DKG Jahrestreffen 2022 in Frankfurt – A look back
Dear DKG members and Friends of Canada. Originally planned to take place in Frankfurt for 2020, the DKG annual meeting finally happend in Mainhattan on the weekend of July 1st to July 3rd 2022.
Like the years before, we traditionally met for our “Friday Evening Get-Together”, this time in Old Sachsenhausen.
Typical Frankfurt specialties and “Apfelwein” awaited us in one of the city’s most iconic and traditional places.
Around 50 old and new faces gathered jointly to start the weekend in a very good mood. It was a delight to see each other again and welcome new people, among them not only Canada fans but also real Canadians: there were quite a few red and white clothed people in celebration of Canada Day.
On Saturday morning, while some of us were busy in the usual “Elefantenrunde”, others participated in the organised old city tour. The meeting point was in front of the Paulskirche, which could not be visited as it is being renovated. The guides took the groups to the “Rathaus”, the “Römer”, the famous “Kaisersaal” and the “neue Altstadt” to finish off the tour at “Kleinmarkthalle”. The guests were given a lot of very interesting information about the history of Frankfurt and everyone enjoyed their morning very much.
In the afternoon, we had our annual members assembly in the offices of the “Kanzlei Arnecke-Sibeth-Dabelstein”, our deepest thanks to our President, Michael Siebold and his staff for making this possible. We were informed that our longtime board member, Bernd Brummermann, responsible for our Work and Travel Program, is leaving his place after 18 years (he will be joining the “Präsidium”). Thank you so very much Bernd for your dedication all these years in insuring that our program, one of the oldest of its kind, could still continue and thrive, even during the pandemic. Chapeau!!!
But for our greatest pleasure, we have a more than worthy candidate to follow up Bernd’s footsteps as Sina Burghardt has been elected to take over. Sina took part in our program herself, she accompanied “WSP” participants to Canada, created our Instagram account and has been taking care of the DKG presence on social media. She helped creating the task forces, the DKG volunteer group and so much more! We are very confident that our program will continue to be in good hands. Bravo Sina!
To make sure that our social media presence is not neglected, Sina handed over that task to Carolin Koch. Carolin is an ex-WSP participant and is also the recipient of the DKG scholarship of 2019. She is working with the task force teams and is very dedicated to the DKG. Thank you Carolin!!!
It is also important to mention that we have an increase in DKG membership, a very positive development.
The next DKG annual meeting will take place in Rostock from June 30th to July 2nd, 2023 (you can already save the date 🙂 ). In 2024, it will take place in Munich, in 2025 in Bonn and in 2026 in Dortmund.
On Saturday evening, around 100 people gathered at the Marriott Frankfurt (whom we would like to thank for helping make our event so successful) to celebrate with us. We had the great pleasure of welcoming the band that played for us in Lahr in 2019. Four excellent musicians playing Canadian music who call themselves “Heart of Gold”. After a word of welcome from our chairman, Stefan Rizor, the band accompanied classical singer Julie Schmitt (a Canadian who lives in Mainz) to perform the national anthems of Canada and Germany. Julie blew us all away with a very touching performance. There was barely a dry eye left in the room. We thank her very much for being a part of our celebrations!
The presenters throughout the evening were our President, Michael Siebold and yours truly (thank you Michael for the opportunity).
We had the great honour of welcoming a very prestigious guest, the Ambassador of Canada in Germany, Stéphane Dion. Ambassador Dion delivered an excellent speech as only He can do it.
Warm, welcoming, very entertaining and sincere. And although he must leave Germany to take on the position of the Ambassador of Canada in France, he told us he would ensure a continuation of the good relations between the Embassy of Canada in Germany and the DKG with his successor. As it was the last time Ambassador Dion would be able to participate in a DKG event before going to Paris, the organizers of the weekend, the DKG Team Rhein-Main, offered him a gift to remember Frankfurt and Germany by: an engraving of “Die deutsche Nationalversammlung in der Paulskirche zu Frankfurt am Main” at 1848. It represents the cradle of German democracy and it is what connects our countries so strongly. Nos sincères remerciements à Monsieur l’Ambassadeur Dion pour son engagement envers la Société canado-allemande.
After that the DKG handed over its 2021 “Ehrenpreis” to photographer Martin Weinhold whom we would like to congratulate once again! His Prize was presented by Dr. habil. Ulrich Bleyer (Präsidium). The “Ehrenpreis” 2022 is going to German journalist Gerd Braune who lives in Canada. Mr Braune was unfortunately unable to be present in person, but he will receive his Prize in due form in Rostock in 2023. Congratulations and we are looking forward to seeing you next year!
We then all enjoyed a nice buffet with Canadian touches. Afterwards people started to mingle and enjoy each others company. Although we did not have a proper “dance floor” per se, the excellent band prevented us from being still; all of a sudden almost everybody started to dance!
In between we had a funny quiz and 4 of us were able to snatch high quality Canadian products, gracioulsy offered by Mélody Roussy-Parent of Melody’s Canada: thank you very kindly Melody for your generosity!!
This summary would not be complete without thanking our friends of “McGill Alumni Association of Germany” for taking part in our celebrations. It was really great to have you and we hope to see you again in Rostock next year!
As we usually do, we ended the evening with a chill out. And at least half of the crowd met downstairs at the Champions bar; even the Ambassador joined in.
On Sunday morning, the guests were all invited on a small cruise on the Main River. The weather was perfect and it was a very pleasant way to end the weekend.
I would like to thank our Regional Director Rhein-Main, Michael Hahn and my fellow team members, Frank Herrnschmidt and Ulrich Barths, as well as the DKG “Geschäftsstelle” and Stefan Rizor for making this successful weekend possible, in spite of many obstacles along the way.
Let me just finish my “résumé” by saying how proud I am to be part of the DKG community. So many different people united by their love for Canada, my own home country. Young and old and in between, all working together to build a place where everyone fits in, where we can all connect and somehow make the world a better place. I have been around for many years now, and there has never been a better time to be invloved in the DKG. A DKG open to the world and the future, a DKG that is constantly reinventing itself, for the love of people, and the love of Canada.
*Pictures will follow