Foundation of the Club
"Zur Bewahrung der deutschen Sprache und Kultur"
The origins of Germania Club Newcastle can be traced back to Harry Engelbauer, who had come to Australia as a young seaman in 1912 and later married an Australian wife. It was not until the 1950s that Harry first met German-speaking immigrants who had come to Australia from Europe after World War II. Around 1954, Mr Engelbauer then started to organise dances for migrants who lived in and around Newcastle.
At a dance evening themed “Deutscher Abend” on 26th January 1957, Mr Engelbauer approached the table of Bernhard Peper, Günter Kiso, and their wives with the idea of forming a German group for regular dances. After going from table to table, the group quickly had a list of about a dozen names together. All those present resolved to establish a German Club and verbally nominated several individuals to form a Committee to achieve that end.
Not long after this memorable night, seven of the nominees met at the residence of Günter Kiso in Cooks Hill on 3rd February 1957 and agreed on the following Committee positions:
President: Harry Engelbauer
1st Secretary: Anne Lacko (not present)
2nd Secretary: Käthe Krause (not present)
1st Treasurer: Bernhard Peper
2nd Treasurer: Günter Kiso
Members: Rudi Pietsch, Willi Steidle, Anton Loehr, Erwin Fehlberg
The newly formed committee decided on the name “Harmony Club”. The motion was moved by Günter Kiso, seconded by Erwin Fehlberg, and voted 4:3 in favour. Yet, an amendment was moved by Rudi Pietsch to conduct a name-giving competition at the next social function. On Saturday, 9th March 1957 the majority of the members present at the General Meeting then voted for the name “Germania Club”.