Our organization has a reputation and a culture all to its own. We strive to do great things and to look good all the while we do them. We enjoy suiting up in our dinner jackets and donning our gowns. We live for the smiles on the polished faces of our friends and the atmosphere when the lights are dimmed and the hall fills with music. We have an affinity for class and an almost addictive need to celebrate.
On Saturday, March 29, we the United German-Hungarians of Philadelphia and Vicinity celebrated our 104th Anniversary with a Gala Banquet. From the moment the doors opened, this event was clear in our eyes as an absolute triumph of our German-Hungarian culture!
Cocktail hour began at 6:00pm with Hors d’oeuvres both on a buffet as well as butlered by a fine wait staff. The beauty of the cocktail hour is that it allows the attendance to build a foundation for the social nature of the event. It is always a pleasure to see old faces of members who may have recently become a tad lax in their participation in club-life. Let it be known to those of you in this group, WE WANT TO SEE YOU ALL MORE OFTEN!
Werner Fricker Jr. served as master of ceremonies for this fine evening. At 7:00pm he greeted the attendance. After the national anthems, a moment of silence for our deceased members and friends, Fricker introduced Allysa Reiter who would give the Invocation. Miss Reiter is a life-long member of our Cultural Group, Schuhplattler Group and has participated on our Preisplattler teams. She gave a very well-rounded and pertinent prayer speaking about our club, culture and faith.
Mr. Fricker then made a toast, of which the following lines this writer found most inspiring, “To the United German Hungarians,
may we continue our unity as friends through traditional values and with confidence as an organization moving surely into the future.”
The head table was then introduced. Seated there were: President Bill Galgon and Marlene Fricker, General Secretary Janet Fricker Malofiy and Sasha Malofiy, Vice President Andy Weyershaeuser and Heidi , Treasurer Michael Wagner and Betty, Chairman of the Board of Governors Steve Paul and Christina, and not to forget Lisa Fricker.
The Heimatklänge opened the dance floor then with some lively music. As dinner was served the master of ceremonies introduced the Board of Governors and Chairman in attendance. He took note to announce the special guests from our fellow clubs who had joined us for the evening.
As this Banquet was the last as President for Bill Galgon, a few special presentations took place. Mr. Fricker made a few remarks about our President who has not only been the 25th to hold the office but has served the most terms, five in total. “He never sought the presidency. At a time when no one else wanted to step up he simply realized what he had to do. He took on the responsibility and accepted the challenges that go with that responsibility.” Fricker then introduced the Chairman of the Board Steve Paul who presented Mr. Galgon with a certificate bestowing on him the title of “Honorary President.” Janet Malofiy was then brought up to speak and she presented Mr. Galgon with a gift for his dedicated service from the United German-Hungarians. After accepting these presentations Galgon addressed the attendance. His speech was inspiring, and forward thinking. It is printed on this page at the left.
After the end of the formal program came dance entertainment from the German-Hungarian Dancers who performed to Opus One, a western medley and Dra di Rum. They did a wonderful job. Susi Hartmann, Cultural Group Chairman made a short speech as a thank you to “Our Billy Galgon.”
Let us note to you that the Gala Anniversary Banquet, as it is our club’s tradition, is the most social and refined event that we hold. Held annually in March, we use this banquet not only to celebrate our age in years, but to honor those deserving, to fuel our passions for further success and to display our very fine-tuned culture in a social setting amongst one another.
Every aspect of the Gala Anniversary Banquet, the black tie dress, the social rapport, the speeches from our leaders, the music and dancing are all triumphs of our culture!
Michael N. Fricker