The Bavarian Club

Gebirgstracht Erhaltungs Verein Chiemgau, Windsor

Chiemgau WindsorOur history begins with a different name, different attire and much different dances. In August 1998 the Tanz und Plattler group was created by some members who “grew out” of the youth group they were in. For most of them it was a continuation of what they had been accustomed to in the youth group but with different dirndls and lederhosen. We had fun together, made up many dances and traveled to different places. It wasn’t until 2001 that our whole concept of dancing had changed. We found an organization called “Gauverband Nordamerika” and they advertised “Gaufest 2001 a Gaufest Odyssey”. That sounded like a party. We contacted Gemutlichen Enzianer bought our fest tickets rented a bus and we were ready to party. After looking over the fest package that came in the mail we were reading words that we had never seen before, and carnations for what?

The members of Gemutlichen Enzianer were very patient with our silly questions and when we finally arrived to the Nevele Resort our jaws dropped!! We were in awe of what we were seeing!! We started talking to people learning more about the Gauverband, the people, dancing and Tracht. So Thursday night we are scheduled to perform and this is inside information that follows… only a select few people knows what really happened that Thursday night. If I remember the details correctly his name was Brian he came up to our Vorplattler and asked what dance we would be doing “the Watschenplattler” responded Ryan. I happened to be standing there and just about had to catch Brian’s eyeballs as they were popping out of his head. “You are going to do what???” “No, I am sorry guys you cannot do that dance here, it is a forbidden dance.. And we have people here from Bavaria, you would be insulting them” Well that was the first we had heard of that, plan “B” I guess. The only problem.. The only other plattler we all knew really well we called “the new one” so we went back over to Brian after deciding on “the new one” and told him we had a different dance but we don’t know the name. He said ok just do it we will announce the name after you perform it. So our guys went out and did a great job dancing the “Birkenstoana Gloeckerl” (as we found out AFTER performing). Then we watched the group dance after us and were just about to go for another beer when they announced that the next group was from the Chiemgau, we noticed that they looked different so we stuck around to watch them perform. At the end of their performance we all looked at each other and said “we can do that” those 4 words changed our lives. We took that 10hour trip to Gaufest for the party and left with a new dream. On the long ride home we became GTEV Chiemgau Windsor and on November 20 2001 we became an official non-profit organization.

In 2002 we obtained a grant from the Ontario Trillium foundation to help purchase our new Tracht which arrived early that year. And began practicing our dances regularly, the same group of us that said “we can do that’ were looking at each other saying “how are we going to do this??” Our Vorplattler and I took a much needed trip right to the source …the Chiemgau to find out what we needed to do differently. Luckily we became friends with the Vorplattler of GTEV D’Griabinga Hohenaschau (Claus Reiter) and the 2.Vorplattler of the Chiemgau-Alpenverband (Klaus Loehmann) It took a few more trips back there though to really be trained on the finer details of the Chiemgauer style of dance, but those were trips we were more than willing to make. So our dancing was getting better but somehow our Tracht just wasn’t quite perfect, again we go to the source, Hilde Dufter–Trachtenwartin of the Chiemgau-Alpenverband (she tells them how to do it.. Who better to ask) So at the 2003 Gaufest our whole group ended up in Hilde and Otto Dufter’s hotel room as she pulled our shawls tight, put safety pins here and there and then began teaching us how to do a proper “Gretlfrisur ” I felt like a little girl being dressed by mom. She was very patient with us, showing us every detail about our Tracht and even sending us pieces that we needed to complete the proper Tracht when she returned home. It was a great moment for all of us, to be able to learn from the masters of the trade. I think that they were proud of us too!! Otto told us that we should come to Unterwoessen and learn the dance of his home town, and we took him up on it too!

In 2003 our Vorplattler and I attended Gauball of the Chiemgau-Alpenverband and the next day went for coffee and cake at the Dufters, we had Klaus Loemann there to help with translations. It was one of the greatest moments of my life–to experience their passion and dedication to the Trachten community first hand was an experience that I will never forget! OK so we have the history of our Tracht, and dancing now comes tradition.

The members of GTEV Edelweiss Detroit have shown us the real meaning of friendship, we have learned so much about Bavarian traditions, song and music through them. Without their constant support, love and guidance our Verein just would not have a history page at all!