At left, the former main gate at the Flugplatz just outside Lahr; on the right, the former main entrance to the Kaserne in Lahr.
Bill Moore in Edmonton started the planning for a 2014 reunion after a smaller reunion took place in Lahr in 2009. It began with the decision for a group to book a Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Swizerland with the reunion as the end goal. At that time, we had no idea how many would go on the cruise or how many would come over here separately for the reunion or, in fact, if it would actually happen.
Little by little, though, word of mouth travelled. In the last two months, Facebook was one of the major places to make announcements and for people to find out what was happening. Until then, the reunion was being planned but none of us here in Germany had much input. All of a sudden, we had a lot to think about. Where, for example, would we all meet? And when? Who would do what?
The following picture was taken by journalist Mark Alexander for the Lahr Zeitung. It was published on 22 March 2014.
Mark Alexander, a journalist with the Lahr Zeitung, met there with us and his article was in the paper a few days later informing any Germans in the area who might wish to attend the upcoming reunion events. He wrote a series of articles over the next weeks. Eventually, all the papers in the Lahr area wrote about the upcoming reunion.
Two other events were also decided upon. On the 5th, a special evening of music and food, the event in which Harry became involved. On the 6th, a dinner featuring white asparagus was planned by Hans Partenheimer. (I shall write about those a little later.)
Thus the reunion got underway with the first event, a Buffet and Meet and Greet. The cruise people (23 of them) arrived in good time on Sunday, 4 May, after Ken Jacobs organized a bus to pick them up earlier than planned and in a different location. Their initial pick up was scheduled to be in Basel, but due to high water on the Rhine, the ship was docked instead in Breisach, Germany. A few moments of panic for Bill and for us all at 10:30 p.m. or so the night before, as the reunion was scheduled to begin almost as soon as they were originally going to get to Lahr the following day. As it happened, they actually arrived earlier, so all worked out fine.
The Canadian Attache at the Embassy in Berlin, Colonel Tom Endicott, attended the Buffet and the Meet and Greet on Sunday, 4 May. The Oberbürgermeister (Mayor) of Lahr, Herr Wolfgang G. Müller, attended the Meet and Greet, giving a short speech, as did Col. Endicott. He had spent time as a child at CFB Baden-Söllingen, where his father flew fighter jets. Col Endicott was enrolled into the military at the Black Forest Officer's Mess in Lahr in 1981, thus his special interest in being here.
The day prior to the Buffet and Meet and Greet, Ken and Harry put up the standing flags in the dining room and other flags outside. They set up tables by the entrance with tourist brochures Ken had picked up from the City Tourist Bureau. I was seeing lists in my head as they had been changing daily for a good month for all three events and sending changes and additions on to Bill, Ken and Harry, as they did as well. I also informed Facebook followers about what was being planned.
The starting end of the buffet table with Herr Vetter in the foreground helping to serve.
A wonderful afternoon and enjoyed by all those who attended.
Below, from left to right: