The German Interest Group
Translated from Afrikaans to English by Carol Beneke
On 18 June 2009 a small group, seven to be precise, decided to form the German Interest Group. Since then we meet once a month at the house of one or other of the members of the group. On average we are 14 members per evening, but in the past we have been between 20 and 25 friends that have visited together. Our meetings are friendly and informal. We do not have a committee, do not ask membership fees and do not make long speeches. A guest speaker is normally invited for the evening. After the talk we adjourn and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and some eats which are donated by the hostess. The discussions thereafter sometimes become so interesting and the members become so enthusiastic about the topic, and the speaker is peppered with so many questions that it becomes difficult to go home. They are wonderful friendly constructive and instructive evenings. Sometimes we have a members evening which is particularly popular. Anyone who has anything to show which he inherited, or has something to tell of his German ancestors gets an opportunity to do so. In this manner we have heard and seen many interesting things. We all have an interest in our “Heimatland”, as each of us has one or more German ancestors. Our ancestors originate mainly from the groups of Germans who founded themselves during 1857 to 1859 in the Eastern Cape. Sadly there are few members that still speak German. Our language choice is English or Afrikaans, according to personal preference. Once a year we attend a service at the Lutheran Church. Rev. Felix Meylahn leads the services. The services are held in English, with two additional German services a month.
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The Lutheran Church community holds their Christmas fair during November, where authentic German food, cake and handiwork are offered for sale. If I may highlight particular high points, at least for me personally, I would mention when I took the group for a weekend trip to the King Williams Town area. In order not to be repetitive, I will combine highlights from a number of tours. We left Port Elizabeth early on Saturday morning for Kidds Beach, where we overnighted.
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