A CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ORIGIN AND
DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNITED GERMAN HUNGARIANS
OF PHILADELPHIA AND VICINITY
(A resume of available records)
In our circle here at the United German Hungarians, we have kept a well documented history of the Organization. We also have, through the years, listened and heard the stories of the events which surrounded the lives of our members and shaped our great Organization.
Recently a project has been initiated that will archive, protect and preserve photos, documents, awards, and many historical items which are part of the 100 year history of the Organization. This is a work in progress which will hopefully continue for years to come.
It is documented that in the period from 1905 to 1910 thousands of Germans from Hungarian lands came to the shores of America. Many of them settled in Philadelphia. These first waves of immigrants to our great nation were seeking a better life . These German Hungarians needed each other’s company in a cultural society to keep their language and celebrate their traditions. They also needed the support of family, friends and “ landsleit” to establish themselves as productive citizens in the city of Philadelphia. This group of people made a good life for themselves and their families here in America. It is interesting to read through the various publications of the organization from those early times. From the advertisements to the member lists one can conclude with certainty that many of these immigrants established their own businesses, became active in the general community and became proud citizens of a great and growing nation.
From the Archives 1910 - 1985
And so it came to be that in 1906, a group of 9 men from the Banat region of Hungary founded the Banater Arbeiter Verein. Naturally they had a choral section (Gesangs-Sektion), which for reasons now unknown, was suspended by the parent organization on November 13, 1910. The suspended section met three days later on November 16th to discuss its future and it decided to form the BANATER MAENNERCHOR. A temporary eight man board of directors was appointed for a three month period. Peter Schock was elected President. August Beuchse was unanimously elected musical director and the first rehearsal was set for November 23, 1910 in Fred Schnabel’s "saloon" at Germantown Avenue and Oxford Street. On November 27, 1910 Banater Maennerchor with forty eight members, was accepted as a member by the Vereinigte Arbeiter Gesangverein von Nord Ost Staaten (The United Workers Singing Society of the North-Eastern States). The new organization (BANATER) acquired temporary quarters in the hall an Eighth Street and Columbia Avenue, occupied by MAENNERCHOR RHEINGOLD and on December 9, 1910 they held their Founders Day Festival with the Karpathan Saengerbund and the Arbeiter Männerchor Philadelphia as guest performers.
BANATER MAENNERCHOR grew swiftly and the final result was that BANATER MAENNERCHOR purchased the hall at Eighth and Columbia from RHEINGOLD and also swallowed up its membership. BANATER very quickly became the rendezvous for German Hungarians of Philadelphia, and the site at Eighth and Columbia remained their “home” until 1923.
In 1911 a school-section was created to teach the youngsters the reading and writing of the German language, mathematics, basic sciences, and mechanical drawing for the boys, and sewing and embroidery for the girls. Also, a children’s choral group was judged good enough to participate in a mass choral festival held at the Old Metropolitan Opera House at Broad and Popular Streets. All instruction was provided freely and willingly by the members of the organization. In 1912 a female choral group was assembled under the name "BANATER FRAUEN-CHOR”
On May 8, 1914 amid much fanfare, a "Fahnenweihe" of our new club flag was held. The officials of the Arbeiter Maennerchor of Philadelphia served as the godfathers. The flag made its first public appearance in 1914 at the Singersfest of the United Singers of Northeast United States in Baltimore, Maryland.
The end of World War I eased the tension on German speaking organizations and peoples, but, it also ushered in something which sounded the death knell for groups which were less stable than ours. This was the Great Experiment - PROHIBITION! Fortunately we were well rooted, and the year 1920 saw the beginning of an improving situation. Both the men’s and women’s choruses were rejuvenated and many new members were added.
On December 10, 1922 the BANATER ATHLETIC CLUB was organized. The original soccer team, which played only exhibition games during its first season, consisted of: Mayersfeld, Ehing, Striefter, Halper, Kaitor, John Hof, Schnieider, Sadler, Koeller, Schuster and Gehweiler.
In March 1923 at a special membership meeting, it was decided to acquire, at a price of $26,000.00, the premises at 2007-13 N. Second Street and the former Columbia Hall became the Banater Maennerchor Hall.
The era of moonshine, needle-beer, flappers and the Charleston now began rolling into high gear, but our staid organization kept it’s head and stayed with the waltzes and polkas instead of the Charleston (of course it adopted the moonshine and needle beer). Baseball and Boxing were also introduced for short periods of time. Soccer, however, remained the major sport.
Lest anyone get the notion that these younger members were interested only in sport, let it be known that they also improved themselves culturally through the use of a library which had been accumulated over a period of years. Another unique group which we could boast of during this period (although for a short time only) was a chess club.
One Sunday afternoon in 1929, a group of young boys and girls (most of them born in this country, but conversant with the German language) was sitting in our rathskeller. As a result of their youthful enthusiasm they rashly made a public statement that they would present a stage production in order to show the “big folks" that the "kids" could also do something. A date was selected for reservation of the auditorium, a committee selected to procure suitable material, and within a week rehearsals had been started on two one-act musicals in GERMAN! The attendance at the premier performance of this new group was far greater than had been expected and they were so successful that the new group immediately decided to tackle a much more ambitious work - an operetta no less! Further presentations by the group were demanded and given and the high point was reached with a performance which was presented to a packed house of 1100 people, played a request repeat performance, and also played to an audience of 1800 in New York's Hunt's Point Palace.
In retrospect, it seems almost prophetic that in 1930 the sport group changed its name from the BANATER ATHLETIC CLUB to GERMAN HUNGARIAN SPORT CLUB nine years before the parent group changed its name along similar lines.
During the early Thirties, this country experienced the greatest economic depression in its history and this naturally affected all forms of social activity. Having very little extra spending money, many people sought their entertainment at home, and consequently attendance at the social clubs dropped sharply. In some cases this attendance was never regained and the organizations were forced to disband. We (BANATER MAENNERCHOR) had a rough time, but with a pull here and a push there, we somehow managed to keep going. A fine example of the solidarity of our members was displayed in 1932 when everyone pitched in to provide several days food and shelter in our clubhouse for a few hundred “hunger marchers" who were passing through Philadelphia on their pitiful journey to Washington, DC.
There were also some bright spots along the road. Weekly Singstunde were held and after each rehearsal there was a plentiful supply of cold cuts, fresh rye bread, hot peppers, and either beer or home made wine. Those who were employed were required to donate all of twenty-five cents, and the unemployed donated only their voices and appetites. No one thought of a depression during these all too few pleasant hours each week.
In 1932 the first team entered the Pennsylvania League which at that time was considered one of the strongest amateur leagues in this country and John Mayersfeld of the German Hungarians became President of the Pennsylvania Soccer League.
In May of 1933 a group of members of the BANATER MAENNERCHOR who were engaged in private enterprise, banded together, secured a charter, and founded the GERMAN HUNGARIAN BUSINESS MEN’S ASSOCIATION. This group acquired a tract of land in Neshaminy Falls, PA (OAKFORD). They cleared a section upon which they erected a clubhouse and laid out a picnic ground.
At a directors meeting on Oct 2, 1938 it was reported that membership had dwindled. If the name of the organization were changed, it was believed, at least 300 members would renew. A motion was made and was carried unanimously that all chartered German Hungarian Clubs in this area be contacted in order to arrange a general meeting at which a general merger should be discussed.
At a special meeting on June 29, 1939 a special committee reported that every effort was being made to unite all the German Hungarians in this area to join in one organization to be known as the UNITED GERMAN HUNGARIANS of PHILADELPHIA and VICINITY.
BANATER MAENNERCHOR was strongly urged to support this movement. After quite a lengthy discussion it was decided unanimously to join the new group. At a special general membership meeting on October 24, 1939 it was decided to accept the name UNITED GERMAN HUNGARIANS of PHILADELPHIA and VICINITY and so after almost twenty-nine eventful years, the name BANATER MAENNERCHOR passed away.
Another outstanding occurrence during this decade was the installation of four new bowling alleys in our city club. There had been two alleys in the place when we purchased it and social bowling constantly took place on them. However, with the installation of the new alleys, league activity was started.
An indication that our "sport" section possessed brain as well as brawn was shown by its presentation of such things as “A Night in Budapest” and “Gypsy Melody Night”, but they really proved themselves when they introduced the first “Night in Vienna”. The year was 1938. The clubhouse down at Second and Norris Streets was buzzing with activity and anticipation. Mr. Joe Michels and a group of young people had formed a committee to organize a formal affair the likes of which had never been seen before by the club and its members. Mr. Michels and his groups met regularly at his home to plan for the evening and to rehearse a dance - a waltz - they would perform that evening. The first Night of Vienna was a memorable one. Nearly 1,300 people attended. On stage the dancers performed to an admiring and eager audience seated at tables in the hall which were set up especially for this event. The tables remained as a permanent fixture of the club. And A Night in Vienna remained for many, many years.
During the early 1940s, when many of our young men were in the service of our country, burden of maintaining the fine traditions of our sports group fell upon the shoulders of the Junior Section and they came through in fine style under the able guidance of Teddy Kereczmann, Mike Lambert and Pete Noel. Wrestling and weight-lifting groups were formed, and a tremendous innovation was made with the organization of a Girls’ Section. In 1945 a soccer team, composed mainly of products of the Junior Section, was placed in the first division of the Philadelphia Soccer League where representation was maintained until 1959, when our organization left this league along with other area clubs and founded the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania with our own Frank Folmer as president. Later, in, 1972 Werner Fricker also became President of this League. He went on to become president of the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association. In 1973 he was elected 2nd Vice President of the Federation. Later he became 1st Vice president and in 1984 was elected by an overwhelming majority as President of the United States Soccer Federation. John Piatka, John Paul, John Weber, Karl Kreutzer, and John Blank were active in the United Soccer League, while Helmut Schurer had been active in the League, the EPSA, and The USSF. Lou Fruehauf was active in the United Junior League and Ralph Hoffmann was president of the Intercounty League. Active in the referees committee were Eddie Brosz, John Paul, Francis P. Weber, and John Jacoby.
In January of 1946 we achieved success in German Hungarian circles when the first issue of the "Monthly News" (now the “Monthly Progress”) appeared.
IN MAY Of 1946 the GERMAN-HUNGARIAN BUSINESS MEN'S ASSOCIATION decided to merge and turned over its assets to the UNITED GERMAN HUNGARIANS OF PHILADELPHIA AND VICINITY. In return for the building and grounds at Neshaminy Falls (OAKFORD) we assumed a $5,000.00 mortgage and then spent approximately $22,000.00 improving the place, primarily the grounds.
In 1947 with Frank Folmer presiding over a then youthful board of directors, we tackled the renovation of our home on Second and Norris Streets and through the expenditure of much blood, sweat, and tears plus approximately $60,000.00 we created one of the most beautiful social clubs in this area.
While we were busily preparing for the future and the return of our young men who were in service, the influence of the communist political system shattered the century-old neighborhood in southeastern Europe. The Potsdam Agreement requested the expulsion of Germans from Hungary. In Yugoslavia, the Jajce Decree deprived Germans of their rights and property and many were driven into internment camps. Many of our relatives, mostly, women, elderly, and children were starved and beaten to death in the years after the war (1944-1948) In Romania, the Germans lost their property and means of production without compensation.
It was the "landsleit" in the U.S.A. who contributed material and moral support to their distressed and persecuted relatives and friends. Many escaped from their old homeland to Austria and Germany. From there, tens of thousands went abroad, mainly to the U.S.A. and Canada, others to Brazil, Argentina, and even Australia.
Many of these new immigrants joined our club and have remained active throughout the years. New ideas and thoughts were now mingled with the old. The young people who joined our sport club in the fifties were fun loving, happy and worked hard to keep the German Hungarian Sport Club on top. This group of 1950’s immigrants brought with them renewed dedication towards success in a changing world. It was through further development by members of this group together with the existing members that led to an Organization and Community that flourished through for the next 50 years . Many of these are among the men and women who became the backbone of our organization for the next fifty years.
A decision to sell our city property was made in 1961 and the sale was consummated in October of 1962. January 12 1963 was Farewell Evening at Second and Norris and was probably one of the most festive affairs those old walls witnessed. Members who hadn’t been inside for years came to say "good-bye" to their old home. There was an apparent undertone of sadness among the old-timers for they were leaving something which they had created, something which was part of them. However, there was always a tomorrow and the exodus to Neshaminy took place.
In 1961, the same year the decision to sell our city property was made, a three-man special committee consisting of Werner Fricker, Ted Kereczmann, and Rudy Rack, was set up to look into the feasibility of large improvements on the Neshaminy Falls grounds. The findings of this committee showed that the costs of such a venture would become prohibitive under our then constitutional structure. In 1962 a meeting of the Life Members accepted the recommendations and requested that the committee draw up a new modern constitution.
On March 2, 1963 the proposed new Constitution was approved by the Life Members, and within a month a Building Fund Committee was appointed. Accordingly an architect was hired. In April of 1964 his model of the proposed new building was put on display and the following July construction of the new building was approved. On March 28, 1965 the ground for our new Club House was broken by President Frank Kirsch and we were once again going forward. On August 21st of the same year our new Constitution was unanimously adopted by the Life Members.
In 1964 Emily Fricker, Emma Mueller, and Antonia Kreutzer decided to start a children's dance group, in which they would teach and thereby foster the continuance of the traditional and folk dances of our ethnic group. From this inauspicious start developed our Cultural Group, an accomplished ensemble of which all our members can be justly proud. Having expanded into several facets, they perform Viennese Waltzes, Hungarian Czardas, Contemporary Dances, and Schuhplattler Dancing. The Schuhplattler Group brings German Folk Dancing, not only to the German American Community, but to all our friends and neighbors regardless of ethnic background. Their eagerness to uphold the traditions of the German heritage into which most of them were born is the one thing that outshines their many accomplishments. The Kirchweihfest which we celebrate each September is our oldest and most significant tradition; it links the old with the new.
The year 1965 was a really momentous one for our Club. A new Constitution; the start of a new building; and on June 27th winning the National Amateur Soccer Championship with a resounding victory over St. Ambrose of St. Louis. A few weeks later our team also achieved an unprecedented fifth successive championship in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania.
On January 29, 1966 our new building was formally opened amidst much fanfare. It was a really splendid affair which presaged many more to follow. Two months later to the day, on March 29th, the old building was demolished.
In 1968 youth once again came to the fore, and Werner Fricker became President, succeeding Frank Kirsch, who had literally been one of the hardest working Presidents in our Club's history. This human dynamo, Werner Fricker, had been involved in many of our Club projects (in addition to captaining our National Amateur Championship Soccer Team) and it was under his direction that the Club acquired an additional six acres of adjoining ground for future development of our facilities.
In 1971 Our Major Soccer Team won the Eastern United States Amateur Championship and traveled to Chicago to play the Chicago Kickers. The score at halftime was 4-4. The Kickers won in overtime 6-5. The Heimatklaenge Orchestra presented a show, "Eine Reise in die Heimat" to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. This was held at our club on Saturday, August 1 and Saturday, August 15 and received much acclaim.
A beautiful cocktail lounge was built in our multi-purpose or so called "green room”. (In 2000 the Room was remodeled an redecorated with an alpine theme and in 2008 it was renamed the “Alpine Bar”)
The seventies saw our Youth Soccer Program peak as our teams brought many awards and trophies to our Club. The seeds sowed by Lou Fruehauf, Franz Muller and John Paul when they initiated this program in 1964 were growing immensely. Lou Fruehauf, Junior Soccer Coordinator, received a special award for his efforts in promoting soccer in our organization. Lou had been the driving force of the youth program. John Blank became the Junior Coordinator, followed by Jim Pack, and Gene Malofiy.
July 14, 15, 16, 1972 saw us celebrate "Fifty Years in Sports and Soccer” Besides all the marvelous happenings during this three day celebration, a very informative Souvenir Book was prepared featuring all the details of our sports activities over the years.
1973 was to be the year that our Club would charter an entire plane for “The Flight of the Century”. Approximately 150 people planned for this trip. While many of us were looking forward to this trip which would take place from June 30 to August 5th, a "catastrophe" struck the German Hungarians!!!
"I saw men and women in tears," so remarked President Fricker as he described in detail the most tragic event in our Club's history - the destructive fire which reduced our beautiful clubhouse to a heap of rubble. President Fricker's informal speech was delivered at a hastily called emergency meeting of the Board of Governors, Executive Board and Committee Chairmen on Sunday evening, February 4th, at the residence of Secretary Karl Kreutzer.
News of the fire had spread rapidly and by noon hundreds of members and friends had gathered to gaze in shocked disbelief at the incredibly wrecked interior. The crowd included young and old, many of them in tears which provided the emotional outlet for their grief and sorrow. This was especially apparent among that handful of members who in the early '60s, after the disposal of the City Club, had first envisioned a Swim Club and then had sensibly decided upon a new imposing Club Building benefiting the ideals of the United German Hungarians of Philadelphia and Vicinity.
Saturday morning, February 10, without any formal notification to the membership, young and old, men, women and children began arriving at 7:00 A.M. The gigantic task of cleaning was under way. Two forty-foot trailers and one 20 foot trailer were already on the grounds for storage of all salvageable items. By mid-morning, more than 120 members were cleaning, scrubbing, washing, and storing the items. The kitchen corps had food, coffee and cake available all day, using the outside bar as their headquarters. Temporary electric, gas, water and heat had been supplied by various members. The work continued all day Saturday and on into the night. Sunday morning the work continued again and by Sunday night a 60 foot business trailer had been set up on the patio. Using the trailer for one wall carpenters erected walls and a roof, enclosing the outside bar. The temporary building was for our use while the cleaning and rebuilding was in effect. The temporary building also served the membership for meetings and other small affairs until our club house was restored.
Each weekend carpenters, roofers, plumbers, and many laborers (mostly members) worked until late at night. A unity and camaraderie developed among the workers as they strived for their common goal - to get our club house rebuilt as soon as humanly possible! Meanwhile, Club business continued. There was nothing wrong with our soccer fields and our teams continued their weekly workouts. Events were held at local firehouses. The Cultural Croup prepared for the Mayfest at the Community Room in the Neshaminy Mall courtesy of one of our members. Night in Vienna rehearsals were held at the Sandpiper Inn on Bristol Road.
On Friday night, March 2, a fund-raising affair was held at the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein. President Koehler of the Vereinigung Erzgebirge conceived the idea inviting all German Clubs in the Philadelphia area to help raise funds in our hour of need. With close to 700 friends in attendance, the Cannstatter Hall was full to capacity. Entertainment for the evening was arranged by the Erzgebirge Club. Later on in the evening, members of the Bavarian Club sold chances for the many prizes which had been donated by our various friends. Music was by the "Heimatklaenge" who also donated their services. The German American Society of Trenton sponsored a Fund Raising Affair for us at their club house on Friday, April 27. Our own Junior Dance Group performed. Many members and friends made monetary donations to our Fire Fund and we will never forget the many children and young people who raised money by raffles, car washes, and paper drives.
On May 5th, almost three months to the day of the disastrous fire, our Club was once again open to the membership. Thanks mainly to our energetic President, Werner Fricker, and a large group of dedicated members who sacrificed many days and nights so that the membership could once again enjoy our newly renovated club facilities. The entire interior had been completely refurbished. Many changes were made.
Our flight to Germany took place as scheduled and we all deserved such a wonderful vacation after all the hard work of the previous months. Part of the groups spent a three-day weekend with the Heimatklaenge in Waldhausen, Germany, to celebrate the village’s 100th Anniversary of their Fire Department. We participated in a parade and afterwards gathered in a huge tent erected especially for this affair.
We also played our first youth international game during this festival, United German Hungarians vs. T.sv.Waldhausen. The game ended with a 4-4 tie.
Our Cultural Group performed international folk dances while our young Schuhplattler Group performed for the first time in Germany.
On January 4th and 5th, 1974, we had two evenings to express our appreciation to all who contributed to the rebuilding program. An invitation was extended to attend a dance with a buffet on Friday night, January 4th, to every member or friend who contributed to our rebuilding effort.
On September 13, 14, 15, 1974, we initiated our first three-day Kirchweihfest. Little did we know that in the future this would become our largest undertaking.
On June 22, 1975, the Steuben Day Observance Society held their German Day at our Club. This is a large undertaking as the German American Community all participate in this fund raiser for the Steuben Parade.
In January, a small group of our members joined our ongoing Entertainment Committee and began planning for Kirchweihfestival, 1975. Many contacts had to be made; much planning had to be done to arrange the many details. Friday night opened with over 1100 members and friends enjoying a delicious buffet supper, followed by an all-star revue. Saturday, at one o'clock, the festivities resumed. At 6:30 PM., the Memmingen Band from Germany arrived and our Kirchweih Dancers marched to the TENT for the official opening of our festival. This was the beginning of a yearly event of which we are justly proud.
1975 saw the formation of our first girls soccer team. In March, 1976, Werner Fricker retired from the presidency. He remained active with our Junior and Senior soccer programs for many years. In 1982, President Andy Weyershaeuser asked Werner to assume the Chairmanship of the Kirchweihfest.
In 1976 Karl Kreutzer became President. Our great country celebrated its 200th birthday. To coincide with the festivities of the Bicentennial, our Club had a "Fahnenweihe" (blessing of the Bicentennial flag). The theme for that year's Kirchweihfest was 'A Salute to America." The weekend's festivities featured various ethnic groups performing in their native costumes as well as our own Kirchweih Dance Group. The highlight of the three-day event was the 45-piece brass band from Leinfelden, Echterdingen, Germany, which crowned the Club's second year success of a three-day tent festival celebrating and upholding our forefathers' traditional Kirchweih customs.
In 1977 our Major Team made history by reaching final of the U.S. Open Cup and the U.S National Amateur Cup competitions. Even though both games were lost, the club's name could be found in every sport section of publications across the country. Our Reserve Team won their first championship of the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania.
In the 1978 season our soccer program was successful in winning both championships of the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania. Our Major and Reserve teams came in first by the end of the season. Through 1979, our Club continued to remain at the forefront of entertainment events held during this year, which involved capable planning, organization and implementation, and served to build a good reputation for the Club among other local German-American organizations. Our Club sponsored a well received and exciting concert by one of Germany's top singers, Heino, which was held in the auditorium of Archbishop Ryan High School. On June 24 our Club was host to the annual German Day celebration, attracting dignitaries and thousands of guests from other clubs to our grounds.
Andy Weyershaeuser became President in 1980. From 1980 through 1986 many improvements were made to the grounds as well as redecorating of the clubhouse.
The year 1983 marked the Tri-centennial of the first German settlers in the United States, and our Club took part in the many events celebrating this occasion. The many events sponsored, mostly by the German American Committee of Philadelphia, brought many presidents of various German-American Societies together which helped us all to a better understanding and mutual respect of each other. It was under Andy’s leadership that the Kirchweih was revitalized. He involved key people, he relocated the fest to the upper field area and the youth became more involved in all aspects of the organization.
In 1985 on the occasion of our Club’s 75 th Anniversary President Andy Weyershaeuser wrote, “an area I devoted some time to was being part of a small group of people who realized early that we must cultivate and harvest the product of the seeds sown some 20 years ago - our young people. The proud result is that over 35 percent of our chairpeople, the backbone of our Club, are under 30 years of age and are doing a fabulous job. This, without a doubt, will secure the future of our Club.”
Andy was correct and it would be those young people who he would involve, that would become the next generation of members who would drive the organization for the next 25 years.
Continuing a Proud Tradition 1985 - 2010
Each year we celebrate the ending of the old and the beginning of the new with a Gala New Year’s Celebration featuring dinner, good camaraderie and the Heimatklaenge Orchestra. To greet the year 2000, our Entertainment Committee under the Chairmanship of Kathi Noel, offered us a “Sailabration” cruising the Caribbean, Germany and the USA on the SS Millennium singing, dancing and having a wonderful evening. In 2009, the revelers were joined by Old Father Time and Baby New Year (Ed and Dan Galgon).
Our Viennese Ball , a popular annual event is held during the winter months and usually features a Viennese dinner, a lovely orchestra, and performances by a singer and/or the German Hungarian Dancers. This ball is the follower of A Night In Vienna which was last held in 1990. In 1993, with Andy Weyershaeuser as Chairman and his able assistant Katie Palnik this event was resumed and renamed “A Viennese Ball”. It was last held in 2007.
Our Cultural Group, under the direction of Chairman Janet Malofiy, participates each year in the Mid-Atlantic Annual Jugend Einzelplattler Exhibition. Various Schuhplattler Organizations from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut host this event yearly. We hosted this event in 2006 and 2010. Our youngsters are critiqued, not rated. Over the years, groups have had their children rated and we decided to do this also in 2010. The couples were judged individually and each individual received an engraved medal. Sasha Malofiy Jr. placed first in his age group (age 14 -17). We also hosted a Young Adult Exhibition that day for dancers between ages 16 and 34. The top three couples received a commemorative plaque: Dan Galgon with Nichole Deely, Werner Fricker III with Fallon Weyershaeuser and Sasha Malofiy Jr. with Michelle Paul.
Our Annual General Membership Meeting and Board of Governors Election is held yearly in the beginning of March if possible. The Board of Governors consists of 15 people. They must be Life or Certified members in good standing. They are elected for a term of three years by the voting membership. Five are elected each year. The President and his Executive Board are elected by the Board of Governors in even numbered years. The following were elected under the present constitution and by-laws.
Frank Kirsch – 1966
Werner Fricker – 1968
Karl Kreutzer – 1976
Andrew Weyershaeuser – 1980
John Blank – 1986
John M. Blank – 1990
Werner Fricker Jr. – 1998
William Galgon – 2004
Janet Fricker Malofiy - 2014
Soccer has been an important part of our organization for 88 years. In 1997, we celebrated Seventy Five Years of Soccer . In 1972, 50 men were honored with a 50 th Anniversary Pin. In 1997, 92 men and 23 women received a Certificate of Honor. Many were soccer players, coaches, referees, and administrators directly involved in the game of soccer, but many were those who are the backbone of our club whose hard work makes it possible for the German Hungarians to have a soccer program. Besides all the marvelous happenings during each of these celebrations, very informative Souvenir Books were prepared both in 1972 and in 1997 featuring all the details of our sports activities over the years. Throughout the years both our Adult and Youth Soccer Teams have accomplished much. As members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association and the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association, we have been associated with many leagues.
The German Hungarian Soccer Club is anticipating the celebration of 100 Years of Soccerthat will take place in 2022!
In 1990 Bill Galgon became Youth Soccer Coordinator and began to develop a plan and concept to rebuild our programs. Initiating several new teams, this program would lead to the present day rebirth of youth/junior soccer at the German Hungarians. These teams were coached by former players of our club and the opportunity became again available for our member’s children to play soccer at our club.
The UGH Fire Boys team has been led by Andy J. Weyershaueser and has been recently coached by Bob Wilkinson. This team has progressed through the years from a youth age to the U-19 level. We are very proud of the accomplishments of this team. More so we are proud to have developed some fine young players on this squad. Many are now off to area universities and are doing well. Several players from this team also participate in our U-20 and U-23 programs, and Andrew Weyershaueser has been a regular with the GH Major Team.
In addition to directing the Fire team Andy J. Weyershaueser has been Soccer Director since he took over the responsibilities from Bill Galgon who held the position prior. Andy has taken the youth program to another level by building on the accomplishments of the Adult programs as well as his own experience as a product of the German Hungarian Junior and Major Teams. Under his leadership in 2010 the Club operates 7 Teams for boys and 5 teams for girls at various age levels (U8 through U-19). Some of these are quite competitive. Many of these teams are coached and trained by former players of the club. They strive to develop players of sound character in a common club setting.
In recent years The United German Hungarian Soccer Camp is held for two weeks in July. A High School Prep Camp is also offered. These camps are under the direction of Bob Wilkinson who is a product of our club’s youth and adult teams, assistant coach of LaSalle University, and was also named the 2000 United States Amateur Soccer Association Coach of the Year. Bob is assisted by other coaches, players on our Major Team, and other well known local players. Individual and team training is offered as well as c onditioning sessions, Goal Keeper Training, Speed Training and Game Fundamentals.
UGH Youth Soccer Academy provides that essential introduction of soccer to youngsters between the ages of 3 and 9. This introduction focuses on fun and teaching the basic soccer skills, providing the necessary foundation from which those young talents are motivated and prepared to learn technical, tactical, and physical skills later in their soccer development. Drawing from their playing and coaching experiences, Jennifer and Michael Lowry and their coaching staff create a caring environment to teach these prospective young stars.
We have been publishing our newsletter, the Monthly Progress , for over 60 years. In that time there have been 13 editors, each leaving their mark trying to bring an interesting and informative newsletter to our members. The present editor, Emily Fricker, has held this position for over 30 years. In 2002, the Progress got a new look as a new masthead was designed by Joe Hartmann and perfected by Dieter Abendroth and his staff at Anchor Printing.
In 2004, we began printing the newsletter ourselves. On April 1 st, 2005 we began to send the newsletter to our members electronically. This has proved very efficient and the majority of our members have taken advantage of this service. We had been fortunate in recent years to have one of our old timers, Francis P. Weber, writing a both humorous and informative column entitled Philadelphia German Hungarians, monthly. The column told not only about former club activities but about life in Philadelphia in the early 1900s. Franny wrote this column until the time of his death in 2008.
In 2001 our Website was launched at the address, www.ughclub.us. It is always kept up to date and information about our Cultural Group, Soccer Program, and Upcoming Events can always be found there. The Monthly Progress is also posted there for the benefit if our members. In addition to the website, in 2008, a Club Facebook Page, was created in order to have but another way of updating and informing our members. Club Events and pictures are posted there and the page brought a new way for our members to communicate with each other. In 2009 information was sent hourly from Toledo Ohio to our members on the activities of the Schuhplattler Group at the Gaufest. In 2010, upon request of the administrators of the site, thecup.us, (a page dedicated to promoting the US OPEN CUP) the German Hungarians created a Twitter account in order to send updates about our Open Cup matches at both the state and regional levels. This practice has expanded to include starting line-ups just minutes before the game, score updates, and upcoming games, for both Cup and United League matches.
Our Annual Anniversary Banquets are held on the last Saturday in March, with the exception of the times when the Easter Holiday falls on that weekend. Then it is held on the first Saturday in April. It is also an elegant affair with the Heimatklaenge Orchestra and a special performance by our Culture Group. Over the years, not only our current past presidents, but various esteemed members have been honored at this time. Beginning in 1960, founders and members were honored every ten years. Each received a Gold “Ehrenwuerdig” pin and tonight we again honor such a group of men and women at our 100 th anniversary celebration.
Our Women’s Auxiliary, under the chairmanship of Anna Ehling, has presented a Spring and a Fall Penny Party throughout the years as well as various other activities. After forty years of guiding this group, Anna decided to retire in 2007 and she received a plaque in recognition of her commitment and faithful service. At that time Connie Reiter became the Women’s Auxiliary Chairman.
Easter and Mother’s Day Celebrations have also been popular throughout the years, however the Easter Sunday Dinners have been eliminated but the Mother’s Day is still popular. Either a hot dinner buffet or a sit down dinner are the fare for the day. Our Monthly Sunday Brunches especially the Halloween Brunch were popular for quite some time but along with the Women’s Auxiliary Monthly Luncheon and other such endeavors, were eliminated for various reasons.
Another event that our Cultural Group enjoys is the Annual Mid-Atlantic Region Kinderfesthosted by various groups from Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut. This is a picnic type afternoon with folk dancing by the participating groups. Not only enjoyed by the youngsters but by all ages as all look forward to meeting friends once again.
We have hosted the United States Adult Soccer Association Region 1 Soccer Cup Finalsoften, most recently in 2010 and the USASA National Soccer Cup Finals in 1989, 1994, 2000, 2002, and 2010.
In the summer of 1987 a group was formed including Werner Fricker, Werner Fricker Jr., Jack Dunn, Bill Wilkinson and Bill Wilkinson Jr. Goals were established and players who were willing to reach those goals were sought. Some of these goals were obvious, league and cup success was paramount, so were fair play and a sense of belonging to the club. What would follow from this would be over twenty years of consistent success at the local and state levels with appearances in many Regional and National Competitions for our Major Team. Coaches through those years included Bill Wilkinson, Bill Wilkinson Jr., Claudio Tovareula, Bobby Wilkinson and Michael Curley.
On July 17, 1999 the GH Major Team defeated the Milwaukee Bavarians 2-1 in St. Louis MO. to win the USASA National Open Cup. The following day the Team lost in the US National Amateur Cup Final to Michigan Arsenal.
German Hungarian Majors National Accomplishments
*1999 USASA National Open Cup Champion
In 2010 The GH Major Team was crowned Champions of the United Soccer league of PA for the seventeenth time. The team also finished as finalist in the East Penn US Open Cup, and as semi finalist in the Region One US Open Cup. The Major Team coach is Mike Curley and the manager is Werner Fricker III. The Major Captain is Jason Karasow. Werner III also serves as General Secretary of the United Soccer League. In addition Steve Grabowski serves as Games Commissioner, Barry Harvey as Financial Secretary, and Jen Lowry serves as Vice President for development. All of these individuals follow a long list of German Hungarian Soccer Administrators (since John Meyersfeld became President of the PA League in 1932) who are committed to fair organized adult soccer. John Koschewitz served as President of the United League. Werner Fricker Jr. served on the Board of Directors of US Soccer from 2001 to 2006, and continues to serve in various capacities in US Adult Soccer and US Soccer. He also serves as National Cups Commissioner. In addition to the Major Team, the club currently operates the following Men’s Teams: UGH Ultra, UGH Premier, Over 30, Under 23 and the following Women’s Teams: The Fury Majors and the Dragons. Our Women’s Teams dominated though the nineties and have consistently proven successful at the local, state and regional level. They have made several appearances at the National Semi and Grand Finals in the Open, Amateur and Over 30 competitions.
On any given Sunday when there are Youth and Adult Soccer Games the word of the day is SUNDAY FUNDAY. The Players, Coaches, Friends and SuperFans are known to have a great time in either the Alpine Bar, or the recently redecorated and renamed “Trophy Bar” . Usually Monica prepares a drink of the day and Heidi, a special sandwich menu. Our main bar was renovated and remodeled in 2010 under the direction of Sasha Malofiy. With private donations and members’ donated labor this room proudly displays our many trophies, cups, and awards.
One of the largest undertakings was the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association’s hosting the National Youth Cup Finals at our club in July 1988. At the same time the United States Soccer Federation held their Annual General Meeting and their 75 th Anniversary Celebration at the Wyndam Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia. At that time, Werner Fricker was president of US Soccer and through his efforts various anniversary activities were held at our Club. Our Schuhplattler Group performed at the President’s Reception at our Club and the German Hungarian Dancers entertained at the 75 th Gala Banquet which included such dignitaries as Dr.Joao Havelange, President of FIFA, Dr. Henry Kissinger former United States Secretary of State and Mayor Wilson Goode of Philadelphia. One thousand people from various areas of the United States were emotionally stirred as the group performed “A Tribute to the Immigrant and America”.
Prior to hosting the Youth National Cups and the many Regional and National events to follow it was necessary to make major improvements to our facilities. Through the efforts of private donations as well as loans and many hours of hard work by many members our facilities were redeveloped into a class soccer and clubhouse facility. By 1989 our stadium field had been completely renovated with new seating, and a new roof at the grand stand. A scoreboard, fencing, lighting and irrigation systems had been added. In addition our clubhouse received major improvements including a new roof and new heating and cooling systems. All of these improvements would not have taken place without the leadership of President John Blank, and a working relationship with the Board of Governors. The person mainly responsible for the work was the House and Field Chairman, Al Nothum. His handprints could be found on almost every installation during that period. Also at the time responsible for the grounds improvements was John Reiter.
Today in 2010 that same spirit of care takes place weekly by a dedicated group “The Groundhogs” under the direction of Steve Grabowski and Barry Harvey who make it their personal mission to maintain and improve our fields. They did an outstanding job this past year in preparing for the nation to come to Our Club for the National Cups and the Landestreffen.
As a founding member of the Steuben Day Observance Association’s Annual Parade , which had been held in center city and is now held on Frankford Avenue in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia, we participate with all German American Organizations both at the parade and at an annual German American Day. The German American Day is usually held in June, on the Sunday following Father’s Day while the parade is held on the fourth Saturday in September. Cannstatter V.V., the Bayerischer V.V., the Vereinigung Erzgebirge and our club host the German Day.
In 1992 the Eastern Region of the Danube Swabian Association of the USA hosted a Trachtenfest at our Club. Danube Swabians of Trenton, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Rochester, NY as well as the Society of Germans from Romania, NY and our own club belong to this group. This was a sold out event with 500 people attending, with 120 in various Danube Swabian Tracht. The decision had been made to continue this event every five years or so. In the spring of 1999 a Cultural Exhibit was held at the Danubia Club in Somerton and both the Philadelphia and Trenton Donauschwaben and our Club participated. An impressive display of 16 Trachts, many donated items, a discussion group featuring survivors of the Yugoslavian Partisan Concentrations Camps after World War II and a computer that introduced many to a Web site on the Danube Swabians/German Hungarians tied our present with our past.
In November, the three clubs once again held a Trachtenfest, at our club. It was again a successful event and Adam Mattes, President of the Eastern Region of the USA Danube Swabians, Inc. stated, “It is our duty to honor our customs and traditions because if we do not, they will be lost. I am proud of the young people born in this country (USA) who worked together so that we could celebrate this festival.” In 2006, the three clubs once again working together hosted a Cultural Exhibit at the Danubia Club. It was an exhibition of art, artifacts and publications and was held on April 8 th and 9 th. The exhibit was far more outreaching than the former in 1992. The beauty of the articles and the amount of items displayed were a credit to the organizers and all those who contributed. On May 20, a Trachtenfest was held at our club and it was an evening of pride as the Philadelphia and Trenton Donauschwaben Clubs and our German Hungarian Club celebrated an evening of music, dancing and singing.
In 1990 our Major team hosted the US World Cup Team losing 1-0 and also hosted the National Men’s Team of Malta losing 2-0. In 1993 we hosted the German Women’s National Team and the World Champion USA Women’s National Team, other National Teams appearing in official FIFA events at our club were the Women’s Team of the Peoples Republic of China, and the Women’s Team of Norway. The German Women’s Team was based at our club for almost 10 days in April of that year. While they trained on our fields our staff also handled all of their catering and special needs.
In the late 1960s our Cultural Group began performing Schuhplattler Dances under the direction of Andy Weyershaeuser. Eventually this led to the official forming of our Schuhplattler Group in 1976. Since that time the group has performed not only locally, but at various events along the east coast. In time, their friendships with many other Schuhplattlers from far and wide encouraged them to attend their first Gaufest in Denver. In 1988, our club was accepted as a member of the Gauverband Nordamerika, Inc . an organization which preserves and perpetuates Bavarian and Tyrolean folk dancing, tracht, customs and culture.
On February 19, 1994, our members traveled to Oley, PA to plead our request to the Auerhahn Schuhplattler Group to act as our Patenverein at our Fahnenweihe which was to take place in July. The decision to create a new flag for our club was historic, careful planning of the design involved several members from three generations. Many members and friends made financial contributions to fund the design, manufacture, and purchase of the flag. A list honoring those contributors is displayed in our Alpine Bar.
Our President John M. Blank, our General Secretary Werner Fricker Jr., Our Honorary President Andy Weyershaeuser and our Fahnenweihe Chairman Bill Galgon traveled to Germany in early June to pick up our new flag at the Fahnen Kossinger Flag Company. At that time they also finalized plans with the Gmunder Dorfmusikanten who would be providing music for the weekend. Our Vice President/Treasurer Michael Wagner, all their wives and several members met the group at the Newark Airport. July 1 st finally arrived! Guests at our Fahnenweihe included Clubs from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington DC, Ontario and Quebec and the Band and 18 people from Germany (our manager Sieggy Koschwitz’s family and friends) traveled from near and far to celebrate with us. There were close to 1000 participants and it was a most meaningful and memorable event.
The Gauverband Nordamerika has held their Gaufests since 1967. Our Schuhplattler Group has participated since 1985 and the group, with our members, families and friends has participated since 1989. In 1999, at the 17th Gaufest held in St. Paul, Minnesota, the German Hungarian Schuhplattler Group placed First in Group Prize Plattling . The couples were:
John Reiter and Karen David
John M. Blank and Janet Malofiy
Sasha Malofiy and Susan Hartmann
Rolf Stielow and Lisa Fricker
John Hubert and Connie Reiter The Alternates were Bill Simon and Chris Tokarski. Marlene Blank was the coach. Jack Mattes was the accordionist.
In 2003, the United German Hungarians hosted the 19. Gaufest at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. Besides the various competitions, Group, Adult Einzel and Jugend Einzel, there were many highlights throughout the three day event. The Parade of Flags, which usually takes place at the Banquet on Saturday and at the Picnic on Sunday is an awesome sight as the many colorful flags from all the groups from the US and Canada are waved on high by their flag bearer. Our Gaufest Steering Committee consisted of: Chairman John P. Hubert, President Werner Fricker Jr., William Galgon, Janet Malofiy, John Reiter, Alex Malofiy, Kathi Noel, Karen David Mahadevan, Susi Hartmann, Marlene Fricker Blank, Lisa Fricker, Connie Reiter, Ed Tokarski and Joseph Hartmann.
As the 2 nd place winner in the Prize Plattling Competion in 2003, our group was invited along with the 1 st place winner, Bayern Verein, Newark, NJ to compete in the Second Annual Bavarian Ministerpresident’s Prize (the Bayerische Loewe) Schuhplattler Competition in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. A total of forty travelers including our Prize Plattling Schuhplattler Team and family and friends met on October 1 st at Philadelphia International Airport . The competition was on Saturday, October 4 th. The Bayern Verein, Newark won the fourth place while we won the fifth place. Both clubs were elated and actually received the loudest applause of all the winners. The first prize was won by the Falkenstoaner Stamm of Munich of the Isar Gau. We toured Munich, Wieskirchen, the Royal Castles near Fuessen, Salzburg and the Oktoberfest.
Our Club always builds toward the future, so in 2005, we added twenty three year old Michelle Galgon, seventeen year olds Werner Fricker III and Alex Blank, and sixteen year old Dan Galgon to the Preisplattling Team which included seasoned veterans, John, Lisa, Rolf, Susi, Ed, Karen, Janet and Connie. Since 1993 we had placed in the top four. Now we placed seventh. Although we couldn’t help but be disappointed, we were satisfied that we placed right in the middle. Janet and Sasha Malofiy were the only couple from our club to compete in the Adult Einzelplattling Competition.
In 2007 we traveled to Hershey, PA for the 20. Gaufest . With the outcome of the previous competition in 2005, the group had worked diligently. Sasha and Janet had worked untiringly and all hoped for an outstanding performance. We were ready to compete! On Friday night at the Heimatabend, our Youth, dressed in their red club dirndls with the boys in their lederhosen and billed as the “Jugendsinggruppe of the United German Hungarians of Oakford, PA”, sang and danced to folk songs. When the final song “Muss I’ Denn” began, many of our club members, parents, grandparents and friends, joined them on the floor and we sang together. It was a memorable moment! Pages could be written about the Hershey Gaufest trip but there are only a few really important facts: WE WERE GOLD MEDAL WINNERS!!!
OUR PREISPLATTLING TEAM WON FIRST PRIZE!!!
John Reiter and Connie Reiter
Alex Blank and Janet Malofiy
Rolf Stielow and Susi Hartmann
Werner Fricker III and Lisa Fricker
The alternates were Bill Simon, Karen David, Nichole Blank and Dan Galgon. Marlene Fricker was the group coach and Maria Antoniak was the accompanist. JANET AND SASHA MALOFIY WON FIRST PRIZE IN THE EINZELPLATTLER
We were satisfied with the scores of our other Einzelplattler couples both adults and youth. We proudly entered the final event, the Farewell Dance, together, singing, our entire group in matching blue shirts with our Vorplattler, John Reiter, carrying the “Wanderpreis” a wandering trophy of a hand carved wooden statue of a dancing couple, the trophy our group had won during this weekend.
On Friday, August 13 th, fifty one members and friends traveled by bus to Toledo, Ohio for the 22.Gaufest. About 30 others traveled by car. Our club won the Meist Prize for having the most attending. In 2009 Marlene Fricker was appointed to the Judges Pool of the Gauverband Nordamerika. Marlene’s talents as a teacher and coach have been recognized nationally by the Gauverband.
In 2005, the Heimatklaenge Orchestra’s 50 th Anniversary Reunion Celebration took place on July 9 th at our club. Many former and present day band members as well as fans made this evening a memorable occasion. The Heimatklaenge Orchestra and its band members and our club members have established a close friendship over the years. Beginning with John and Erwin Galgon and others at the Karpathan Saengerbund in Philadelphia and leaders of our then German Hungarian Sport Club, this has continued to today. Many of the band members are not only staunch members of our club but continue as those before them to bring the “sounds of home” not only to our members and friends but to the entire Delaware Valley and beyond.
Our Traditional German Hungarian Kirchweihfest has been held on the third weekend in September for many years. In 1974 we held our first three day fest. From 1975 to 1981 we had American stars such as Cozy Morley, Mickey Saughnessy, Bobby Darin and others performing for a all star show on Friday Night. In 1982, President Andy Weyershaeuser who had been one of the driving forces to begin the original Friday Night shows asked Werner Fricker to become the Chairman of the event. Werner approached our Cultural Group telling them that it would be financially necessary to do our own show. Needless to say the group was apprehensive, but with much encouragement their first “Musical Revue” was conceived. Although this show was meager in comparison to their future productions, the number “Rock and Roll Revue” was a preview of things to come. Almost immediately after this show, people came forward stating that they were willing to help put on a more elaborate, well planned production. Thus began the yearly productions that we enjoyed for twenty years.
In 1992, it was decided to eliminate the huge tent on our upper fields and use our club facilities. Our Musical Revue and our Dinner Buffet were held on both Friday and Saturday evenings to accommodate our audiences. Sunday’s festivities were celebrated in our picnic grove. Moving this event closer to our cooking facilities made much of the work easier and we were able to show off our beautiful facilities to our guests.
IT WAS 2001!!! We had a great summer and all the committees especially our dancers were preparing for our three day Kirchweihfest. On September 11 th, three days before our festival was scheduled, the unthinkable happened! Terrorists attacked the United States by crashing planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, in the Pentagon in Washington DC and in a field in Western Pennsylvania. In spite of all, we continued our activities and a Flag was displayed on the hill behind the soccer field. It was there as a reminder during the Kirchweihfest on the weekend of September 14, 15, 16.
In 2001 aware that The Bayerischer Volksfest Verein had made a decision to relocate their club, President Werner Fricker Jr. approached the BVV President Alex Paraker on the occasion of our Kirchweih. An invitation to meet in the future was accepted and within weeks meetings had taken place between leaders of both organizations. In 2002 The Bayerischer Volksfest Verein relocated their Home and Headquarters to the clubhouse of the United German Hungarians. There was a Welcome Dance on June 22 as both the Bayerischer VV and our club welcomed the BVV members. Among the events they had scheduled for the remainder of 2002 was their 124th Annual Bavarian Oktoberfest which was to be held in a huge tent on our upper field on September 28 th and 29th. We have jointly hosted this event for the last nine years. Bands from Germany, local German American Bands, our dancers as well as guest dancers and others have entertained us during these festivals. In 2005 we decided to add a Rocktoberfest on Friday Night and obviously, this evening features a rock band and draws a number of young people. The United German Hungarians are proud to have accepted the members of the BVV into our home. We have enjoyed a close relationship with the BVV and are thankful for their contributions and support in many projects and events.
It was realized in 2002 that our Kirchweihfest was in need of a change. The Musical Revues performed by the German Hungarian Dancers for twenty years, under the direction and choreography of Marlene Fricker, had been extremely popular with our members and friends. These dancers were now needed to do the everyday work at our club. They had families, children and parents to look after. They had given much in their endeavors to make these three-day events successful and they had succeeded. We will ever be grateful to all of them and to all those who made our Kirchweihfests successful in any way. It was decided to hold our Traditional German Hungarian Kirchweihfest on Sunday, September 15, 2002 in our Picnic Grove. As always we included our Cultural Group in their Banater Tracht carrying the Rosmarein (Rosemary) Strauss and authentic speeches. Local German Bands, our Schuhplattler and Guest Dancers, as well as Soccer Games provided entertainment throughout the afternoon.
In 2006, the decision was made to move our Kirchweihfest from September to November and from an outside event to an inside one. This has continued to the present day and we are presently preparing for our Annual Traditional German Hungarian Kirchweihfest to be held on Sunday, November 7, 2010.
We welcomed 2008 with a rather empty schedule for the year. Were it not for our groups and soccer teams, we would have had very little going on. The Bavarian Club began the year with their 130 th Anniversary Banquet in January and our Major Soccer Team hosted their Annual Beef & Beer in February. A decision was made to eliminate our weekly Wednesday Dinners and to have a Schnitzel Night every first Wednesday of the month beginning on February 6 th.
On March 15, 2008, Karl Kreutzer , a Life member and an Honorary President of our club died. There was a eulogy given by a young woman from the Phoenix Women’s Team that Karl had once coached and a eulogy given by Werner Fricker Jr from our club. Both were rather lengthy but these words that Werner said summed Karl up perfectly, “Karl was a Soccer Man and he was a Sportsman. He had a passion and deep love for the game of soccer. He was also a German Hungarian, not only by birth and by heritage, but by his passion and dedication to the United German Hungarians”.
Our Soccer Fest and Father’s Day Picnic which is a joint event held on Father’s Day has become an annual event. Many mixed ages of boys and girls, our own team players and other team players participate in 4 vs. 4 soccer tournament. It is a fun event where our youth and adult team members who participated get to know each other and the other players who participate. The food for the picnic is prepared by our kitchen staff and after the meal various games are played. It’s a great day for dad and his family and friends!
On June 15 th, 2008, the Werner Fricker Memorial , was unveiled in Carson California. US Soccer President, Sunil Gulati unveiled the bronze bust at the US National Team Training Center. The memorial is located at the northeast corner of the National Team Training Field at the Home Depot Center. In recognition of Werner’s guidance, perseverance and dedication in establishing the sport of soccer in the United States, former president of the US Soccer Federation Werner Fricker who passed away in 2001 at age 65, served as President of the US Soccer Federation from 1984 to 1990 during which time he led the successful bid to obtain the 1994 World Cup for the United States. Werner had served as Executive Vice President ten years prior to being elected President. He was and Honorary President of the United German Hungarians and served as chairman of our Board of Governors at the time of his death. Fricker was a star midfielder and captain for our team from 1954 to 1969, leading the team to the National Amateur Cup in 1965. He was a member of the 1964 US Olympic Team. He served on the executive committee of CONCACAF and was chairman of the its Finance Committee. He was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in Oneonta NY in 1992. He was also inducted into the Philadelphia Old Timers Soccer Hall of Fame, the United States Adult Soccer Association Hall of Fame and the CONCACAF Hall of Fame. “There has been no one in almost fifty years of our club history who has had more impact, who has contributed more in all aspects, and has dedicated his efforts both financially and through leadership for our well being as a club than Werner Fricker.” These phrases were written about Werner by his son only a few weeks before his death. An original copy of a resolution adopted by the National Council of the United States Soccer Federation honoring Werner Fricker is on display in the trophy room at our Club.
On October 3 rd 2008, a Schuhplattler Warm-Up was held by our First Place Winners of 2007 as they prepared for a Trip to Germany. As winners of the Gold Medal of the North America Gauverband Preisplattling Competition, they were once again invited to compete for the Bayerische Loewe as they had in 2003 when winning the silver medal. Arriving in Munich on October 15 th, they had a few hours tour of that area and then traveled to Vienna for a three day stay. Returning for the competition that took place at Heide-Volm in Planegg in the Munich area, they place sixth of 16 competing groups. They traveled to Ulm to visit the Donauschwaben Museum then on to the Garmish-Partenkirchen area where they again stayed for three days. All their traveling was done by rail and they were joined at various times during the trip by relatives and friends living in areas of Europe and even Australia.
As our former historian Rudy Rack, used to love to write, “We saw the handwriting on the wall”. In January 2009, President Bill Galgon informed the Board of Governors and all the Chairmen of Committees and Auxiliary Groups, that in order to curtail expenses, it was necessary that all members volunteer to aid in the many jobs necessary to insure our Club’s successful operation. He further stated that if members were unable to do this, they should try to support out club by attending all our events, including Sunday activities and representing our Club at various outside activities. He stated that we must stay positive as we have a huge overhead and not enough business. Almost immediately, our members accepted the responsibility of all club operations. Many members from adults to seniors, from youngsters to teens, took ownership of daily duties that were long completed by paid staff. This has worked to our advantage as a very resilient group developed a deep camaraderie as they worked together for the good of Our Club.
Our Cultural Group, founded in 1965 has been under the chairmanship of Emily Fricker, Antonia Kreutzer, Ute Hahn, Marlene Blank (Fricker) and Janet Malofiy. Each has led these children into adulthood and many of the original members are now the backbone of our organization. This group has always participated in a Christmas Play and Show. Over the years, this has become the Club Christmas Party . The event includes a Dinner, the Christmas Play or Show, the Nativity Scene, and a visit from Santa. The Play/Show is always a short story, usually with some sort of Christmas theme. The Nativity Scene has become a tradition with a narration, Mary, Joseph, the Babe, the Angels, the Shepherds, the Kings and some very, very unusual animals. It is always an afternoon of happy, Christmas spirit enjoyed by young and old alike.
2010 was here and our Centennial Celebration was now upon us. A Calendar of Events was put together and it kept us busy all year:
Ringing in the New Year at our Gala New Year’s Celebration
Schnitzel Night – First Wednesday of the Month
Valentine’s Day Party - February 12
2010 Youth Soccer Banquet – March 6
Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show – March 21
7th Mid-Atlantic Jugend Einzelplatteln Exhibition – March 27
Young Adult Einzelplatteln Exhibition – March 27
Trachten Abend – March 27
Austrian Hueriger – April 11
First Annual GH Soccer Team Alumni Reunion – April 23
Mother’s Day Celebration – May 9
Women’s Auxiliary Spring Penny Party – May 12
8 th Anniversary of BVV at our club – June 19
Soccer Fest & Father’s Day Picnic – June 20
USASA Region I Soccer Cup Finals – June 27
German American Day at VE – June 27
German Hungarian Summer Soccer Camp -
USASA National Soccer Cup Finals – July 30 - August 1
National Landestreffen of the Danube Swabians – August 6 – August 8
Rocktoberfest – September 24
Steuben Observance Day Parade – September 25
132 Bavarian Oktoberfest – September 26 & 27
Traditional GH Kirchweihfest – November 7
Women’s Auxiliary Fall Penny Party – November 10
Founding Day – November 17
100 th Anniversary Gala Banquet – November 20
Club Christmas Party & Show – December 19
New Year’s Eve Celebration – December 31
All the events that have taken place thus far in 2010 have been successful, happy times. Our Executive Board, our Board of Governors, all our Auxiliary Groups, Women, Soccer and Cultural, as well as our Committee Chairmen and Committee Members have been busy throughout the year.
One of the largest events in recent years was the Landestreffen Der Donauschwaben USA Und Kanada 2010 , an annual national celebration dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the Danube Swabian Peoples. The Donauschwaben People as well as the German Hungarian People are the descendents of German ethnics who emigrated from the German lands to the Danubian Plains of Hungary in the late seventeen and eighteen hundreds. They were referred to as “German Hungarians” until after World War I, when their provinces were divided among Romania and Yugoslavia. Many adopted the name “Donauschwaben”, however the members of our club founded in 1910, still refer to themselves as “German Hungarians”.
It was through the efforts of President Andy Weyershaeuser (1980–1986) that our club became members of the National Verband der Donauschwaben. We have participated many times in the Verband’s National Soccer Tournament held each year over the Memorial Day Weekend. We won first place in 1990. Our club will be the host for this tournament in 2011. Since 2006, Marlene Fricker and Bill Galgon have been attending the annual Landestreffen in various states in the USA. In 2007, a group of our members and dancers attended the Landestreffen in Mansfield, Ohio. Marlene and Bill have been the driving force to interest our club members and dancers to participate in the various cultural aspects of this group. It was through Bill’s efforts that the group selected to have our club, the German Hungarians, host this event in 2010.
It was August 6, 7 and 8, and Joe Reiter served as Treffen Chairman. Our hall and our tents on the outside were filled to capacity. We had prepared for weeks and everything clicked! Friday was a welcoming time and featured the music of Heimatklaenge Lite. Saturday and Sunday featured two orchestras inside the clubhouse and two outside in the tents each day. Philadelphia Brass Band, Joe Weber Orchestra, Heimatklaenge, Toni Walter, The Adler, Bernie’s Orchestra, and die Schlauberger performed throughout the weekend. Dance Group performances were inside and outside and all groups (33) performed both days. An informative program listed all times and places for each and everyone was able to see their choice. A Cultural Exhibit with items from both the Trenton and Philadelphia Donauschwaben and our club became the focal point for many people finding each other. On Saturday, after a Kindergruppe Workshop, a Parade with Opening Ceremonies took place on our main soccer field. On Sunday, a Mass was celebrated by Father Hermann-Joseph Rettig of California. Father is an American of Donauschwaben ancestry, and praying in both German and English, he made this mass a memorable occasion. Our president stated, “You (the members) deserve to walk around with your heads held high and tell everyone who wants to hear, ‘I am a German Hungarian”.
In connection with our 100th anniversary celebration in August of 2010 we published a cookbook. “Mahlzeit” was produced by a committee under the direction of Marlene Fricker. This book is a collection of German Hungarian member’s favorite recipes.
In 2010 the United German Hungarians created and unveiled a New Club “Shield”. The official Shield represents the continuation of the Unity of German Hungarians through our traditional values and the organization’s confidence in moving surely into the future. The new Shield/Logo is worn proudly by all members, teams and groups of the club.
As always, our greatest strengths lie in our Soccer and Cultural Programs. We’ve reported throughout this history of the accomplishments of each group. Immigration had been the nourishment that fed our organization throughout much of its existence. Today, that nourishment is no longer here. When you read the history of our club, there have been difficult times when challenges were met. We have always been able to see the light that leads us to the next horizon. In 2009, we saw that light and aggressively moved toward our next 100 years.
Again we refer to the writings of historian Rudy Rack, who wrote in 1970:
“The United German Hungarians of Philadelphia and Vicinity has gone through many a battle. Although the scars are many, it remains unbowed, but quite a few of the old fighters are gone and those who are left are growing weary. It is imperative that our offspring show an interest in our organization and assume the duties of operating and improving it, if its traditions are to be maintained. We have achieved a great deal in the past, and we should be justly proud of it, and the future will undoubtedly be witness to the fact that we have achieved much more.”
The “offspring” did show an interest and did assume the duties of operating and improving it and we are maintaining our traditions and we have achieved much more.
Now once again quite a few of the old fighters are gone and those who are left are growing weary, but we are not worried for our “offspring” have assumed the interest and the duties of our Club, and following them, their “offspring” have begun to assume the interest and the duties of our Club…. together and united,
WE ARE: Continuing A Proud Tradition!
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