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A lot of Canada in the flower village Weitenung
by Christina Nickweiler Badisches Tagblatt, Nr. 17 22 Jan 2020

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Weitenung Exhibition

Mon, Dec 31st, 2012
Submitted by: Christina Nickweiler

Badisches Tagblatt, Nr. 17 vom 22. Januar 2020

A lot of Canada in the flower village Weitenung

The exhibition in the Weitenunger Heimatmuseum pays tribute to the
40-year presence of the Canadian Armed Forces

By Christina Nickweiler (former employee of the Base Hospital)

Buehl - For the first time, the 40-year-old presence of the Canadians is honored with its own exhibition in the
Heimatmuseum (local history museum) in Weitenung.
The special exhibition entitled "Canadians in Central Baden" shows how much Canadians have shaped social life in the region.
Particularly impressive are the unique exhibits that have never been seen in this form before.
The history of the Canadians is told from the perspective of the German-Canadian Club (DCC), whos beginnings go back to 1972.
The exhibition also traces the history of the club using numerous illustrations and contributions on information boards.
The photographs are rare documents as there was a strict ban on photographing uniforms and Airbase facilities until the end of the Cold War.
The initiative to found a club came from citizens of Weitenung. At the beginning of the 1970s, more than 750 Canadians lived in the
purpose-built housing (PMQ’s) in the flower village. The children played on the streets and teenagers drove around with
roller skates or skateboards. For the local predominantly rural population, these were completely unfamiliar impressions,
explains Karl Burkart from the Weitenunger Heimatverein. The association maintains the museum. Karl Burkart remembers
In order to counter any misunderstandings about the cultural differences, efforts were made by the Canadians as well as on the German side.
The military police regularly patrolled at night and during the weekend to take away the fear of the strangers and provide security to the general public.
Active citizens sat down to form a club and founded the German-Canadian club in 1975. "The executive board members were parity-based, t
he former mayor Gerhard Fritz was responsible as chairman for the German side and Ken Mc Crimmon was responsible on the Canadian side.
The former Starfighter pilot still lives in Baden-Baden today and enriched the current collection in the local history museum with remarkable exhibits.
Working in the club's operational affairs Tom Miles and Klaus Maurer, still revive the club spirit during the weekly English conversations.

Eye-catching in the collection is a life-size mannequin wearing a dark green parade uniform from the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR).
The red sash suggests that the wearer of this uniform was the master of ceremonies. Other attributes reflect the military career.

The members of the Heimatmuseum invested in glass showcases for the exhibition, reports the chairman of the Heimatmuseum,
Patric Genter in conversation with the Badische Tagblatt (local newspaper). A scout uniform is displayed in another showcase
and the acoustic highlights of the former military band "Baden Rube Band" pressed onto a vinyl record. The recordings were
made in the radio broadcasting studios of the former Suedwestfunk (Southwest Radio).
Models of the jet aircraft document the era of the various fighter planes on the former airbase, such as the Saber, Starfighter
and the F18 Hornet, which was put into service in 1986. A model of the training and reconnaissance aircraft "T 133 Silver"
can also be seen. Former military personnel, who have settled in the region and are now organized in the German-Canadian
model-making club, also worked here, explains the chairman. Beer mugs with the Canadian national symbol , the maple leaf,
and the license plate number of the Airbase are presented.
From the beginning, the Canadians were enthusiastic about the local carnival tradition and designed impressive carnival cars.
The pictures shown show how tow vehicles for planes pull the cars. "The Widdenunger Carnival experienced great popularity
through the Canadians, "says Karl Burkart, referring to the presented carnival medal. The biggest social highlights of the year
were set by the German-Canadian club with the international Volkswandertage (volksmarches), which enjoyed great popularity
with several thousand participants since 1978. Therefore, the collection of volksmarch medals diplay from the early days
- until the Canadians bid farewell in 1993.

Chairman Patric Genter shows the rare exhibits for which showcases were purchased. Photos: Nickweiler

a special thanks to Christina Nickweiler for permission for letting us use this news article on our pages, please respect the copyrights of the photographer and author!


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