German-Hungarians: UNITED as one Club, by Michael Fricker

I recently had a conversation with a friend and fellow German-American from our local community and he complimented our club on our club culture, our multiple generations and our activities all together which point towards a hopefully bright future for us.

I accepted that compliment with humility stating that while we are lucky to have all that it’s something we have to work on and work at to keep things going. We are not always perfect at it, but it does seem to be something always on our mind however we succeed at it or not.

Today I was reminded of something Emily Fricker once said:

“You know, the Women’s Auxiliary is a committee of the club. In other organizations women are members of their own group. Our U.G.H. women can do anything.”

Don’t misunderstand that which my predecessor stated. Since 1963 our club exists and operates under what our history calls, “a new modern constitution.” While the catalyst of that document was the fundraising and construction of a new building, the results of it changed the culture of a club for generations. The use of standing committees alongside auxiliary groups brought together the various groups or sections of the past under one banner, and system of club governance. No longer was there a “mother club,” with various sections with their own president or bank account. Article 7 on sections in the original constitution includes a line pertinent to this discussion. “Each section shall be self sustaining and self directing as stated in the preamble.” The new constitution removes this idea altogether.  After 1963, the German Hungarians truly lived up to being that which had already been in their name; United.

What my grandmother stated about our Women’s Auxiliary can also be stated about our Children’s Cultural Group, our Schuhplattler group, any of our dance groups, our soccer program and any of the teams we may decide to run. When you read her words it may seem like the first part is in opposition to the second. For our club, being a dedicated part of the whole is not only freeing, but it has allowed continuity to flourish all together as one. There is a beauty in that particular kind of order.

When I was much younger I often asked questions about our club to my mom, my dad, and my grandmother. I learned so much listening to their answers and finding more questions to ask. I remember asking my mom that question I think we all asked at some point or another as kids at the club. “Who owns the club?” I don’t remember exactly what she said but I remember her as well as other adults at the club, my aunts, uncles, the parents of my friends always saying some form of the answer: We all do.

In a similar fashion I asked my dad once about the job of the president of our club. What does the person who is the president do? This answer I remember so vividly. My dad put his arms out in a semi-circle saying with confidence as he brought his hands to a point interlocking his fingers:

“The job is to hold the people together.”

For holding us all together since 1963, I thank our past and current president(s):

Frank Kirsch

Werner Fricker

Karl Kreutzer

Andrew Weyershaeuser

John Blank

John M. Blank

Werner Fricker Jr.

William Galgon

Janet Fricker Malofiy

Michael N. Fricker

The featured image comes from our official archives. Pictured is Theresa Kirsch making a presentation to the president Frank Kirsch in 1965 at the groundbreaking of our building in Neshaminy Falls.

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