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Minute of OA 8th October 2019

Tuesday 26 November 2019 at 20h28

Categories :

Minute of Meeting of Odenwald Association
held on 8th October, 2019 at 7.00 p.m. in Municipal Buildings, Falkirk

Present:
Gray Allan (Chair), Walter Simms (Vice-Chair), Anne Simms (Secretary), Charlie Tibbles (Treasurer), Andy and Myra Christie, Jean Tait, Kathryn Grainger, Terry Hunter, Mark Allison, Lynda Kenna, Greg McCarra, Rod and Fiona Aird, Isabella Allan, Sylvia Koenig-Erich, Detlef Kuhn and Claudia Herth (Schottland Vereinigung), Robyn McKenzie, Natalie Burns and Lorna Duke (Falirk Junior Gaelic Choir), Roz McCulloch and George Williams, (new members) Barry Fraser.

Apologies
Emma Gillanders. Neil Clark, Christine Gannon, Joe O’Hanlon, Christine Webster



1. Welcome

Gray welcomed everyone to the Open Evening, the first meeting of the new session, extending a special welcome to the many new faces, and to Detlef Kuhn, representing both the Schottland Vereinigung and OREG, the Odenwald regional development organisation, and his partner, Claudia. Detlef and Claudia were in Scotland as part of a Wissmuller tour, unfortunately Dr. Michael Reuter who should also have been on the tour, was taken ill beforehand and he and his wife had to cancel.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minute of the previous meeting held on 12th March, 2019 was approved as a correct record, proposed by Lynda Kenna and seconded by Jean Tait, after one amendment, that the date of the next meeting should have read April instead of March.

3. Matters Arising

Most of the matters arising would be covered in the Secretary’s report. Gray reported briefly on OA participation in Airth Highland Games. OA members manned the gates and were pleased to welcome many foreign visitors, including several from Germany. The Bottle Stall made around £200, down from last year, this being partly due to the atrocious weather. Jean handed over a cheque for £150 on behalf of the Airth Games Committee to thank the OA for manning the gates.

Dr. Reuter has asked if the OA can facilitate a link between the Berufliches Schulzentrum Odenwaldkreis and Forth Valley College. Gray has written to enquire about this.


4. Secretary’s Report

Anne gave a brief overview of everything else that had happened over the summer. Two students, Saskia and Anne, came in June and July for four week’s work experience with the Council, the Trust, and the Libraries. Members took them for days out around the area, and they visited Edinburgh and Glasgow as well. Both girls came along to the Schottische Nacht concert with their families.

The 50th anniversary trip to the Odenwald, with 94 members, performers, families and friends taking part, was a great success, though not without some minor problems. It was generally thought that the link between the two regions had been strengthened by this visit, with the Landrat, Frank Matiaske, being particularly enthusiastic. A more comprehensive report will be available shortly on the OA website. Meanwhile, a slideshow of photos from the trip was being projected onto the wall.

There has been a flurry of emails to the website, as a result of which four OA members met up with two new SLV members, Bernhard Wagner and partner, for dinner in Edinburgh, and contact has been made with the principal teacher of languages at Larbert High School and a German language assistant from the Odenwald. Through this contact, an exchange has been arranged between a Larbert High S5 pupil and a boy from Berlin, at the request of two potential new members who live in Polmont.

At Andy’s suggestion after correspondence with the Falkirk Camera Club, Anne has asked Franziska to contact the Bad König camera club to see if they are still interested in a link between the two clubs.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Charlie reported that the bank balance stands at £4,202.36, before the £150 Airth cheque is added. The payment for the hostel is still to be made, however, which will take the balance down to £1,608.36.

6. Programme for this session

The speaker for November will be Alison Strauss, Film Development Officer for Falkirk Community Trust, who will talk about ‘Hippfest: the German connection’ – there are often German films shown at the Silent Film Festival, with German musicians accompanying other films, and sponsorship from the Goethe Institute.

There will be no meeting in December, then in January, there will be the Annual Dinner at the Cladhan. In February, International Rescue Corps will talk about their work in the disaster zones around the world. There is no speaker booked for March, although a previous speaker, Christine Simm, could do a slideshow of one of her exotic holidays.

April will be the AGM, then in May Provost Billy Buchanan is provisionally booked to talk to the meeting about his work with some drawings done by a German POW at Castle Rankine Camp near Denny, who actually came from Erbach. There is the possibility of taking an exhibition of these drawings (currently at the Smith Art Gallery, Stirling) over to Erbach, maybe in September of next year. This could coincide with the Winzerfest which is usually around 15th September.

For the last two or three years, the May meeting has been a trip somewhere e.g. on the canal, or to the West Brewery. Anne suggested this could now be done in June if people were interested.


7. Gray invited Detlef Kuhn to say a few words to the meeting. Detlef passed on Rüdiger Holschuh’s (Chair, SLV) best wishes and explained that the SLV meet to discuss business, but also hold information evenings on different themes and book readings, as well as organising events like Schottische Nacht and the Burns Supper. Next year’s Burns Supper will be held on 1st February and they (the SLV) would be delighted if any OA members could go across. Should the Provost’s exhibition go ahead, and coincide with the Winzerfest, OA members could be part of the procession. Detlef concluded by saying how much he and Claudia had enjoyed attending the meeting, and the Civic Reception in the morning, and that he was confident that both the Landrat and the Provost would now be amenable to working closely together.

8. Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Tuesday, November 12th at 7.00 p.m. in the Municipal Buildings, Falkirk.

Refreshments (which included several bottles of Vinum Autmundis wine kindly donated by Detlef) were then enjoyed while a fund-raising raffle was held which raised over £40.

Minute of OA 13th March 2019

Tuesday 26 November 2019 at 20h26

Categories :

Minute of Meeting of Odenwald Association
held on 12th March 2019 at 7.00 p.m. in Municipal Buildings, Falkirk

Present:
Walter Simms (Chair), Gray Allan (Vice-Chair), Charles Tibbles (Treasurer), Anne Simms (Secretary), Andy Christie, Sylvia Koenig-Erich, Isabella Allan, Mark Allison, Jean Tait, Emma Gillanders, Fiona Aird, Lynda Kenna, Roz McCulloch (Falkirk Folk Club).

Apologies
Neil Clark, Kathryn Grainger, Laura Jenkins, Terry Hunter, Christine Webster, Myra Christie, Greg McCarra, Rod Aird.



1. Welcome

Walter welcomed everyone to the meeting, and introduced members of the Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir. Mary McCleod, who has been conductor for over 30 years, gave a brief history of the choir since it began in 1961. As well as travelling to Germany for Schottische Nacht, they will be competing again in this year’s Mod in Glasgow and hoping to win more prizes. They sang 3 songs, and the youngest member recited a Scots poem.

A more comprehensive account can be found on the OA website.

The business part of the evening then commenced.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minute of the previous meeting held on 12th February 2019 was approved as a correct record, proposed by Andy Christie and seconded by Jean Tait.

3. Matters Arising/ Chairman’s Report/ Secretary’s Report

Walter and Anne proceeded to bring everyone up to date with the latest developments in planning the Schottische Nacht trip, the fundraising concert, and the German flute and percussion orchestra’s visit.

Schottische Nacht – travel plans are now almost in place, with lists available of everyone’s ages, and cabin allocations. These will be forwarded to the coach company.

There will be another meeting to finalise arrangements for the concert at Grangemouth Town Hall. Posters (hard copy and email) and tickets will soon be available, and everyone will be asked to promote and publicise this. There was a short discussion about the ticket price of £10 with £5 for concessions. Helpers will be needed and Anne asked people to add their names to the list.

The Schottische Nacht concert will now take place in the courtyard of Schloss Erbach, and there will be no second performance.

There has been an application made to the Odenwald Trust Fund. There is some confusion as to how this will be handled as it is several years since anything has happened with this Fund. Anne read out an email exchange between Cllr. Pat Reid and Colin Moodie, Chief Governance Officer, Falkirk Council, which suggests that the application is ‘sensible’ and could be considered on paper without calling a meeting. In the past, a representative from the OA has been present at meetings, so it was agreed that a further enquiry should be made to determine progress.

While on the subject of funding, Anne reported that the Council Twinning Budget may be halved to £5,500, though no confirmation has been received. Most of this will be already earmarked for visits from Poland and China.

Orchestra visit – this will take place during the Falkirk Tryst Festival, so the concert the OA has organised for them on Friday May 17th will be in the Festival programme. This will be a free concert with donations to the Schottische Nacht trip. Helpers will again be needed, and everyone can help publicise it. The orchestra will spend Friday in Falkirk and Gray and Walter will act as guides. Some of the party would like to attend a whisky tasting and it may be possible to arrange something at the Station Hotel in Larbert which has a good selection and is also close to the hotel they are staying in.

There is also a social evening arranged for them on the Saturday at the Torphichen Inn with soup and stovies. It is proposed that the OA should bear the cost of the Germans food (£5 a head). This may be a musical evening or just food and chat.

There is also chance to promote this event in the Howgate on Saturday April 6th at a Tryst publicity day. Helpers will be needed to man a stall. This has been added to ‘Dates for your Diary’ and Anne made new copies of this available.

The German consul, Herr Voss, has been invited to both concerts but is not sure if he can attend as he retires in June and is busy with a farewell tour and packing to return to Germany. Falkirk Delivers has also been invited but have made no reply. The Provost should be invited as well. Anne will pursue this, and also contact the Press.

Anne asked for people’s thoughts on presents to take over for the SLV board members and the Odenwaldkreis. It was thought that an official present should be given to the Odenwaldkreis by Falkirk Council (assuming they are invited over).

4. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported that there is £1,784.59 in the funds.

5. Any Other Business

The next meeting will be the AGM. Anne asked that items to be included on the agenda should be forwarded to her two weeks before the meeting.

May meeting – last time Anne looked, the 2019 timetable for the Maid of the Forth was not yet available. Anne will check again and contact members with details.

Anne’s lists for volunteers included one for taking the German students on work experience round and about in June/July.

6. Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting (the AGM) would be held on Tuesday 9th April at 7.00 p.m. in the Municipal Buildings, Falkirk.

Minute of OA 12th February 2019

Tuesday 19 March 2019 at 20h47

Categories :

Minute of Meeting of Odenwald Association
held on 12th February 2019 at 7.00 p.m. in Municipal Buildings, Falkirk

Present:
Walter Simms (Chair), Gray Allan (Vice-Chair), Charles Tibbles (Treasurer), Anne Simms (Secretary), Andy Christie, Sylvia Koenig-Erich, Terry Hunter, Isabella Allan, Jean Tait, Cllr. Pat Reid, Kathryn Grainger, and John Tait

Apologies
Emma Gillanders, Christine Gannon, Joe O’Hara, Christine Webster, Mark Allison


1. Welcome

Walter thanked everyone for attending the meeting, and extended a warm welcome to John Tait, who had come along after seeing the notice in the Falkirk Herald.


2. Minute of Previous Meeting

The Minute of the previous meeting held on 13th November 2018 was approved as a correct record, after a minor change, proposed by Andy Christie and seconded by Gray Allan.


3. Matters Arising/Secretary’s Report

Anne handed out copies of ‘Dates for your Diary’, then ran through some of the events listed thereon. The Joint Quiz has been postponed to either 14th or 21st of March or the end of April (to avoid the Easter holidays). The ‘Little Odenwald A – Z’ has now been received and copies are available to buy, price £6. The May meeting has not yet been finalised as the timetable for the Maid of the Forth has not yet been published on the website, though it should go on in the next week or two. Joe Detlaff has asked if the OA wish to have a stall at the Airth Highland Games again. Members agreed to do this as it is a good fundraiser, and Anne asked people to add their names to a list if they are willing to help. The visit of the two German students is now arranged. Christine Gannon has booked their accommodation and will do the airport transfers. They will be working at Falkirk libraries for one week and at Callendar House for three weeks on the Roman exhibition. Anne asked for volunteers to take them round and about on their days off (another list). There is a possibility that a party of Odenwalders may come over in October as part of a coach trip organised by Wissmuller tours. This is not yet confirmed.


4. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported that there is currently £1,721.24 in the bank account with the invoice for ‘Little Odenwald A – Z’ still to be paid.


5. Chairman’s Report

Spielmannszug FF

This 30 piece flute and percussion orchestra and 20 guests will arrive on Wednesday 15th May for a short trip, returning on the 19th May. They will visit Falkirk on Friday the 17th and visit some of the tourist attractions. Gray has offered to be tour guide, with help from Walter. More help would be welcome. Suggested sites are The Kelpies, The Wheel and Callendar House, with a lunch stop somewhere. The Orchestra will have to be at the Trinity Church for 5pm.

The orchestra, as part of their visit, asked the OA to organise a concert and any funds raised would go towards the trip in August. The orchestra are now booked to perform a free concert at Falkirk Trinity Church on Friday 17th at 7pm as part of the Falkirk Tryst Festival which is happening that week. There will be a cafe/bar.

The OA Banner can be displayed together with a donations box and explanatory poster of the trip in August. Two members should be with them to answer enquiries from the audience when they arrive. (Anne had another list for volunteers’ names for this event).

Major promotion will be needed for this and Walter has produced a poster for printing and sending by email. The Tryst Festival will feature it in their programme and publicity. As the OA Scottish Night Fund Raiser is the following week there is an opportunity to promote both where relevant and maybe sell tickets at the Trinity Church as well. Kathryn can share the poster with the Falkirk Tryst Orchestra, and on their Facebook page. The cost of hiring the church is £265.

The orchestra has asked for the loan of some larger instruments as they are flying to Edinburgh. Thanks to Andy Christie’s education connections, contact has been made with someone who can help, and they should soon say what they can offer. There is a hire company that can also supply instruments if necessary.

There will also be a social evening at the Torphichen Inn on the Saturday, their last day. It is suggested that the Inn does a Scotch Broth and Stovies Supper. A stage could be set up for entertainment, essentially an open stage so the orchestra can do turns as well. Cost is £5 per head and it is proposed the OA pay for the visitors.

Fundraising concert – May 25th

It is time to start thinking about this event and publicising it. A meeting will be organised soon with the Jenkin’s Dancers and the Gaelic Choir. As mentioned already, this can be publicised along with the Orchestra concert. A poster and ticket will be required for printing. A ticket price needs to be agreed and there will also be a raffle, with good prizes, so raffle tickets could maybe priced a bit higher (to be discussed). A poster will be produced by Walter.

Stewarding help will be needed with selling raffle tickets, collecting and selling tickets on the night. (Another list from Anne). All members, performers will be asked to spread the word and help to sell tickets. Guests to be considered: Provost, German Consul etc. Gray suggested inviting Town Centre Management and Falkirk Delivers. Anne to send out invitations.

There will be a bar run by an outside company. There is no charge for this, the company make their money on the drinks sold.

Charlie has done an initial programme for Germany and this can be looked at again for Grangemouth. A PA will be needed for sound and set up.

Schottische Nacht trip update

There was not a lot to report. Anne will pursue hotel booking with Franziska. The bus and ferry bookings are now confirmed along with the cost. The OA have paid the £840 deposit for the coaches but no more deposit is required. Final payment is due 14 days before travel: all money will be required beforehand so that the treasurer can be ready to pay this. Cost per head: based on 97 confirmed in the group to date this will be £215.50p. Total cost for travel is £20,900.

Assuming the fundraising is for the performers and teachers, the target would be £11,206 for 52 persons. This has still to be discussed.

It was suggested that the deposit of £840 could be the OA’s contribution to the travel either just for the performers or for the whole party. No decision was taken so this will be discussed at the next Executive Meeting.

Both twinning groups are looking into funding. The SLV have booked accommodation for most of the performers and some guests in the hostel in Erbach. They were asked to consider paying for the performers and also a performance fee for the Glenbervie Folk Duo and The Tonkerers. There was an indication that the Odenwaldkreis may fund part of the travel. This is not confirmed yet. The OA’s contribution would come from the profit from the May 25th concert, and the Provost has also been approached to ask if funds from the Council twinning budget would be available. Anne asked Cllr. Pat Reid to confirm that there will be no twinning budget in the next financial year due to budget cuts. Charlie has, however, identified another possible source of funds: there is an Odenwald Trust Fund which was set up several years ago to facilitate twinning activities with the Odenwald. An approach has been made to the Director of Finance about this, and an application is in the process of being drawn up.


6. It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Tuesday 12th March at 7.00 p.m. in the Municipal Buildings, Falkirk. The guests will be the Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir.

Minute of OA 13 November 2018

Sunday 17 February 2019 at 17h05

Categories :

Minute of Meeting of Odenwald Association

held on 13th November 2018 at 7.00 p.m. in Municipal Buildings, Falkirk


Present: Walter Simms (Chair), Anne Simms (Secretary), Andy Christie, Myra Christie, Neil Durning, Rod Aird, Fiona Aird, Terry Hunter, Gray Allan, Isabella Allan, Neil Clark and Kathryn Grainger.

Apologies: Christine Webster, Charles Tibbles, Laura Jenkins. (received notification after meeting from Jean Tait, Emma Gillanders, Christine Gannon, Joe O’Hanlon, Mark Allison)



1. Welcome

Walter welcomed everyone to the meeting, then introduced the speakers for the evening, OA members Neil Clark and Kathryn Grainger, who gave a very interesting talk about their recent trip to the Falkland Islands where they met some of Neil’s online piping pupils, took part in musical workshops and concerts, and visited some of the memorial sites from the Falklands War. A more comprehensive account of the talk can be found on the Falkirk Twinning website.

http://www.falkirktwinning.org/odenwald/news/falkland-islands-presentation

Members then enjoyed German style refreshments while Isabella ran the raffle which raised £21 for OA funds, after which the business part of the meeting commenced.



2. Minute of Previous Meeting

The Minute of the previous meeting held on 10th October 2018 was approved as a correct record, proposed by Gray Allan and seconded by Rod Aird.



3. Matters Arising

Update on Schottische Nacht 2019 – a list of the number of rooms required for the hostel, and who will stay in them, has been forwarded to Franziska. Anne is still waiting to hear from a couple of people here and in Germany before provisionally booking hotel rooms.

Provost Buchanan has not yet responded to the request for a meeting to discuss possible funding. Gray will chase up Cllr. Allyson Black, and Walter will also approach the Provost, either direct or through Ewan McWilliams (Members’ Support). Rod Aird suggested contacting a councillor or two to see if they have funds available.

Programme for next year – the May meeting has still not been finalised. One suggestion is for a trip on the Maid of the Forth but the timetable for 2019 is not yet published.

German students on work experience – Beate has now written to the Provost and is awaiting a reply. This will be mentioned at the same time as the request for funding.

Anne has now heard from Elaine Mitchell about the proposed joint Quiz Night. This will now be sometime in January or February. She (Elaine) will organise this so all the OA has to do is sell some tickets and provide raffle prizes. It will be an opportunity to meet with members of the Falkirk and District Twinning Association, raise awareness of twinning, and hopefully raise some funds too.



4. Secretary’s Report

Andy has received a communication from Detlef Kuhn. The Odenwalders are proposing to come over to Falkirk in October (6th – 12th) 2019 travelling with Charlie Wissmuller’s company, so there would be both SLV members and the general public. They would like to have a Scottish-themed evening as part of their tour and Walter has made enquiries at the Torphichen Inn. A three-course meal with one drink would be £19.50, and OA members would provide the entertainment. That would also be the week of the OA Open Evening.

There will be no meeting in December so the next meeting will be the Annual Dinner at the Hotel Cladhan. Anne handed round a list so that everyone could sign up for this.



5. Treasurer’s Report

On behalf of the Treasurer, Anne reported that there is currently £1,724.64 in the bank account. Some members have not yet paid their subscription. Anne will remind everyone of this. Membership cards were then handed out to the members who had paid.



6. Any Other Business

There was no other business.



7. Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting (the Annual Dinner) would be held on Tuesday 8th January at 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. in the Hotel Cladhan, Falkirk.

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