I am privileged to stand at the podium tonight at our 104th Anniversary for the last time as President of the United German Hungarians. Three thoughts I briefly wish to reflect upon regarding what drives a social organization and the pride that I feel as one of the current leaders: Community, Responsibility, Opportunity.
Community; we are a community. I speak of the United German Hungarian Community. First, the group that are members, part of the grand picture that says, “This is my club.” Second, the group I know intimately. The members that we see on a weekly and sometime daily basis. The people that stir the drink, pick up the slack or just do what needs to be done. My friends.
We are part of a larger community by being members of the Steuben Day Observance Association, the Verband Der Donauschwaben, the German-American Heritage Museum, Gauverband Nordamerika, local soccer leagues and the United States Adult Soccer Association. The bigger community. I am proud to say that we are not just members of these organizations. We are active participants and serve as officers in many of these associations both locally and nationally.
Responsibility; as parents to educate in life. We have stressed the importance of educating them in heritage. Everyone here tonight understands club life and the responsibility that goes with it. Some of us embrace club life to its fullest, serving on a committee, being an officer. Full, active conscious participation. Value in numbers. The ultimate responsibility is to be there when needed. Every successful organization has those people.
Opportunity; The club or whatever it is that you call yourselves; Männerchor, Schuhplattler verein, soccer team, allows you the opportunity to be a part of a community, to make friends and to engage in social activities. Being involved gives you an opportunity to take your group to the next level. We have had great leaders here that have elevated us through their vision to amazing levels.
Your opportunity is or can be as big or great as you are willing to make it. I am proud and I know that all of you are proud of your respective organizations. We all have much to be proud of.
Today I am especially proud because today we are making history. We start the parameters to a new conversation. On April 1 Janet Malofiy will be our new president. She is more than qualified, she has everyone’s support and she is ready for the job. (Believe me there was a time I thought this day would never come).
I mentioned making history. Henry Ford once said history is bunk! This does not mean history is unimportant. It does mean that you should not be trapped by it. It is tradition, but we must live in the present. The only history we need to concern ourselves with is the history we make today. Today we anoint a new leader of the United German Hungarians. Janet Malofiy.
Throughout my time as President I have been continually reminded that we have so many young people and how lucky we are. I consider those people over there, the ones ready to perform for you this evening, not our youth but rather I consider them our present and the ones that will make history tomorrow. Several of them have accepted titles within the organization and they are now the workers behind the scenes. As parents and grandparents we are extremely proud. I cannot begin to thank all of the people who have supported me and this organization these past ten years and the respect I have been shown by all of you.
Bill Galgon, President