The Grand Tour of 2001
As many of you will remember, in a previous edition of this newsletter we mentioned a homecoming celebration in Alstätte, Germany to which any Gerwings were invited. Alstätte is the village where our great grandfather Gerwing came from. They celebrated 850 years as a village with a huge reception, evening parties, a mass and Sunday afternoon street fair.
Heinrich Holters, head of their local history committee, and his group wrote an extensive history of the area that includes several pages about the Gerwings of Lake Lenore.
Well 13 of us decided to go off adventuring this summer and went to Alstätte for the festivities on June 30 and July 1. We all had a fabulous time and want to tell you about it.
Charlie, Rita, Marina and Norma decided to travel together. Steve and Jan and Mary Buttinger and Isabel Reimer were another group. Rosemary travelled over with them but stayed in the Alstätte area. The final foursome was Connie, Cyril and offspring.
For those of you who aren't students of family history I'll give you a quick lesson.
Heinrich Gerwing was a young man of 20 when he
decided to leave Germany.
His family were farmers but didn't own their land. They were what we would describe as permanent renters on a large farm. He had 3 sisters and 1 brother who remained there. Heinrich must have been the adventurous one but possibly the desire to avoid being conscripted into the Prussian army had something to do with it!
Besides being a farmer he was also a maker of wooden shoes – yes – just like those Dutch ones. In fact the farm he lived on was right on the border. The next field is in Holland!
Alstätte is filled with Gerwings. The mayor is a Gerwing, Heinrich Holters mother is a Gerwing. There is a Gerwing Strasse (street) and Gerwing Hook (district) out in the suburbs. We can't find how we are related to these Gerwings but we do have relatives there named Göckner, Gottmer, Horst and others who were very hospitable to us all.
We rode on Al's coattails a lot. He seems to know everyone!!
Rosemary and Charlie and Isabel had been there so they shepherded us around a bit and introduced us to a number of people.
Here are the stories from our adventures along the way.
Our trip, Connie, Cyril, Julia and Philip's, began with a few days in Amsterdam. Then we headed off in our rented car to see the world. We had many adventures on the roads. The car rental company sent us off with one little map and no assistance whatever with
little things like what did
all those strange road signs mean? Whenever we did something stupid
Julia and Philip would
wave our little Canadian flag in the back window!
After visiting the Dutch countryside and marvelling at the land reclamation projects and dikes we headed east into Germany. Our first stop was in Hegensdorf where Grandpa Schulte came from in 1877. It's a lovely village in gently rolling hills about 15 kilometres south of Paderborn.
We had a wild trip on the autobahn back to Münster with Steve leading the way and Cyril keeping up like a tag team match. Darting and weaving in and out of the heavy traffic like the Schumacher brothers who drive in the Formula 1 races! We were late anyway and wondered what to do when we saw Rosemary standing on the sidewalk in the middle of the city trying to flag us down.
Then on to Alstätte where we were introduced to dozens of relatives, drank the beer, ate wild boar, smiled a lot, slept only a little and enjoyed the festivities.
Following a wonderful 10 days spent tracking our grandfathers' footsteps we left the rest of the family and continued down the Rhine. We experienced the “ausfahrts” (exits) on the autobahn and the little country roads and small villages.
We made our way to northern France where Cyril has relatives. We were passed from one to another and wined and dined and toured at every stop.
One Canadian marvel in northern France is the memorial of Vimy Ridge, a famous battle in the First World War. The battleground, trenches and underground tunnels have been preserved and are actually Canadian land. The huge marble memorial looks out over the plains towards Belgium and what was the Western Front. It is in the middle of hundreds of graveyards. Local farmers still unearth mustard gas canisters and skeletons from soldiers long dead.
We had a wonderful time filled with many memories especially of the great times we had in Germany. Don't miss it if you get the chance!
BUTTINGER CLAN MEETS IN GERMANY
The sun shone brightly June 13, as Steve, Jan, Rosemary, and Isabel landed in Dusseldorf. Within an hour Mary jetted in from Saudi Arabia, and the four Buttingers hit the autobahn in their brand new Renault mini van. Only a few hours later, we had found Bella (Isabel), the wife of dad's great nephew, Richard Reinholz. (How do these names keep repeating themselves oceans and continents apart?)
June 14th happened to be the feast of Corpus Christi, and the country was shut down as it is a civic holiday in Germany!!!! As we were trying to locate Bella and Richard's house, we came upon the route of the Corpus Christi procession down the main streets of Dormagen. The procession was headed by a police car, followed by a band playing hymns, the girls in white preceding the Blessed Sacrament, and the parishioners praying the rosary with the help of a portable PA system bringing up the rear. The temporary altars were decorated as we remember them in Lake Lenore, but an added feature was the colourful patterns created from flower petals on the pavement in front of the altars.
Richard was away but Bella, a wonderful, vivacious woman, quickly got over the shock of finding four Canadian strangers on her doorstep. She speaks English very well, and whisked us into Cologne by train. She treated us to a guided tour of their phenomenal cathedral, the majestic Rhine River and the maze of historic streets. They were full of people enjoying the lovely spring weather so we joined them and shared a drink at an outdoor cafe. With such an auspicious beginning, how could our trip be anything but wonderful!
A few highlights:
–“shoeing” our families at a Birkenstock factory outlet store only a few kilometres from Greatgrandma Schulte's home town.
–Steve enjoying the infectious music of an oom-pah band in the crowded town square of Bernkastel an der Mosel. The bouncing of the video he was filming attests to his appreciation of his German roots, (and his tapping toes.)
–Mary discovering that, although wine and beer could be found everywhere, the best inexpensive wine can be purchased in a service station.
–being pleased by all the courtesies shown us by the people we met - even to the point of being wished a "gute fahrt" (the equivalent of "have a safe trip") as we drove out of a parkade in Konstanz.
–beautiful Bavaria, where the houses and barns are not only enormous, but they are connected to one another, and come complete with manure piles - and satellite dishes.
–ordering "flammen kuchen" for dinner one evening because the name intrigued us, and being served a Black Forest version of pizza - obviously cooked over a fire because it had grillmarks on the underside. Then having the young waiter/cook sit down with us and tell us about his many trips to Canada to visit friends he made when the Canadian military was based in Lahr.
–Salzburg where the churchbells from an incredible number of churches ring so frequently they appear to be duelling with one another. Sunday Mass in the cathedral which had (count 'em) five pipe organs.
– meeting the rest of our Canadian relatives in Hegensdorf and again in Alstatte. Experiencing Marina - a treat no Gerwing offspring should miss. Now we'd like to hear Norma's side of the story.
– being captivated by the poppies and daisies that grow wild in the fields - until Heinz Lummer told us the German farmers call them weeds, and they can't spray for them.
–finding the grave of Cpl. A.L. Skalicky from the Saskatoon Light Infantry (a relative of Marina's) in a Canadian Military Cemetery just inside the Dutch border.
WESTERN HOSPITALITY ALIVE AND WELL IN GERMANY
Our relatives in Alstätte were so happy to have us visit, and so proud to show us their town. The Mass celebrating the 850 anniversary was a cultural highlight. Though the soloists were brought in for the event, the choir and musicians were all residents of Alstätte. They had practised for two years for this occasion and put on a spectacular show. A particular thrill for all of us from Lake Lenore was the singing of Grosser Gott as the recessional hymn.
WHERE IS GREG GERWING WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Growing up in Lake Lenore, many of us knew Greg as Diesel. This had particular significance for Steve the second time we gassed up our trusty little van. The car wasn't pulling as smoothly as it had previously, and after a bit of research, we discovered we'd been putting gasoline into a diesel engine. However, luck was with us. The young mechanic who pumped out the gas told us that it wouldn't be harmful to the engine. However, if one puts diesel into a gasoline engine, "das ist scheisse!"
STEVE SHOWS UNUSUAL APTITUDE FOR LANGUAGES
Every evening there was the chore of finding overnight accommodation in a Gasthof or Pension. After not too many days Steve was game to use his new language skills in negotiating the deal. However, he was somewhat chagrined when after asking for two double rooms, the proprietor disappeared, only to return and hand him two dinner buns.
Well, I wonder if Steve knew what Isabel was writing about him?
Now for Rosemary's version:
"SCHADE DASS ALFONS NICHT DABEI SEIN KONNTE"
Those words were spoken in Münster, Paderborn, Hegensdorf and Alstätte. Al, who had set the ball rolling for this wonderful trip, stayed home to take care of a refugee family.
Both Al and Louise recommended that I get in touch with Gertrude Brühmann, a friend of theirs who had already visited twice in Canada and loved to show visitors around her area. That was exactly what I needed and from the moment I came through customs in Dusseldorf she was there.
I arrived just in time for Corpus Christi, which they celebrate on a Thursday with lots of pomp. As Gertrude and I drove up the street where she lives people were out tidying up their yards because the procession would be passing there the next morning.
It was suppertime when we arrived and Gertrude soon had a delicious meal featuring asparagus and strawberries. We had strawberries a lot but on June 24th the asparagus season came to an abrupt end …they always stop on exactly June 24th.
But back to Corpus Christi or Frohn Leichnam as it's called in Germany. It's a big feast and the schools and businesses are all closed not only for the day but also for the weekend. We began the Mass in the church and then began to process along the streets…stopping at the wayside shrines that have been there for many years.
The next day Leo, Gertrude's brother, took me to Cologne (Köln) for some serious sightseeing. Museums and churches, priceless artifacts dating back to times before Christ. It was a lovely day and we ate outdoors along with thousands of others. Such a relaxed atmosphere! Gertrude joined us at 3:00 and we went to see Beethoven's house in Bonn.
On Sunday Gertrude took me to Alstätte in time for Mass and the blessing of their Jubilee fountain. There I met Rita Göckner, her Mom, Franceska and her brother Norbert and his wife who told me of Ted and Kim's visit a few years earlier. I also met Heinrich Holters who was so good to us all when we celebrated the 850th anniversary two weeks later.
Rita then took over as my guide. First she took her Mom and me to a restaurant run by Fred Gerwing. Then she got me settled in the gasthaus where she also had arranged a special rate. Every morning at 10:00 she was there with her little blue car to take me around Alstätte and the countryside. Because Alstätte is right on the border of Holland we visited there also. She used to work at a supermarket in Holland and rode the 3 kilometres on her bike.
I must explain that Rita's father was a prisoner of war in Medicine Hat during the Second World War. Chuck said that had we known at the time he would have been able to work for us till the war was over. His mother was a cousin of Pa. When he got back to Germany after the war he discovered that his mother had died.
At the end of the week Gertrude picked me up again and we were off to Münster. We took in a wonderful organ and choir concert at Gerleve, a Benedictine monastery, went on a pilgrimage to Telgte and of course visited the many museums and castles around Münster. There are about 100 castles in a 30 mile radius.
Finally it was time to go to Paderborn so Leo drove me there and an hour after we arrived we met Chuck, Rita, Marina and Norma. We immediately began to explore the Dom where the Paderborn choir sings. We sang Ave Glöcklein in a little chapel that had amazing acoustics and were thrilled with the sound. The next morning Wolfgang and Karin Schone took us on a tour of the countryside's wonderful forests and again lunch outdoors with afternoon coffee at their place. Afternoon coffee is a given – just as important as any other meal.
The next morning we were off to Hegensdorf by bus. Maria Lummer, a friend of Al's, met us in Büren and took us to their absolutely beautiful church with the most exquisite woodwork I had ever seen. Heinz Lummer also came to drive us to their place for lunch. Maria made a delicious meal. Is there any other kind in Germany? Her dessert was a mixture of whipped cream and yoghurt and quark cheese and I wish I had some right now.
There we met Connie and Cyril and Julia and Philip. Heinz showed us around his pig farm. Then it was time to take us to the church in Hegensdorf where Grandpa Schulte had spent his earliest years. Heinrich told us many things about Grandpa because his father now owns the land where Grandpa had lived. “Lustige Heinrich” was his nickname. His home was just a few metres from the church. We saw the church where he was baptized. We had to hurry back to Paderborn because the choir, which had come to Canada, had invited us out to dinner, again at an outdoor restaurant. Over and over we heard “Schade das der Alfons nicht heir konnt sein”
We would love to have had more time with the Lummers but the next morning we were back to Münster. Leo came to pick us up because it would have been too awkward trying to travel by train. Leo and Gertrude certainly did everything to make our trip as comfortable as possible. We arrived back in Münster where Leo gave a grand tour of the cathedral and then he left us on our own while he went to prepare for the barbecue which he and Gertrude put on for us at a lovely old farm with peacocks. After the barbecue we sang old German folksongs and hymns in a little chapel there with Norma on the organ. Time kept flying away on us and it soon was time for Gertrude to drive us to Alstätte. The Buttingers and Connie's family had their own cars so we convoyed to Alstätte arriving there at 10:00 PM. Heinrich Holters, his friend Heinrich Heideman and Rita Göckner were waiting at the gasthaus for us. After introductions we settled down in our beds since early in the morning, after früstuck, we would leave for a tour with the two Heinrichs and Rita.
After a short visit to the Alstätte parish church we toured an old flourmill which likely had been used by Grandpa Gerwing and a cheese factory in Holland.
In the afternoon there was a reception in a huge tent. It was sweltering hot and it seemed like a 1000 people were there, all having some connection with Alstätte. Heinrich Holters stayed with us and halfway through the program they introduced the Gerwing relatives from Canada. When we were introduced the Göttmer relatives came up to introduce themselves. Meanwhile we had heard that a couple from America was at the cemetery looking for Gerwings. It turned out that she was Uncle Christ's grand daughter Judy, daughter of Johanna, from Pierz. We met them at breakfast the next morning.
But back to the tent. We had thought that perhaps we would volunteer to sing a few German songs at the concert and course first choice was Pa's favorite, “Ich Hat Ein Kamerad” but we chickened out. Luckily, as it happened. Right after we left the tent we went into a smaller place where a band was playing great German tunes. I asked the Bandleader if they would play “Ich Hat Ein Kamerad” and he looked shocked. I discovered that they only play that at funerals when someone dies in the line of duty.
That night there was very little sleep because when the revellers finally called it a night a gas barbecue was set up right under our windows and 4 wild boars were being roasted for the big celebration the next day.
At breakfast we finally met Judy and her husband Harry.
Heinrich had said he would come early for us so we would get a seat at Mass. It was good that he did because we were thrilled with the glorious sound of the choir and orchestra who were having their last rehearsal. What wonderful celebrations they have in Alstätte! The procession had representatives from all their groups from volunteer firemen to schutzenfest and about 80 altar servers carrying candles. They walked in while the choir sang the “Halleluia Chorus” from Handel's Messiah. The four part Mass by Carl von Weber was even more thrilling. And best of all, we ended the mass with everyone singing “Grosser Gott.”
As we left the church we came upon a real carnival scene. Booths of food and handicrafts had been set up all around the church. There were bands playing, jugglers, dancers and choirs all ready to entertain for the rest of the day.
We met many of the relatives as we sampled the wares. Too bad we had lost all that sleep the night before!
That night we thought everyone would go to bed early but still the partying went on in the big tent, so we sat outdoors and played cards until we couldn't stay awake any longer.
The next morning Heinrich Holters and Rita were back to take us to a Canadian War Cemetery in Holland. But first we stopped at the farm where Grandpa Gerwing had lived. His family had worked for the Lutke-Hundfeldt family and they own the farm still. We saw the cement foundation of the original Gerwing barn and an interesting old board inscribed with Adelheid Humkamp, 1789.
Heinrich had to fly to Austria that afternoon so he arranged with the Horst relatives to take us to a private lake just outside of town. We walked there through the countryside which was very pleasant. Mechtilde brought out the food in her van. It was a typical little summer spot where families would go to spend a Sunday afternoon
What sumptuous food they had! Besides the cold meats and cheeses they had wonderful cakes and of course drinks. While we were enjoying the whole experience, a reporter sent out by Heinrich Holters came to get our story and take our photo.
That was our last outing. The next morning we were packing up for our return to Canada, happy to be going home but leaving Germany with so many wonderful memories. It was just SCHADE DASS ALFONS NICHT DABEI SEIN KONNTE!!
And finally, Marina's rendition of events.
OUR TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE
After months of planning, rescheduling, re-routing, co-ordinating, etc. we finally found ourselves at the airport in Calgary ready for takeoff. Chuck and Rita masterminded the affair and all Norma and I had to do was say yes or no- but mostly, “YES!, Herr Gerving” (And I'll have that with a little respect if you please.)
We arrived in Dusseldorf and immediately took an overnight train to Vienna. Picture this: 3 large people (well, okay, 2 were just tall, only one was large) and one smallish person crammed together in a 6 x 6 space with 4 large suitcases, 4 carry-ons plus Norma's huge water bottle (and my smallish one which leaked all over the bed during the night). These couchettes can accommodate 6 people in layers. Four were enough. I think Chuck wondered what he had done when he put this trip together. It was a night to remember.
We joined our tour group in Vienna and the next morning travelled to Budapest. We crossed the border at Hevgyeshalom where the beginning of the collapse of Communism took place in 1989. Budapest was lovely. When we arrived we took a luncheon river cruise on the Danube. The food was incredible on this cruise and wherever we ate in Hungary. The view of Budapest from the Danube was equally incredible.
Norma and I got to see a bit more of Budapest than the other tour members. After a shopping stop, we were to meet our bus at 10:00 AM. We arrived at 10:05 and guess what? The bus had taken off without us! We had some panicky moments – after all- Budapest is a very big city (2 million) and the people there speak a very funny language and we were staying at a hotel with a very funny name, which neither of us could remember. We knew the bus would be returning to the area later in the day so we explored the downtown area and had a great time. After about 7 hours Norma ran into someone from our tour and all was well once again.
From Budapest we did a tour of Bratislava and then went on to Prague, which was a dream come true for me. It is a very beautiful city but our time was too short. Chuck did manage to catch an opera though. We didn't feel the need to go with him because he had given us some rousing renditions of either La Traviata or Lucia di Lammermoor (We weren't quite sure which) on the bus. He is really quite remarkable because he could do this while fast asleep with his mouth wide open, with Rita pretending to drop things into it. All the opera fans on the bus were quite impressed. We had a few hours on our own and did some frantic shopping. The Czechoslovakian glassware is world famous and we each bought a few choice specimens to take home.
We had another little glitch when we had a 1 1/2 hour stop in Czesky-Krumlov in Czechoslovakia – a lovely medieval town with 5 bridges that all look alike. Our tour director told us to make note of which bridge we were to meet at, but Chuck and Rita somehow got caught up in the buying of garnets and got to the wrong bridge. Our driver was just going to pull out when Norma and I, being very astute, noticed the empty seats of our aunt and uncle and begged the driver not to abandon them in the middle of nowhere. After 1/2 hour they came straggling out of the bushes looking a little worse for wear but very happy to see the bus.
Back in Vienna, we attended a Mozart-Strauss concert in one of the venues in which Mozart gave a lot of his concerts. We toured Shönbrun Palace, home of the Hapsburgs. Chuck caused quite a stir when looking at the incredible jewels and treasures of the Hapsburgs. He told the no-nonsense or frivolity guide, Monica, that it was amazing what one could accumulate through plunder! Well! He certainly wasn't the flavour of the month after that comment.
After the tour the four of us took the train to Salzburg. Our stay there was delightful. We took a tour of the sites of the Sound of Music movie, and while very interesting, caused some disillusionment. We stayed in an old brewery house turned hotel dating back to the 1300's with incredible old furniture. Mozart's birthplace and the house where he grew up were all within walking distance of our hotel.
The next leg of the trip involved taking the train to Eindhoven in Holland, just across the German border. This was a fairly long journey, about 10 hours, involving changing trains 4 times in huge, noisy railway stations with about 6-9 minutes between each train.
What a nerve wracking experience! We were so worried that we wouldn't get off in time that we'd sit poised on the edge of our seats surrounded by our accursed luggage for 45 minutes before we needed to. We had to change trains in Munich so when our train pulled into the station, Norma and I, nerves taut as steel, leapt out of the aisle and onto the platform, luggage in tow. Unbeknownst to us someone got between Chuck and Rita and us. Norma and I began racing down the platform when I heard a very faint voice calling “Marina, come back.” There was Chuck leaning out of the train and telling us to get back on. Of course I demanded to know why and he just said, ”Don't argue! Just get the hell back on.” We had just pulled on our last suitcase when the doors shut and the train took off. We were at the wrong station and would have been completely stranded because Rita had our Eurail passes and we had no idea where we were going. (Chuck and Rita had withheld that information from us) I still say that Chuck was really hoping to lose us because he could have called out a little louder! You see, he'd already been with 3 women for 12 days and it was beginning to show. I got a lecture on the virtues of acquiescence which I took to heart and have since mended my ways. (I just thought I'd throw that in, in case anyone would like to travel with me, I won't give you any trouble!)
We continued the train dance into Holland where we spent a very enjoyable week with Lük and Christine Swinskels. They live in the village of Lieshout near Eindhoven and are part of the Bavaria Brewery family. They rented a van for us and Lük took a week off work to drive us around Holland with their home as a base. We saw Roman ruins, Charlemagne's relics, the treasury of Aachen, the church built by Charlemagne in the 800's, his coffin dating back to 200 AD, Urk on the Zuider Zee, Queen Beatrice's summer palace, the War Museum of the Battle of Arnheim and more. The most amazing thing, though, was the beer tap on Christine's kitchen. Just turn the tap and there was a constant supply of cold beer from the brewery!
Holland is a charming country with canals everywhere. This was also the first time on our trip that we saw any animals in the fields (cows, horses etc.) At the end of the week Lük graciously drove us to Paderborn where we met up with Rosemary.
We had lots of headaches trying to keep our money straight. We needed deutschmarks then schillings, then forints, then krones, then schillings again, guilders, then more deutschmarks – and I'm not a mathematician. Norma and I constantly owed each other or Chuck money in some strange currency, and wouldn't remember till we got to another country and had to do complicated conversions.
One thing that I really must comment on is the European bathroom facilities which range from the ridiculous to the sublime. I'm writing a book called “Bathrooms I Have Known and the People who Staff Them.” The people who staffed them were often not very nice but were always memorable. Take the train station in Salzburg for instance. Rita was desperately in need of a bathroom and I never pass on an opportunity so I went with her in search of one. Old “Iron Bladder” Norma stayed behind! A very-unhappy-with-her-job looking woman informed us in a no-nonsense strident voice that we needed 6 schillings! Rita had no money. (Chuck kept her on a tight budget!) and I just had a bit of change – not enough though. We had been told that usually, if you offer what you have, they'd let you in. Not old Stoneface! “SIX SCHILLINGS!” Rita and I had to keep looking through our purses and finally got up to 5 schillings. Rita was looking pretty sick and doing a strange dance. “ISS SIX SCHILLINGS!” We ended up overpaying just so Rita wouldn't have an accident and walk around with her jacket tied around her waist as she sometimes did! (Now I think I know why!)
A month was a fairly long time but we saw so much and had such a good time. Chuck was a really great sport. The three of us often ganged up on him and he never blew his cool. I'd go again in a minute.
LATE BREAKING NEWS!
Smokeless in Saskatchewan!
Remember the movie, Sleepless in Seattle? Well, Esther quit smoking at the grand old age of almost 88 and now she thinks it's such a big deal someone should make a movie! It's never too late.
Mafia hitman or just an accident?
Aunt Louise Schulte has been kneecapped! Well, she says she missed a step but it looks suspicious. She has been on crutches for awhile but will be back dancing soon.
Louis succumbs to Mad Cow Disease, or is it just a Mad Cow.
Louis had another run in with a cow on his farm that almost did him in too. Somehow he ticked off one of his cows, got between her and her calf. Louis, Louis, Louis! Don't you know by now not to get between a female and her offspring? So the cow knocked him down and ground him into the dirt for good measure. Luckily Ellie and Aaron saw him from the house and rushed him to Humboldt. He doesn't remember much about it but ended up in the Humboldt hospital for a few days. I'd ship that cow if I were you!
Speaking of offspring… Jim G. wrote poems while Karen laboured…
November 23rd was the date,
4 lbs 10 oz was the weight.
Everyone now is doing great,
We decided to call her Alison Kate.
And a note from Steve about the Gerwing Foundation
Dear friends and relatives,
I am writing to remind you that a charitable foundation has been set up in Uncle Al's name. The foundation is registered as a charity and as a result all donations are tax deductible just like any other charitable donation you make. The goal of the foundation is to build up an account and to use the growth of the fund to continue to help with projects that Uncle Al has been instrumental in developing or supporting in Brazil. The monies available each year would be channeled through the two existing NGOs (Rainbow of Hope for Children and Change for Children) that provide funding to these projects and that have the added benefit of qualifying for matching grants through CIDA. Often the amount donated is doubled or tripled in value as a result of these matching grants.
As we approach the Christmas season and the end of the year, you are probably inundated with requests for worthwhile causes. I am asking that if you are going to make a charitable donation please consider "our foundation You may also wish to give a $15.00 donation for a membership in the foundation. This amount is not tax deductible but will be used to help cover the cost of mailing, etc in order to allow all of the money donated to the Foundation to be used for the Brazil projects.
Contributions can be made to:
Alphonse Gerwing Charitable Foundation and sent to Roman Gerwing, Lake Lenore, SK, S0K 2J0.
I also have brochures giving more information. If you would like copies, e-mail your address to me (sbuttinger@hotmail.
com) and I will send some out to you.
Wally has spent
a great deal of time and energy to develop a
website devoted to Social Justice issues and
Al's work. at (gerwingfoundation.com). Thank you for considering this request and for spreading the word. May you and your family be blessed with Christ's peace and love this Advent and Christmas.
Other news for Techies
As some of you are aware, a cousin from the Joe Gerwing family, Pat Gerwing, who lives in Swift Current has developed a website which includes the Gerwing family tree and other family history material.
He has done a great job and is always looking for updates on the family tree so be sure to check it and send him your family news. His
email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerwings in the News
News travels. Off the beaten path here in Prince Albert someone brought me the Nov. 11/2001 Calgary Herald Well, Uncle Clem finally told a few of his war stories. Turns out he had a few adventures back then. In case any of you are in Dallas, Texas his WW2 Spitfire is in the Cavanaugh Flight Museum there.
The Alstätte paper also had a photo and article about the Gerwing family visit to their town this summer. They took a photo with the Horst family and wrote a nice article. At least I think it's nice, it's all in German!
Al has another book out this month. He has published a translation of letters written by a Frenchman named Henrique who lives with the poor in Brazil. It is called Joining the Street People. Al would love to sell you a copy or 10 and all the profits go to his work in Brazil. What a great Christmas gift for someone or maybe a school that you are involved with. Call him at 368-2209.
Remember, if you want your stories here just e-mail me at
Well that's all folks. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and many happy family memories.