German Society of New Zealand Inc. - Auckland
Please note not all pages have been translated
was established in Auckland in 1970 by German immigrants to provide a meeting place for like-minded people and today has a membership of about 150. It has been and remains to be the objective of the club to uphold the German language and customs and therefore German is also the club language. Our regular events relate primarily to German traditions but at the same time we also maintain contacts with other European clubs. Anyone who has an interest in our language and matters German can experience this with us at or events and guests of all ages are always welcome.
The President of the German Society
The Annual General Meeting of the German Society was held on 7th May 2022 in the Danish House, Penrose and a new management committee was elected as follows:
Do you wish to become a member of the German Society? It is not necessary to be German. From here you can print out an Application Form for membership. Please complete it and mail it to the address given.
The annual membership fee (for the club year 1.4. to 31.3. the following year) is: $15 per person, youths under the age of 18 years no charge.
Up coming club functions for 2022
4. Dec 2022
As from now payments can no longer be made by cheque as our bank ANZ does not accept them anymore
A booking is required for every function and please direct bookings to our Secretary. Payments can only be made per internet banking into our account at ANZ No. 06-0101-0299101-00. Please give your name, name of event and for how many persons payment is made (eg 2 members + 1 guest = 2M 1G.
Entry fees to functions are frequently lower for members than for guests. Such cases are due to contributions the club makes from its funds to its members. Even entry fees for guests do at times not cover the costs and is a good reason for guests to become a member of the German Society.
You can read about our previous functions under Past Events (below) or have a look into our Photo Gallerie.
Our day trip to Hamilton Gardens had 15 members and access to the comfortable coach was at Albany Bus Station, Green Lane and Karaka. The weather was consistently pleasant, with often cloudy skies, and around 11 a.m. we reached our destination in southern Hamilton on the Waikato.
60 years ago the site was an ugly dump and over the years has been transformed into a popular attraction, with over a million visitors annually.
As well as extensive parks, the enclosed gardens are a major draw, divided into 'Paradise Gardens' reflecting earlier cultures (China, Japan, Italian Renaissance etc), 'Fantasy Gardens' (Tudor, Mansfield, Surrealists etc) and finally 'Productive Gardens' , e.g. herb garden. All peaceful oases that please the eye.
Our small group quickly dispersed, but we came back together for lunch. Then a visit to the rose garden, where we were invited to rate the more than 50 types of roses.
The return journey began around 3 p.m. and instead of using the expressway immediately, our driver chose a varied route through the Waikato landscape via Gordonton and only from Taupiri the expressway. A very impressive day came to an end.
17 members met for the annual Frühschoppen in the German restaurant 'Mitten Drin' in the late morning and were welcomed by President Herbert Dreher. There was a sufficient selection of hearty home cooking, plus Munich beer on tap or wine, which encouraged conviviality. Some managed to have dessert afterwards. This time the gathering was on a smaller scale and allowed to talk to everyone. Around 2 p.m. the first ones already said goodbye, satisfied with the meal and the company.
On Sunday October 2nd, 40 members of our club celebrated the Day of German Unity in the Sorrento Restaurant. The tables were nicely set with flowers and a small German flag and everyone was happy to be able to celebrate this special day together again after the two-year Covid break. After the guests were welcomed by our President Herbert Dreher, our club member Dr Gisela Klette gave an interesting speech titled: “Future Center for German Unity and European Transformation”. We then sang the national anthem and raised our glasses to toast the wellbeing of Germany and New Zealand. Two students provided the musical framework for the celebration with classical sounds. At around 12:15 pm the tasty buffet was opened and at around 2:30 pm our celebration ended.
22 Club members took part in our 2-day tour to the Hunderwasser Museum in Whangarei. The journey started at 8.30am in Karaka, where the first members boarded the bus. Other gathering points were Greenlane and Albany Park. The bus ride was pleasant and we reached Whangarei around 1.30pm. Before visiting the museum, we strengthened ourselves with a lunch snack in the Serenity Café. The exhibition and especially the video in the museum provided a deep insight into Hundertwasser's understanding of his art and philosophy of life. It was most interesting.
After visiting the museum and checking into the hotel, everyone had some time to freshen up before we met again for dinner in the hotel restaurant.
The next day the bus took us to Quarry Garden. The tour through the beautifully landscaped garden in full bloom drew our attention to some special features. The spring-like weather also played a positive role, at least mostly. After the walk in the fresh air, the appetite kicked in, which we satisfied over lunch in the café.
The journey home was punctuated with a stopover in Warkworth, where we enthusiastically attended a chocolate tasting. As on the outward journey, our bus stopped at the three collection points and let the last of us get off in Karaka.
This trip was a successful trip from which everyone returned enthusiastic and satisfied.
13 Members came together in the late morning for a games event in Helmut and Cheryl Telle’s house and a mulled wine was served as a welcome. Several groups were formed and each decided on the games they wanted to play. It was very amusing and caused much laughter. For the lunch break, Helmut Telle served a delicious goulash soup with crusty bread. After another round of games, there was apple strudel with vanilla sauce for dessert and then coffee and all participants were enthusiastic. A very successful afternoon and everyone went home happy and cheerful.
A group of 10 Germans and 13 Austrians came together to play Ten Pin Bowling. The different groups did their best to collect points. It was a very joyful round and, as before, the challenge cup went again to one of our Austrian friends, together with our congratulations. After that we sat down for a coffee at Starbucks.
15 members and 4 guests gathered for brunch at Bärbel's residence. The weather was appropriate to the season and the sun came out from time to time. As in previous years and one felt as if transported to a country estate. The magnificent view from the terrace of the extensive Manukau Harbor has contributed to this. The rich buffet was enjoyed by all and the committee deserves our thanks for their efforts in putting it together. Food and drink and the organ grinder enriched everyone and it was not until 2:30 p.m. that the first guests set off on the long journey home.
Since access to the Danish House was not possible, 15 members found "refuge" in Helmut Telle's house and finally feasted belatedly on coffee and cake, while also enjoying a humorous German film from the 1960s with Heinz Erhardt. We thank Helmut and Cheryl for their hospitality.
Petrus was kind to us and gave us warm sunshine for our traditional Federweißer. The spicy onion cake tasted particularly good with the fresh wine. There was also no lack of a relaxed atmosphere. Popular melodies and German folk songs played by the trio Erich, Brian and Warrick invited people to sing and dance along. Our President Herbert Dreher wished all 33 members and our two guests a lot of fun and surprised us with a wine voucher, which all members were very happy about. The afternoon coffee with a piece of juicy plum cake rounded off our celebration. Happy, with a bottle of good wine under our arms, we made our way home around 2.30 p.m.
Our first event this year was the Picnic at Cornwall Park. On this hot, windless day, eleven members huddled together in a shady spot for a merry chat. Our President Herbert welcomed everyone present and was pleased that this first meeting could finally take place after the almost 6-month Covid break. As a consolation for the many cancelled festivals, everyone was surprised with a $20 supermarket voucher. The joy was great, the conversation lively. Nobody noticed the dark, black rain cloud that was about to burst. It rained heavily for ten minutes and most of us got a little wet under the tree, umbrellas and tarpaulin. After that the sun shone like before. The damp clothes dried and the afternoon continued undisturbed until the last friends said goodbye around 4 p.m.
The weather for our brunch in Bärbel's cozy home couldn't have been nicer than on this warm, sunny winter's day. After Herbert's (President) welcome and words of thanks for Bärbel's generous hospitality, we enjoyed the inviting buffet prepared by the committee. The wide view over the shimmering mirror of the Manukau Harbour was a particular pleasure. There was also no lack of lively entertainment and the familiar melodies on the Berlin barrel organ contributed to the relaxed, happy atmosphere. In the afternoon, our group of 20 people gradually broke up and refreshed made their way home.
After a one-year ‘corona break’, members of the German and Austrian clubs enjoyed bowling again. The teams, spread over 4 lanes, were partly mixed, as we only had 7 players due to illness, the Austrians 16 players, but that in no way spoiled the good mood. The delicacies distributed by our President Herbert were very welcome and sweetened the fun afternoon, which ended with a joint visit to the café. The best of the day was again, like two years ago, Ian Tulloch, who successfully defended the challenge cup for the Austrians.
13. June 2021- Frühschoppen at the restaurant “Mitten Drin”, Avondale
On this Sunday morning, 33 club members followed the German tradition of morning pint. As usual, our President, Herbert Dreher, welcomed the happy group and was pleased, compared to the previous year, about the almost double number of friends present. Despite the need to spread over two adjacent rooms, there was lively conversation. The Münchner Hofbräu draft beer, pure or as a shandy, was exactly the right drink for the hearty, German home cooking, which was rounded off with apple crumble and tiramisu dessert. After the filling meal, there were a few short conversations and satisfied with the event everyone started their way home.
The bus trip to Puhoi was one of the nicest trips our club has made. The initially cloudy sky turned into a bright blue firmament the closer we got to our destination. The first meeting point was the Puhoi Valley Café, from where we drove to the Puhoi Church and the museum after a filling lunch and a short visit to the cemetery. Jenny Schollum, President of the Museum Society, and her colleague talked about the arduous journey and arrival of the Bohemian immigrants from the Pilsen area, who reached New Zealand in the middle of winter in 1863 to settle the promised land. The Catholic faith, the cornerstone of their hard life, is reflected in the lovingly built church with stained glass windows. Club members Father Brian and Alex Coufal, who is from Bohemia, contributed to the talk. The Bohemian folk dance group delighted and encouraged us to take part. Before our return trip we refreshed ourselves with a glass of beer or Shandy in the famous Puhoi Pub and regretted that only 22 members took part in this unique excursion.
Sunny warm autumn weather with the happy sounds of Bryan Holden and his musicians created the ideal atmosphere for 48 friends (36 members and 12 guests) to taste the new, fruity wine of the year. Of course, the onion cake was a must for this popular tradition. Lively conversations, even a little dance here and there were proof of a successful meeting. A particularly nice surprise was the voucher for a bottle of wine. Enriched with this club gift, our members were able to continue enjoying this day at home after coffee and delicious plum cake.
In pleasantly warm sunshine, 27 club members gathered for a sociable picnic lunch under a magnificent rimu tree in popular Cornwall Park. There was soon lively conversation and a happy atmosphere. Our President Herbert wished us a relaxing Sunday afternoon and of course bon appetite. In no time at all, everyone was eating their delicious provisions as well as a sample of homemade cheese and plum cake. Some of us developed considerable skill in the game of petanque. Alfred Hassenkamp was the clear champion of the team with 3 wins. Lia Meyer also showed her ambition by taking second place. The best part was the enthusiasm of all the players. The afternoon ended happily around 3 p.m.
The new year began with a cozy goulash dinner at Cheryl and Helmut, for which 25 members came. Before we sat down at the festive table, we were served a refreshing strawberry punch. Our President Herbert Dreher welcomed us and our new member Thomas Macnaughtan and Marlies Neusser's guest, who both quickly felt at home with us. As expected, it all tasted very good and the chocolate mouse cake was a special treat. The evening ended with coffee / tea and cookies and everyone was looking forward to our next meeting, a picnic in the park.
This year's Christmas party was again a great success for 56 members and their 10 guests. The room, which was festively decorated with a Christmas tree and table decorations, created a Christmassy atmosphere. The physical well-being was also well taken care of, as Christmas cakes on the tables and the rich buffet menu were delicious. The greeting of our President, Herbert Dreher, was followed by the musical introduction of the Mandolinata group with popular, harmonic sounds. With the reading of the Christmas story, Jürgen Schubert remembered the origin of this festival. We all sang traditional Christmas carols with piano accompaniment from Saraya. Her sister Geneva delighted us by playing three Christmas carols on the violin and recital of a poem. The repeated showing of the photo show by Hilde Schiebel and Herbert, which was created on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our association, was very well received. The raffle concluded, which surprised many of us with a nice present. Jürgen and Deirdre Schubert were particularly pleased when they won the gift basket. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of Christmas. It was a joyful end to our club year 2020.
After almost all planned meetings had to be canceled this year due to Covid 19, we were finally able to celebrate again today - twice. 65 members and guests welcomed spring and remembered the club events of the past 50 years. Some of us have been able to discover what has shaped our club life in previous years. We were particularly pleased that our lawyer Herbert Romaniuk and his wife were among us.
The Holzhacker Buam set the tone for a relaxed, happy mood with familiar and popular melodies. They chatted at festively decorated tables and soon after a warm welcome from our President Herbert Dreher, the sandwiches prepared by the committee invited them to a delicious lunch.
Our program began with Herbert's history of the existence of previous German clubs in New Zealand. A lively photo show about our club, put together by Hilde Schiebel and Herbert, let us relive many a wonderful hour and brought past friends back into our group. Fresh among us again, Jürgen Schubert and Inge Attenberger, both former presidents of our club, reminded us of the extent to which these past members have shaped and promoted our club. Jürgen expressed his appreciation to past members and Ingrid and Rüdiger Hoffmann, who entertained and informed us with the publication of the magazine “Das Deutsche Echo” with articles and humour. Inge told us about the beginnings of our club from her personal experience. She mentioned her parents joining her and her then husband Costa, the parties in the Hoechst cafeteria that Helmut Peters made possible, George Udovenya and Wolfgang Leonhardt, who always created a good atmosphere with their accordion, boat trips, hiking days, picnics in Longbay and Christmas parties at the Settlers Lodge with children and Christmas carols from our German choir, to name just a few of the numerous socializing. These shared experiences resulted in lasting friendships that we still maintain today.
With this in mind, we raised our glasses to toast the well-being of our German association and its 50th anniversary. After so many happy memories, the traditional afternoon coffee was of course not to be missed. With musical accompaniment, the rich selection of cakes was a special treat. Shortly after 3 p.m., the first started their way home. None of us will forget this unique celebration.
After a long break of more than five months, we finally had the opportunity to get together for a cozy meeting. We were just a small group of 15 members at the Union Post Pub in Ellerslie, maybe because Covid 19 got used to staying at home to protect us from the risk of infection. With beer, wine and hot chocolate as well as a filling lunch there was a lot to tell and to laugh about. We were happy to have seen friends again, we said goodbye to each other around 2.30pm and assured us that we would be there again for the mulled wine / goulash evening.
Under the canopy of a mighty tree in beautiful Cornwall Park, 28 members and guests came together for a cozy gathering and chatted relaxed and happy. Our President Herbert Dreher warmly welcomed everyone present and wished them enjoyable hours. This was the signal to start eating what everyone had brought along and sharing with friends. Some of us played Petanque and developed increasing skill in throwing the balls. The weather was ideal, not too hot, but pleasantly warm in summer. Around 3 p.m. the company relaxed and was looking forward to the next meeting at the Coopers Creek Winery.
This year, our Christmas function was again one of the most popular events of the club year for 78 members and guests. The tables decorated with wreath and candle as well as the festively decorated fir tree created a Christmas atmosphere; and the pastries on the tables invited to nibble. As usual, our President Herbert Dreher opened the festivity and Edelgard Wai led the program. The musical prelude to our Christmas party was provided by Lisa Lorell, an established singer with a diverse repertoire. Her expressive performance of "Little Drummer Boy", "O Holy Night" and "Ave Maria" was very well received. Jürgen Schubert dix the Bible reading of the Christmas story. Afterwards we sang two traditional Christmas carols together. Edelgard's granddaughter Saraya accompanied our singing on the piano and supported her sister Geneva, who then played three Christmas carols on the violin. To conclude her contribution to the program, Geneva said another poem. The formal part of our celebration ended with the singing of "Kling Glöckchen kling" and "Silent Night". After sociable talks and an excellent buffet, the raffle prizes were drawn. Many people came home with a welcome prize, for which we would like to thank the sponsors.
One day after the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, 35 members celebrated this special day of remembrance with a walk through the Rose Garden in Parnell followed by a delicious lunch at the Rose Park Hotel. In a somewhat changeable weather, we managed to admire the colorful flowers in the park, before the downpour drove us into the restaurant. Comfortably gathered at the nicely set tables with a view of the rose garden, Herbert, our President, greeted us and described to us his various impressions of Berlin during his four short visits to Berlin, since the Wall was built and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Later, our Berlin members talked about their everyday life during this historical phase of our homeland. Particularly impressive was the lively report by Bärbel Clearkin, whose family was doing business in both East and West Berlin. Enriched by the exchange of personal experiences, this commemoration day was brought to a worthy conclusion.
For the 29th day of reunification, our president, Herbert Dreher, welcomed 48 members and 5 guests. He especially welcomed our Honorary Consul, Mr. Erich Bachmann with wife and our guest speaker, Mr. Greg Thwaite. After a review of our president on the development of the events that led to the construction and fall of the wall since the end of World War II, Greg Thwaite described his personal impressions and experiences in Berlin before the turn. He vividly emphasized the contrasts between East and West, with some listeners remembering their own experiences of this historical phase. After that we sang the national anthem and raised our glasses to the welfare of Germany and New Zealand. Talented music students provided the musical background of our celebration with the Piano Quartet in G minor by Johannes Brahms. It was followed by the convivial part with talks and the popular lunch buffet. The festivity ended around 3pm.
The humorous film "Three Men in the Snow" invited us on a nostalgic journey into the past. The confusion of the rich industrialist Geheimrat Schlüter with the unemployed Dr. Fritz Hagedorn, who meet in a distinguished alpine hotel, brought the 19 members present to hearty laughter. The entertaining comedy and the subsequent afternoon coffee with delicious, homemade cake from our club ladies guaranteed the audience a harmonious get-together.
31 members and visitors visited Cheryl and Helmut Telle on Sunday. This event was just the thing to escape a winter cold rainy day. The mulled wine and a warm log fire created a convivial setting. Our President Herbert welcomed us warmly, thanked all for the hospitality and entertained us with funny life wisdom. The pan-fried Spätzle with goulash and red cabbage tasted excellent. After dessert followed by coffee and tea, the sociability ended with the satisfied feeling of having spent a cosy Sunday evening among friends.
Together with the Austrian Club we had another combined event of Ten Pin Bowling. With 22 players we bowled on four lanes, with some refreshments in between and had a lot of fun like at previous occasions. However, the mood was clouded by the fall of Rosa Frost, who suffered a shoulder injury and required the use of an ambulance to the hospital. We all hope for a speedy recovery. - Ian Tulloch was the best of the day and received the challenge cup and the day ended with a convivial coffee round in the nearby café.
13. April 2019 - Visit to Butterfly Creek, Akl Airport
On a beautiful Saturday morning, 21 members came to visit Butterfly Creek. A big attraction was the tropical butterfly house with its many species of butterflies fluttering between plants and visitors. In the enclosure next door two crocodiles lay motionless in the sun. The path led through the kiwi house and to aquariums, insects, birds, reptiles, otters and other animals. The small train wound through the area past dragons and dinosaurs and we then headed for refreshments in the restaurant.
Summer was still in full swing, when we met again at Coopers Creek to Federweißen and Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake) and some even moved their chair to the shade to escape the sun. The Alpenländer Trio entertained with familiar melodies and was well supported by singing along. We had more than enough to eat and drink and no one came short. In the afternoon, a piece of plum cake was served, which rounded off a convivial event for the 59 participants.
In glorious summer weather, 34 participants met for a convivial picnic in Cornwall Park and everyone got an ice cream as a greeting. We sat in a big circle in the shade and this offered a good opportunity to 'exchange'. We also tried to launch some petanqué games, but the participation was less than the amount of prizes foreseen. Soon everyone unpacked their lunch and some shared with those around. It was a relaxed gathering with little effort and at the end a small group visited the big band's park concert.
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