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Vergelt's Gott Willi Banzhaf!

A Message from I.Gauvorstand Tom Vogt

At this hectic time of year, I would like to pause and wish all the members of the Gauverband Nordamerika and their families, a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2009.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Wilhelm Banzhaf for his service to the Gau as our first, and to this point only, Gaupressewart and editor/publisher of the Gauzeitung. "Willi" proposed the idea of a North American Trachtenzeitung, similar to the "Heimat und Trachtenbote" published in Germany, to the Gauverband at the Delegates Meeting in Toledo, Ohio in 1984. A pilot issue was put together and distributed in October 1985. Enthusiasm for this new communication medium was encouraging, and the delegates at our biennial meeting in Buffalo, New York in 1986 approved the idea of such a newspaper. The first issue of the Gauzeitung was published and sent to the member Vereine in September of that same year. Willi has continued to edit, photograph for, and publish this newspaper for over 22 years and has decided that the time for him to retire has come.

I am sure you will all join me in wishing Willi all the best at this festive time of year, and moving forward into retirement, which he hopefully will be able to enjoy for many years to come. Many thanks, Willi, for a job well done! I look forward to seeing your smiling face at future Gau events… without the camera lens between us! 

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