Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting BOREHAMWOOD to 80360, or email us
Elstree and Borehamwood Rotary Club visits Offenburg in Germany
Barbara Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, Nick Male, Sasha Capocci, Andrew Grady, Ruth Halkon, Clive Butchins, Mayor Schreiner, Cynthia Barker, Charles Kelly, Michael Capocci, Gill Fowler, Dino Capocci, Elaine Butchins on the steps of the Rathaus
The wine of friendship flowed freely as a Rotary Club formed links with its opposite number in Borehamwood’s twin town of Offenburg.
Borehamwood Times reporter Ruth Halkon accompanied the delegation of thirteen, which included six members of Elstree and Borehamwood Rotary Club, two of their partners and Rotarian Sasha Capocci’s blind son Michael.
Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Clive Butchins and his wife Elaine took a detour from their holiday in Nimes to join the group on an unofficial visit.
Vice chairman Andrew Grady of the Borehamwood and Elstree Twin Town Association, (BETTA) which established the link with the town in south-west Germany 30 years ago, acted as a guide and facilitator.
The group spent three sunny days making contacts with the picturesque town’s movers and shakers and sampling the delights of the wine-producing region.
On Friday, the Rotarians broke traditional German sweet bread and drank local wine with the Mayor of Offenburg Edith Schreiner in the Rathaus (town hall).
The mayor, who is also a Rotarian, welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction to the prosperous town of 58,000 residents.
She said: “We are very happy to welcome the delegation from Borehamwood and hope our meeting will make the relationship between the two towns even more intense.”
The group later visited the Krone Brewery, where they met Offenburg Rotary Club president Karl-Heinz Gormanns.
He said: “For me friendship and fellowship are the most important aspects of the Rotary Club – we have 69 members here and 69 friends.
“Now we have new friends in the Rotary Club of Borehamwood.”
On Saturday morning, the group were given a guided tour of the town by American Renée Hauser, which took in the significant buildings of the town, most of which were built after 1689, when it was sacked by the French.
The group later visited a glass factory, making their own vases, before heading out to Schloss Staufenberg, a castle owned by the Duke of Baden Baden.
In the mansion on the summit of a vineyard-cloaked hill, the group was treated to a meal hosted by Offenburg’s Rotary Club and learned more about the region’s wine.
Herr Gormanns and Borehamwood Rotary Club President Cynthia Barker exchanged gifts and promised to continue the friendship established by the two groups.
The final day took in a visit of the picturesque medieval town of Gengenbach, led by Klaus Teufel of Offenburg’s twin town association Brücke and his wife Beata.
Speaking as she ate ice cream in the Black Forest town’s sunlit square, Ms Barker said:
"Everything was far beyond our expectations.
“I have been overwhelmed by the hospitality we have been shown by everyone, and the support, friendship and fellowship.
“When I became Rotary Club President I had the objective of building links with Rotary Clubs abroad, I can tick that box off now.
“I’d like to thank Andrew Grady and BETTA for their help and everyone else who made this wonderful trip possible.”
Visit the Borehamwood Times later in the week for Ruth Halkon’s diary of the trip.
Comments are closed on this article.