"Molidorfer Kirchweih" Festival 1968 in Windsor, Ontario Canada
For the first time after a thirty year long interruption
The traditional "Molidorfer Kirchweih" festival was celebrated on the 9th of November 1968 in the German St. Michael's church, 2153 Parkwood Ave. Windsor, Ontario for the first time after a three decade long hiatus.
The Molidorf community, who had paid a high toll in blood on the various battlefields of World War II and in the extermination camp "Molidorf," and whose hometown was destroyed but for a single building, according to a film report by Joe Leblang, has not considered giving up everything that was dear to them and greatly cherished. Through the wickedness of the Communists, they had been ripped from their hometown community as the survivors fled to other countries in order to save their lives.
By this stroke of fate these people have learned that material possessions can be lost overnight, but spiritual treasures and inheritance such as the customs and traditions of their forefathers, continue on in them.
The Christian faith, through which all beauty and good was occasioned by their fathers, which gave them strength, courage and a feeling of belonging, moved them also on this occasion as the Molidorf Kirchweih Committee decided to celebrate the Kirchweih again as it had been in their former hometown.
The festival began with a film screening, followed by a memorial service, dinner, procession of the Kirchweih couples, song performance by the youth choir, welcoming speech, auctioning of the "StraussÓ, and was completed with a dance for all the compatriots and guests. The memorial service was held by Monsignor Moullion in the German language. The "Kirchweih pairs" were given a blessing upon their solemn procession into the church.
In his homily, Monsignor Moullion encouraged the Molidorf community to deepen their faith even more and with joy he declared that the church in Molidorf was not only the geographical center, but through it the deep bonds of the community to their Christian tradition, were maintained and continued even to this day.
The sermon by Monsignor Moullion culminated with a quote from Goethe, the prince of German poets: "You must earn your inheritance from your forbearers, in order to be worthy to own it."
Further the Molidorf community and guests were reminded by Monsignor Moullion to show gratitude to the Lord that we have been born again, and can once again freely make our way in life.
After the memorial service the "Kirchweih couples" exited the church in a procession and were received by the Molidorf Brass Band which accompanied them to the banquet hall.
The Swabian youth choir sang two songs, one of which was the "Swabian Song" under the direction of Franz Erndt.
This was followed by the opening address by Nikolaus Geml, who welcomed as guests of honour: Monsignor Moullion, Father Weiler of the University of Windsor, and Father Doll along with the Molidorf compatriots and Kirchweih guests. Mr. Geml thanked Monsignor Moullion for the memorial service, his supporting interest and his active participation with a hearty traditional "Molidorfer Vergelts-Gott".
In his address he explained the purpose of the "Kirchweih" celebration and the history of how it was celebrated in their former homeland. He also gave a historical overview of the settlement, development and expulsion of the Danube Swabians. In closing he reminded those assembled that "we do not wish to exercise judgements about what has happened in the past, but rather let us thank God that we have once again solid ground under our feet, and that we have managed to make a home and achieve a level of prosperity, so that we can offer our children a life and future where they can have a feeling of belonging.
After an excellent Swabian dinner, prepared by Mrs. Steiner and served under the direction of Mrs. Anna Leblang, the Molidorf Brass Band performed under the direction of Max Aron. The procession of the "Kirchweih couples" solemnly marched into the hall to begin the auction of the "Kirchweih Strauss". The first accounts officer, Nick Lafleur, conducted the auction. The successful bid for "Kirchweih Strauss" was $92.oo tendered by Nick Lafleur himself, which he then offered to his "Kirchweih" girl Anita Geml, who had decorated his "Kirchweih" hat for him.
It must be emphasized that the youth participated with enthusiasm on this day and celebrated the festival of their ancestors with pride. Joseph Mayer has earned special recognition for his teaching and leadership of the Kirchweih pairs.
After the auction of the "Kirchweih Strauss", the Kirchweih pairs conducted the "Strauss" dance, and were soon joined by their compatriots and Kirchweih guests.
This Kirchweih festival at the same time was a reunion for the compatriots from the USA and Canada. Not forgotten were the compatriots across the Atlantic Ocean as letters from Germany confirmed their interest, even if participation was only possible in thought.
The "Molidorfer Kirchweih" Festival was crowned with success and allowed those countrymen and guests present, 420 in number, to once again experience a bit of "Molidorf" in their hearts.