While the above date is not exactly 14th September, it was nevertheless more convenient for several involved in this annual celebration in Victoria, for it to be held on the evening of Tuesday, 24th September. 19 in all gathered at the Swiss Club at 89 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for a most pleasant evening dinner.
It was our pleasure to welcome the Honorary Consul for Victoria, Michael Pearce SC and his partner, Shaorong Baggio, the recently appointed DAAD Lecturer at Monash University, Imke Schmidt, as well as the DAAD Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Tina Stubenrauch. Indeed, Tina has become a regular participant for this event since arriving in Melbourne from Germany over three years ago.
The larger-than-usual number this year necessitated the use of two adjacent tables as shown in the accompanying pictures. Some opted for a typically Swiss Fondue although other dishes which may have had Swiss names could well have been Southern German with spätzle a common addition to the plate. Conversation seemed to range from politics, with the German Federal election and the future of Chancellor Angela Merkel delicately poised at the time, through religion, education, the state of Australian university funding, etc., to sport with the AFL Grand Final only a few days away and an exciting Ashes Cricket tour due to commence a few weeks into the future. Other discussions were concerned with the forthcoming Humboldt Colloquium and plans for this seemed, for those involved, to be falling into place.
There was general agreement at the end of the evening that the venue, while not German, was most acceptable. The young waitress who attended to most of our requests was a recently arrived German. We were not the only group in the Club on the evening but it was pleasantly quiet, allowing uninterrupted discussion. As usual there were no formalities other than the toast to Alexander von Humboldt.