer, the Lyra Men’s Choir welcoming the crowd of around 400 guests and then introducing the VIP speakers one by one. The 80th “Jubilaeumsfeier” was a two-hour celebration with guests from the German Canadian Business Association, the German Canadian Heritage Plaza, the German Canadian Benevolent Society, from the St. Mark’s Evangelical Church, the former Berlin Club, the former German Canadian Congress, the Schuhplattler, and other clubs that are listed below.
Over the last 80 years there have been many changes in the immigration of young people from Germany and the number of club members peaked at 1,000. The challenge, as ever, is to be relevant for the new wave of Work & Travel Visa young people, Work & Study Visa young people, young entrepreneurs and professionals. Perhaps the advent of (the historic Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement ) CETA will bring even more changes to immigration – who knows?
First to speak was VAC President Justin Hoffman.
Second to speak was the Honourable General Consul Josef Beck of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Third was the Honourable Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Fourth was Pastor Hardo Ermisch from the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Fifth was the president of the Austria Club.
Sixth was Rolf Bruehlhart, on behalf of the Swiss Society and the Swiss Choir and the Swiss Community.
The Concordia Choir sang:
- Hab Sonne im Herzen
- La Pastorella
- Rot sind die Rosen
- Wenn der weisse Flieder wieder blüht.
The MGV Lyra Choir sang:
- Freude am Leben
- Steig ich in den Berg hinauf
We were then served coffee and cake.
After this, “Die Drei Tenore”, a big hit at the last Saengerfest performed not just one, but two songs, and the closing was a sing-a-long with Al Pichler.
To quote Alex Schoebel, the 1995 VAC President:
Stehen bleiben, liebe Mitglieder, können wir nicht. Wir müssen weiter planen. Wie Sie alle wissen, hat sich die wirtschaftliche Lage verändert Die Zukunft des Klubs muss gesichert werden, und deshalb bitte ich jedes Mitglied sich einmal Gedanken darüber zu machen und uns Vorschläge für den Erhalt des Klubs zu unterbreiten.”
To quote Peter Dacher with “Dacher Printing Limited”, after the 60th Anniversary, now 20 years ago:
Morge der Vancouver Alpen Klub auch für die nächsten 60 Jahre der Mittelpunkt deutscher Kultur und Unterhaltung sein!
Original Founding Members from 1936:
- Mr. Sebastian Schmidt
- Mr. Jakob Klett
- Mr. Jakob Kopp
- Mr. John Standacher
- Mr. Ed Maxreiter
- Mr. John Punt
- Mr. John Stohl
- Mr. Joe Putz
- Mr. Loi Gasser
- Mr. Julius Pichler
- Miss Mary Weinberger
- Mr. Peter Bach
- Miss Madalaine Reiter
- Mr. John Marxher
- Mr. John Hack
- Mr. Lawrence Feldes
The Board in 1995 was:
- Frank Adebahr
- Oskar Hanschke
- Kurt Meier
- Harald Dether
- Gustaf Rosenke
- Ingrid Schafmeister
- Fritz Momeyer
- Inge Webb
- John Misera
- Artur Luebkemann
- Irmgard Rueger
- Alex Schoebel
- Lukas Mayer
- Willi Brauer
There is also the Organization called “Alpen Holdings”, which was formed to buy 8 properties and to actually build the club. The Original President was August W. Henschell.
- The North Pacific Singing Federation (Nordpazifischer Sängerbund) was established in Bellingham in 1901
- A “Schuhplaettler” group made up of Swiss, Austrians and Germans formed a dance group in 1935 and called themselves “Deutscher Alpenverein”. (German Alpine Association)
- After 3 years of dancing under the umbrella of the Canadian Folk Society, they decided to officially register as the Vancouver Alpen Club.
- The “Deutsches Haus” was opened at the corner of Victoria and 33rd on October 19th, 1950.
- 1947 is when a “Frauengruppe” was formed.
- 1947 a Theatre Group formed
- 1952 a soccer team (Alamania Kickers) was formed
- 1958 the Alpenclub participated in the 100 Year Anniversary of British Columbia by collecting the contributions of German Pioneers in the Province of BC and creating a book.
- 1959 the Vancouver Alpen Club celebrated the 200th Birthday of the poet Friedrich Schiller.
- 1965 Men’s Choir “Lyra was officially formed.
- Fall 1973, the Deutsches Haus Restaurant (“Kleine Kneipe”) was officially opened.
- 1973 was also the year that a “Carnival Association” was created to help celebrate Fasching and other special events. They quickly became 80 active members
- 1975 was the year a “Skatverein” was created.
- 1976 was the year the Concordia Choir was created by Hans and Lotti Hirsekorn.
- 1978 is the year they started crowning the “Prince and Princess” of the Carneval.
- 1985 they created a “Schuetzverein” or a shooting club.
- The Concordia Choir performed at Expo ’86
- The Concordia Choir performed at GERMANICA ’88
- 1990 was the 25th Anniversary of the Lyra Men’s Choir
- 1991 a Youth Choir was performed
- June 1st, 2002 is when the Concordia Choir sang at the European Festival for the first time.
- February 6th, 2016 is when the Vancouver Alpen Club celebrated their 80th Anniversary in the “Festhallte”.
Man denkt halt immer wieder an den Nachwuchs, und die Kinder im Jugendchor singen und lernen viel und haben auch viel Freude dran.”
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia:
Germans arrived in Canada with such diverse citizenships as Austrian, Swiss, Luxembourgian, Hungarian, Russian, French and American; with a variety of regional identities, such as Palatine, Bavarian, Saxon, Burgenländer, Sudeten, Danube Swabian, Baltic, Alsatian and Pennsylvania Dutch; and with such religious allegiances as Mennonite, Hutterite, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Moravian and Jewish. Their mother tongues included High German, Low German, Pennsylvania Dutch and numerous regional dialects. From their homelands and histories of previous migrations, German-speaking immigrants transplanted a mosaic of German cultures, including ancestral traits extinct in Germany as well as unique adaptations to non-German environments.
Also according to the Canadian Encyclopedia:
German communities composed of mixed backgrounds formed the predominant pattern of German settlement, membership in churches, and voluntary ethnic associations, as well as in celebrating symbolic events such as German Day, Oktoberfest and Karneval.
Finally, here is a complete list of Societies that used to be connected with the Vancouver Alpen Club. The addresses and phone numbers are most likely out of date and come from: https://www.laenderkontakte.de/kanada/deutsche-vereinigungen
Richmond, BC V7A 3R2
9432 Kingley Crescent
Richmond, BC V7A 4V7
Richmond, BC V6X 3T6
Carnival Society Naerrische Garde
12168 Boundary Drive South
Surrey, BC V3X 2B7
Surrey, BC V3R 4A4
6360 Elgin Street
Vancouver, BC V5W 3K3
P.O.Box 46226 Station 6
Vancouver, BC V6R 4G5
3526 East 48th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5S 1H7
201-1867 W. Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J 4W1
8334 Selkirk Street
Vancouver, BC V6P 4H9
2010 Harrison Drive
Vancouver, BC V5P 2P6
(Deutsch-Kanadisches Hilfswerk von Britisch Kolumbien)
6650 Culloden Street
West Vancouver, BC V7V 1T8
Kolping Society Vancouver
Holy Family Church
4851 Beatrice Street
Vancouver, BC V5N 4J5
5800 University Bl. Regent Coll
c/o Prof. John B. Toews
Vancouver, BC V6T 2E4
3492 West 39th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6N 3A2
(Herausgeber der Zeitschrift “Wandering – A Magazine for the Descendents of Germany from Volhynia and Poland”)
P.O.Box 1033, Station A
Vancouver, BC V6C 2P1
Trans Canada Alliance of The German Canadians British Columbia Branch
c/o 4875 Victoria Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 4P3