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d then ow an ane, n L s r e Flind

Foundation Day Celebration T To all members and readers, we wish you… Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr! • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année • Auguri di buon Natale e felice Anno Nuovo • Bella Festas daz Nadal ed in Ventiravel Onn Nov • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

he recent discovery of an original print of the 1st ‘Edelweiss’ Newsletter has finally given us an exact foundation date for the Swiss Club of Victoria: 1 February 1899. It is an opportunity to make this a yearly event we can commemorate together, so let’s start in 2014! You are invited to the 115th Anniversary Celebration of the Swiss Club of Victoria, on

SATURDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2014, 7:00pm Put on your Sunday Best and enjoy a dinner party, Swiss Club style, among friends. Welcome drink, celebratory 3-course dinner, entertainment by the ‘Flirting Mazurkas’ and more! Tickets: members $60, non-members $75, drinks at bar prices. For bookings please see the coupon on page 7. BOOK EARLY AS SEATS ARE LIMITED!

89 Flinder s Lane • Melbourne 3000 • Victoria • Australia • www.s wissclubvic





SUNDAY 6 APRIL 2014 11am to 5pm


QUEENSBRIDGE SQUARE SOUTHBANK MELBOURNE Visit www. swissfestival australia. com

Can you help on the day of the festival as a volunteer? If yes, please get in contact with Vreni Welsh

Interested in participating, either running a stall or performing? Please contact Rolf Huber

SWISS CLUB OF VICTORIA Founded in 1899 89 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000 T: 1300 893 968, F: (03) 9650 3104 E: Club Opening Hours Lunch: Mo - Fri from 12noon Dinner: Tue - Sat from 6pm Club Nights: Wed & Thurs Bookings T: (03) 9650 1196 Swiss Club Catering For all Functions contact Chef & Catering Manager Roger Moullet T: (03) 9650 1196, F: (03) 9650 3104 M: 0409 040 249 E: The Second Floor Function Bookings CBD Function Room with a difference! Info and/or bookings T: 1300 893 968 E:

COMMITTEE Sigrid de Castella President M: 0416 088 000 E: Barbara Kündig Immediate Past President / Secretary M: 0402 018 363 E: Urs Derrick Wildi Treasurer M: 0403 040 930 E:

Impressum ‘Edelweiss’ appears quarterly in March, June, September and December. Circulation 500. For all enquiries contact: Editor: Roland Isler T: (03) 9524 6335 (B) M: 0412 935 565 E: 67 St Georges Crescent Heatherton Vic 3202

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Vreni Welsh Membership M: 0423 513 843 E: Rolf Huber General Member M: 0425 805 854 E: Antony Anderson Building Services Manager M: 0416 069 666 E: Damian Schaller Marketing Manager M: 0410 461 364 E:

SWISS CLUB SUB-GROUPS Swiss Folk Dance Group Alpenrose President: Sylvia Hochuli T: (03) 9531 6575 E: Swiss Companion Singers Convenor: Heidy Giger T: (03) 9889 9321 E: Ladies Luncheons Convenor: Heidy Giger For bookings T: (03) 9650 1196 For information: T: (03) 9889 9321 E: SwissKids Convenor: Esther Blaser-Tokarev T: (03) 8521 3739 M: 0424 220 523 E: The Swiss Diners Club Convenor: Damian Schaller M: 0410 461 364 E: Laughter Yoga Helvetia Convenor: Marianne Bishop M: 0448 697 258 E: Swiss Festival Chairman: Rolf Huber T/F (H): (03) 9807 0282 M (B): 0425 805 854 E: Unless otherwise stated, postal address for all is: 89 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000

SWISS COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS Swiss Society of Victoria (Benevolent Society) President: Franz Schnellmann T: (03) 9449 2245, M: 0412 203 893 E: Trachtengruppe Schwyzergruess Australian/Swiss Cultural Society President: Sylvia Hochuli T: (03) 9531 6575 E: Groupe Romand du Victoria President: Rémy Favre 1 Hughes Street, Malvern East Vic 3145 T: (03) 9571 2835, M: 0412 135 095 E: Swiss Yodel Choir Matterhorn President: Chris Hostettler 19 Lockwood Road Belgrave Heights Vic 3160 T: (03) 9754 7390, M: 0428 427 434 E: SwissCham Australia General Manager: Marcel Svatos T: (02) 9262 1511, F: (02) 9290 1928 E: Further details see: Swiss-Australian Academic Network (SAAN) E: Further details see: Organisation of the Swiss Abroad Council Member: Roland Isler Further details see: under Editor & Embassy of Switzerland T: (02) 6162 8400, F: (02) 6273 3428 E: Consulate General of Switzerland T: (02) 8383 4000, F: (02) 9369 1334 E: Consulate of Switzerland T: (03) 9824 7527, M: 0413 042 728 E: Further details of official representations see:


President’s Message Dear members and friends of the Swiss Club, Firstly I would like to thank you for all your warm wishes in welcoming me as your new President. I would like to thank Barbara Kündig for leading the Club so capably for the last 4½ years. Nothing can really be achieved in any Presidency without the assistance of a strong and very dedicated Committee. So I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Derrick Wildi, Rolf Huber, Antony Anderson, Damian Schaller and our newest member, Vreni Welsh for all their hard work and commitment. When I look back over the past year we have had some fantastic events: The Swiss Festival, Swiss Tennis, Billiards and Jass Championships, the 40th Anniversary Dinner Dance and our Swiss National Day celebrations. But it’s the regular events that happen each week or month that hold our Club together and keeps the Swiss traditions alive for all to enjoy. So I’d like to thank all of the Sub-Groups for their contributions which make such a difference. In June we held a Special Event where a number of Members helped us to generate a list of exciting ideas and new initiatives for the Club. It is my hope that over the coming years, with the help of the Committee and Volunteers, we can make many of them happen. The Club has already laid a strong foundation, and with your help hopefully we can build on it and offer some new exciting events and additions. If you’d like to get involved, please let us know. Our Committee is quite small and as they say:“many hands make light work”. So if you have any time to spare and would like to help, please contact myself or one of the Committee members. We’d love to work with you!

We already have some new events planned. You won’t want to miss the very special 115th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, 1st February which marks the ‘birthday’ of the Swiss Club of Victoria. And on Friday, 21st March we are presenting our ‘new look’ Annual General Meeting – a more condensed meeting for Members upstairs with dinner celebrations afterwards in the Restaurant which non-Members can also enjoy. The Restaurant, which is so integral to our Club, will close after dinner on 21st December for the Christmas/New Year period. Roger, Renee and their team will reopen for lunch again from Monday, 6th January and dinner from Tuesday, 7th. I’d like to thank them for their hard work and dedication to making the Club such a welcoming meeting place for our Members and their guests. I’m also looking forward to seeing what fabulous specials and new wines they offer in 2014! Christmas is almost here but there’s still some time in December to get involved in some Swiss-themed festivities. The SwissKids Samichlaus is on 7th December, where we hope for a visit from Samichlaus and his companion Schmutzli. Or you could enjoy some great Swiss music on 12th December with Kapelle Grüezi Mitenand performing in the Restaurant (bookings essential). And don’t forget that if you’re looking for a function space for your business or event, there’s nothing as Swiss as hosting it on our Second Floor. Whatever you choose to do, we do hope that you and your families have a safe and joyous Festive Season. On behalf of the Committee and myself, we wish you a healthy and prosperous 2014, and we look forward, very much, to seeing you again at the Club. Sigrid de Castella - President

Be a part of your Club. Join the Committee.

supports Opera in Victoria. For upcoming opera events visit our website Try our Yarra Valley wines offering finesse and exceptional flavour: • Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 • Chardonnay 2013

Please find our wines and order form on our website or contact us by phone, fax or email

We also offer HENKELL TROCKEN, a non-vintage imported sparkling wine from Germany.


P.O. Box 2160 M.D.C., Fitzroy 3065, Victoria Phone (03) 9417 4144, Fax (03) 9419 8873

Swiss Club of Victoria

the Committee. It’s administration based and mainly involves taking minutes, handling general correspondence and working closely with the President. If you want to make a larger commitment to the Club then this role is waiting for you! In return you’ll receive free membership, meals at meetings and events, and our sincere gratitude. Please email Sigrid at Over the past few months, the Committee has been busy with the usual matters involving the general administration and running of the Club. However, the burden of administration, regulation and compliance issues really does leave us very little time to get onto the things that add more value to our Members. So once again, we are asking those of you who can to step up and help out if you have a few hours to spare. There are many areas you can contribute and you do not need to be a committee member to help us.

Vacant Roles: These need to be filled fast! To be able to implement some of the new events that were identified in our Member Workshop we need some volunteers to be Event Organisers. We are putting together a list of exciting new events for our Members but we need more people to help organise and run them. If you’re a social butterfly and have a few hours to help out, then email Sigrid at president@ Keeping our old Club building running takes quite a bit of maintenance and effort! Our Building Services Manager, Antony, urgently needs a Building Assistant to help him. The position mostly involves liaising with our tenants and tradespeople. If you have a couple of hours a week available and can help, please contact Antony at building@swissclubvic. Barbara Kündig has kindly offered to act at our Club Secretary for the next few months. However, we’d really like to free her up so she can work on other activities. The role of Secretary is a larger role which does require you to be a member of

New Event: French Conversation Sessions Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in the French conversation classes. We are currently in discussions with Rémy Favre of the Group Romand du Victoria, to jointly host these sessions at the Club. Beginners and those who are more experienced are both welcome. If you’re interested in joining us, then please email Sigrid at

Alarm Codes: Changing in December Over the Christmas/New Year period the Alarm Codes for the Club’s security system will be changed. Sub-Groups and individuals requiring after-hours access to the Club (in particular The Second Floor) will receive their own individual 4 digit access code. Please email Sigrid at president@swissclubvic. if you require a new code.

Planning your private or business function? The Second Floor is the perfect venue! Contact 1300 893 968 for information & bookings.

Newsletter Deadlines 2014 March Issue: Covering March/April/May Editorial Deadline: Monday, 3 February Mailing: Wednesday, 19 February June Issue: Covering June/July/August Editorial Deadline: Monday, 5 May Mailing: Wednesday, 21 May September Issue: Covering Sept/Oct/ Nov Editorial Deadline: Monday, 4 August Mailing: Wednesday, 20 August December Issue: Covering Dec /Jan/Feb 2015 Editorial Deadline: Monday, 3 November Mailing: Wednesday, 19 November

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Hans Muhl

Welcome to our new members We welcome Melinda Schaller, Martin Hörnlimann, Aaron Hörnlimann, Alexandra Veuthey, Kiyong Tak, Peter Grapsas, Maris Giessler, Benny Hürlimann and Gisela Landmann. We are looking forward to your participation in our club.

Congratulations Janette and Paul Eisenegger welcomed a new grandson: Alex Robert. Ueli and Margrit Schuepbach welcomed a new grandson: Fletcher.

Happy birthday to the following members who were celebrating their milestone birthdays recently: Alice Callinan, Robert Moran, Ernst Keller and Dorothy Baenziger could commemorate their 80th, Maimu Fiechter, Elisa Bernhard, Agnes Eliane Da Pos and Otto Sedelies commemorated their 85th, while Yvonne Erb celebrated her 90th. We congratulate you and wish you good health in many years to come!

Get well Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Sue & Franz Schnellmann, Janette Eisenegger, Eleanor Schmidig, Ruth Lambrides and Ros de Castella.

The last farewell We are saddened by the passing of Ruth Tschanz, Hans Muhl and Kurt Breuss. Our sincere condolences go to their families. Dear members, please tell the committee or the editor if your partner, your friends or fellow members have a reason to celebrate, are unwell or have left for a better place.

Kurt Breuss Former club member Kurt Breuss passed away on 20 September at the age of 80 years. Kurt was a member of the Yodelklub Edelwyss and of the Kapelle Echo from Switzerland, and he loved to play the Alphorn. Our condolences go to Helga and family.


Hans Jakob Muhl passed away peacefully on 25 October at the Aged Care Centre of the ‘Kantonspital Schaffhausen’, after suffering from an infection in his knee. His daughter Stephanie was by his side to comfort him. Hans was born on 22 November, 1922, and grew up in Stein am Rhein. Later he lived in Schaffhausen with his wife and four children. In 1961 the whole family migrated to Australia where they planned to stay for five years, however, as it happened to many immigrants, Melbourne became their home for almost forty years, before Hans and his wife Lisa decided to spend their twilight years back in Schaffhausen. Hans lived life to the fullest, being a founding member of an aviation sports club starting out in Frauenfeld, on land that was used by the Swiss Army. As this proved not a suitable venue, the club moved on and the ‘Motorfluggruppe Lommis’ and ‘Segelfluggruppe Amlikon’ were founded. Hans still keenly attended their open days, the last being the fifty year anniversary celebration in Lommis earlier this year. Hans also loved travelling and some of his achievements – just to mention a few – included walking from the most northern to the most southern part of Switzerland, climbing the Matterhorn, a journey around Australia in a campervan, of which he yearned for a long time. Last year, he still came for his regular three months’ visit to Australia to see his family, friends and - not to forget - to visit the Swiss Club to pursue his favourite pastime ‘sport’ of playing Jass with like-minded friends. Hans had already booked his ticket to for his next holiday trip to Melbourne, as he was always planning for the next adventure. Hans has been survived by his four children John, Stephanie, Roger and Claudia; eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. We hope that his passing will be another of his adventures and express our sincere condolence to all of his children and their families in Australia and Switzerland. We certainly will miss his yearly ‘pilgrimage’ to the Swiss Club in Melbourne. Swiss Club Members, Jass Friends and Acquaintances

Want a taste of Switzerland? Visit the Swiss Club Restaurant

Swiss Club of Victoria

Kaffeeklatsch Sunday, 8 September

Ladies in the Swiss National costumes, tables c decorated with beautiful spring flowers, welcomed our Seniors to the Swiss Club for cakes and coffee. It was sad, that so many, who booked were not attending for reasons unknown to us. For us, it was unfortunate, as we have to order the cakes in advance. Perhaps, we have a bigger turn up next year. All the guests, who were there, enjoyed themselves. Conversations in the Swiss dialects, supported by lots of laughter, were heard throughout the Club. On behalf of the group, I would like to say thank-you to the Swiss Club and Roger Moullet for letting us use the premises. To our supportive members, and the Swiss Society, thank you for your generosity. On behalf of the Trachtengruppe, I wish you all a happy Festive Season, most of all good health for 2014. Sylvia Hochuli

Yes, I/we would like to attend the

Foundation Day Celebration On Saturday, 1 February 2014. 7:00pm Name(s):


Telephone: Membership No.: No. of members @ $60: No. of non-members @ $75: Cheque enclosed for total $: Send this coupon together with your cheque, payable to the Swiss Club of Victoria, to Rita Schw채rzler-Abbt, 18 Hertford Crescent, Wheelers Hill Vic 3150 EFT payment: Swiss Club Vic ANZ BSB 013 375 A/C 353682406 Please put your last name and 1Feb under EFT Reference. RSVP by Monday, 27 January 2014 Enquiries: 9561 7811,

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Swiss Club Senior Members Luncheon Monday, 30 September They do not call it the ‘Party of the Year’ for nothing, the Senior Luncheon. As every year, the guests arrived dressed to the hilt, with radiant smiles on their faces and full of anticipation of yet another wonderful social gathering, and they were not disappointed. They met old friends, discussed past adventures and people gone, the progress of their families and their own wellbeing. The tables looked inviting, the helping team was most jovial, the food very Swiss and very good. But the highlight was the handsome minstrel, Valeri Ozeram, who wooed the guests with wonderful tunes on his accordion. Just everybody was delighted. Thank you Swiss Club for this wonderful party. Your generosity and appreciation for the work undertaken by our Elders in the past, honors you and will bring you good fortune. On behalf of ‘The Grey Power’, Rita Schwärzler-Abbt

It’s your Club. Get Involved!


My luck and enjoyment was immeasurable, when I recovered, ready and able to participate again. The Swiss Club is a home for the Swiss-Australians away from home for many years. To hear your language spoken and talk and talk and have a great time is precious! Therefore the luncheon on the 30th September was extremely important for people born before 1940. Friendly faces – loving greetings from old friends and the welcoming speeches from our old and new Presidents, also all the helping, busy hands that made this day! Valeri’s music and us singing, clapping – using the spoons, what a joy, Valeri plays everything from A to Z. The food as always reminds us once again ‘Suppefleisch mit Gmües und Öppfelwaie’ yum!” The decorations with pears, mandarins and leaves looked lovely. SBS – Christian Fröhlicher gave us lovely bags and coffee cups and pens, reminding us that we have a little bit of news and entertainment on SBS FM 93.1 every day. Thank you for inviting us and giving us a taste of our own country. We do love Australia but still remember our little jewel – Switzerland. Inge Kulmanis

Swiss Club of Victoria

Great Amazing Race Pitstop at the Swiss Club Saturday, 5 October Melbourne’s ultimate urban adventure race, which takes inspiration from the worldwide hit TV series ‘The Amazing Race‘, was back for another huge and exciting event. The aim once again was to raise funds to support the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Unlike a marathon, fun run or obstacle event, the Great Amazing Race had teams deciphering clues and puzzles as they discovered the hidden secrets of Melbourne visiting famous landmarks and locations while completing a variety of fun and challenging activities along the way. This year, the Swiss Club of Victoria became a pitstop where contestants had to perform a Swiss challenge to gain points. 154 teams of between 2 and 10 people checked in to The Second Floor and performed the challenge in which they were given a language to learn – Swiss German, French, Italian or Romansch. Only once each team could successfully speak a number of words in their assigned language did they meet the challenge for this pitstop and move on.

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Silvesterchlausen On 31 December and 13 January, the ‘Old New Year’s Eve’, the ‘Chläuse’ make their way around in a few towns in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. The origin and meaning of this ancient custom are the subject of speculation, because few written documents exist. The Chläuse are probably based on a demon cult that apparently merged with vegetation and fertility cults near Urnäsch, situated in the valley below Schwägalp. Old New Year’s Eve, January 13, is celebrated with particular fervour. In the last few years, this custom has also been revived in other Ausserrhoden communities. The date can be traced back to a conflict around the calendar that occured in the 16th century, when Pope Gregory II improved the Julian calendar by moving New Year’s Eve ahead thirteen days. The Protestants of Ausserrhoden and people of similar beliefs were not willing to acknowledge the Pope’s ideas and refused to give up the old calendar. Even today, New Year’s Eve is stubbornly celebrated on its old date. Although female figures are also portrayed, this is a purely male custom. Today there are three types of Chläuse: the ‘Wüeschte’ (the ugly ones), the ‘Schöne’ (the beautiful ones) and the ‘Schöwüeschte’ (the woodland and nature ones). The ugly characters often wear fearsome, demonic masks and rough garments made of foliage, straw or brush-wood. These figures that scare away unfriendly and evil spirits with noise and their scary dress, are presumably the original figures of this winter custom. The woodland and nature Chläuse also


wear costumes and masks made of natural materials, but do not appear as wild or primitive. Masks, hats and coats are transformed with great care into decorative marvels of natural materials such as bark and pine seeds. This type of Chläuse was created by a group from Urnäsch about two centuries ago. The beautiful Chläuse have existed since the beginning of the 19th century. Today, they mostly appear in groups of six: the leader with ‘Rolli’ (round bells), four with ‘Schelli’ (cowbells) and another ‘Rolli’ bringing up the rear. A ‘Rolli’ wears a type of woman’s costume with a large wheel-shaped bonnet on his head. On his torso he wears a leather strap with thirteen round bells, so called ‘Rollen’. Those with cowbells wear male costumes and wide-brimmed, richly decorated hats. On their chests and backs they wear bells attached to straps across both shoulders. The head-dresses of both the ‘Rolli’ and the ‘Schelli’ are decorated with scenes depicting country life, placed in the niches of the bonnets and on the flat hats. Ringing their bells and singing a ‘Zäuerli’, the typical Appenzeller yoddeling, the Chläuse wish everyone happiness and prosperity for the New Year and receive a drink and some token money in return.

Swiss Club of Victoria

Invitation to the Seniors of the Swiss Community Swiss Nationals born 1943 or earlier and Partner

Senior Christmas Afternoon Tea Saturday, 7 December 2013 at 2pm The Swiss Club of Victoria with the support of the Swiss Society of Victoria, the Trachtengruppe Schwyzergruess, the Folk Dance Group Alpenrose, SwissKids and the Swiss Companion Singers invites Swiss Nationals born 1943 or earlier and Partners to a Senior Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Swiss Club of Victoria, 89 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. This event is free of charge. RSVP by Monday, 2 December 2013, either by phone or email to: Rita Schwärzler-Abbt, 9561 7811, Sylvia Hochuli, 9531 6575,

Frohi Wiehnachte und es guets Neus! w w w.s w i s sc lu bv i c .co


Theodor Storm



Ein frommer Zauber hält mich wieder, anbetend, staunend muss ich stehn; Es sinkt auf meine Augenlieder Ein goldner Kindertraum hernieder, Ich fühl’s, ein Wunder ist geschehn.

Become a member of the Swiss Society of Victoria






Mir ist das Herz so froh erschrocken, das ist die liebe Weihnachtszeit! Ich höre ferne Kirchenglocken Mich lieblich heimatlich verlocken In märchenstille Herrlichkeit.


Vom Himmel in die tiefsten Klüfte Ein milder Stern hernieder lacht; Vom Tannenwalde steigen Düfte Und hauchen durch die Winterlüfte, und kerzenhelle wird die Nacht.


The Swiss Society of Victoria is a benevolent organisation and has been supporting the Swiss Community of Victoria since 1879

We help Swiss citizens living in Victoria who need financial or social support. Because charity begins at home. You can help us in helping them.

For more information about us or if you know any Swiss citizen in Victoria who could benefit from our services contact: Franz Schellmann T: 9449 2245 M: 0412 203 893


Swiss History in a Nutshell

Test your Swiss Knowledge

by Grégoire Nappey cartoons by Mix & Remix Publisher: Bergli Books Language: English Binding: Softcover, 96 pages ISBN: 978-3-905252-19-4 Price: CHF 19.90 + postage This book aims to tell – in a clear, easy to understand and fun way – what took place on the territory of Switzerland from the first findings of human presence until today. An easy read, ‘Swiss History in a Nutshell’ gives you an insight into: • the most fascinating moments in Switzerland’s rich and colourful history - from its cavemen to its conquests, foundation, growth, independence and prosperity; • Switzerland’s surprising past as a leading military power in Europe; • how Swiss democracy matured through several revolutions; • the origins of Swiss cultural differences and how they were overcome to create a stable federal republic; • how Switzerland’s direct democracy, consensus politics and legendary good industrial relations were achieved. Cartoons (naughty and nice) illustrate this kaleidoscope of key events that have created Switzerland as it is today. Available online from: Bergli Books, Steinentorstrasse 11, 4001 Basel T: +41 61 278 95 65 F: +41 61 278 98 12 W: E:

Customised English Written and Oral Communication Skills for Professionals. • • • • •

Business Writing Skills Speaking Skills Australian Workplace Inductions In-Company Consultancy Online Solutions

Tel: 03 9421 5348 Email:







6 12 10




13 11

2. 4. 6. 9. 10. 11.

Across Where was this year’s Congress of the Swiss Abroad held? A red cherry liqueur specialty from Grison (ö=oe). Swiss cheesemaker in Queensland. In a straight line, which canton capital is closest to the federal capital? Surname of the Federal Councillor that recently visited Australia. Travel Agency that is named after which mountain?

Down 1. Surname of the Swiss Club Jass Queen. 3. First name of the accordion troubadour that played at the Senior Members Luncheon. 5. Which humanitarian organisation was founded 150 years ago? 7. What ancient custom takes place in canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden in December/January? 8. In a straight line, which canton capital is furthest away from the federal capital? 12. Home canton of the new Consul General. 13. Swiss shoe and leathergoods brand. For answers go to page 24 Book the Second Floor at the Swiss Club for your next function

Follow the Swiss Club on Social Media! You can find us on Facebook Swissclubvic, on Twitter @SwissClubVic or on YouTube

Swiss Club of Victoria

Swiss-Australian design for a Melbourne icon Flinders Street Station is both an iconic heritage building in our city of Melbourne and the hub of the metropolitan rail network. Over 150,000 people pass through the station every day and this is expected to more than double over the next decade. Built to a 19th century design, the station has been compromised by a series of alterations over the years. The Government of the State of Victoria has called for an international competition for the redesign of the station to see it through the next 100 years. There were 117 entries from around the world. The design proposed by the team of renowned Swiss based firm Herzog & de Meuron and Australian architectural design practice HASSELL, along with Purcell heritage consultants from the UK, was unanimously selected as the winner by the design competition jury.

From little things big things grow 150 years ago, between the 26 and 29 October 1863, representatives of 16 countries followed the invitation of Henry Dunant to meet in Geneva. On the agenda was the establishment of a humanitarian organisation to protect insured soldiers on the battlefield. The idealists Dunant succeeded in finding acceptance of his idea – to render neutral all hospitals and medical personnel that provide assistance to insured soldiers. For that purpose they shall be clearly identified with a red cross, the reverse of the emblem of the Swiss confederation. On 22 August 1864, the Swiss Federal Council invited 12 nations to sign the first Geneva Convention and thus the Red Cross movement was founded. Since those days, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has developed into a highly professional and global organisation. w w w.s w i s sc lu bv i c .co


Welcome to the new Consul General, Mr Ernst Steinmann Ernst Steinmann, you have been appointed to succeed Markus Meli as Consul General of Switzerland in Australia. You arrived in Sydney on 21 August; we warmly welcome you and your partner Edith and wish you an exciting four years in Australia! We look forward to seeing you at the Swiss Club soon, but until then, we hope that you can tell us a little about yourself. Why Australia? Was it your preferred choice or was it decided by Bern? Australia is my 10th posting abroad and it has long been on my ‘wish list’. Nowadays, personnel attached to the category of ‘transferable staff’ of the federal administration are going through a long process of applying for a job and the right person being chosen amongst the candidates. I consider myself lucky to be the one they nominated. How did you prepare yourself for your new posting and life in Australia? ‘Diplomats/Consuls General’ are used to migrate and with every transfer, I have learnt new lessons to make it less stressful and smoother. There is plenty of information available to prepare for Australia. The most valuable sources were our Australian friends in St.Petersburg (Russia). Was it an easy start, or did you have to ‘hit the ground running’? My colleagues in Sydney did a fantastic job in preparation for our arrival. In comparison with previous ‘landings’ at new postings (including returning to Bern), the arrival in Sydney was very smooth. We are very grateful for all the help we have received so far. Where did you grow up? I was born and brought up in Bern in a typical ‘Swiss family’; father earning money as railway worker, mother caring for the family, two children (my sister and I). Through my ancestors, I am an ‘Emmentaler’. How did you start your professional life? I did my school years – not something I am proud of – in Bern and Biel/Bienne. Those were the lucky times, when even less successful school children managed to find a place for an apprenticeship: for irrational reasons and exclusions (i.e. my opposition against carrying a tie or learn the French language), I ended up with the Swiss Customs Administration. When and why did you join the Department of Foreign Affairs and the consular service? The idea and subsequent interest for the Foreign Service came out of the blue in a moment of pure coincidence: to earn my pocket money as a teenager, I distributed printed matter to letter boxes in suburbia of Bern where many of the beautiful foreign Embassies are located. I did not ever imagine that Switzerland would have such institutions abroad, since I had at that time only been once outside Switzerland, to Italy with my parents. The ‘click’ came; when a young woman moved into the same building I was living in who was the former secretary of the Swiss Ambassador in Budapest, returning to Bern.


A you can now guess, As I since managed to oovercome my difficulties with the French language and wearing a tie… How does a typical career path of a Consul General look like? It’s a long ladder to climb and it needs flexibility and endurance to reach the top. Like all jobs with an exciting and bright image (travel, being part of the international community, discovering the world), there is an equivalent ‘darker side’. Accompanying family members often have to step back from their own professional aspirations or suffer the consequences of the repeated break-ups with friends or schools. It’s a fantastic career with lots of opportunities but also hardships. What were your previous postings and which one stands out as your favourite? Cape Town, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Marseille, Maputo in Mozambique (mature readers might be more familiar with its former name of Lourenço Marques), Brasilia, Istanbul, Bern, St.Petersburg… Sydney! To many to name a favorite, but the ‘Emmentaler’ has a preference for cities at the waterfront. As the former Head of Section for Consular Protection in Bern, what is your view about the shrinking number of Swiss Consulates and Embassies worldwide or the amalgamation into so called ‘consular hubs’? I do understand the ‘grief’ of Swiss colonies that have lost their Consulate in their city due to reorganisation. When services and assistance are provided to citizens abroad, the distance between them and the Consulate is one of many issues to be considered. For me, the central question I aspire to answer positively is that my Consulate is able to provide the services or assistance needed in an efficient and timely way. It is definitely a challenge to secure the access to these services to all citizens including those who are not connected and acquainted with the latest internet ‘tools’. What are your passions, your hobbies? I like to do what most people like. Add to this the passion many men dream of, but don’t realise: tour the planet with an old motorbike. For the last 13 years I shared this exciting experience with a group of friends. Our 80,000 km trip in short steps took us from Switzerland to Vladivostok, from Tibet to Vietnam, from Ushuaia to Alaska. And by the way, of course I brought my vintage BMW, which was formerly driven by police officers in Bern, to Sydney. Swiss Club of Victoria

Thank you very much for this interview Mr Steinmann. We wish you and your partner a memorable first Christmas and New Years Eve in Australia! I thank you for your warm welcome and I am looking forward to establishing amicable contacts and having many personal encounters with you, citizens from Switzerland and from the Principality of Liechtenstein, in the months and years to come. As the end of the year approaches we should remember friends and families living close and often far away from us. For many of us life is very busy throughout the year and we easily forget those around us who are lonely. I wish all of you a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

SWISS CLUB MOVIE ‘Liebe und andere Unfälle’ (Love and other accidents) Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 8.30pm Swiss Club, 2nd floor 2012, 89min, Comedy, Swiss German, English subtitles Director: Tom Gerber with Lea Hadorn, Beat Marti, Aaron Hitz, Heidy Maria Glössner Marie Meier, a single mother running a dairy farm, has repeatedly failed to settle her debts at the bank. One day Philip Sturzenegger, manager of the SWC Bank, appears at her front door, threatening to foreclose the farm. But before he can act on his threat, he crashes into a tree with his sports car and suffers from severe amnesia. Beset by panic, cluelessness and reckless impulse, Marie explains to the bewildered Sturzenegger that he lives there as the farmer. And from now on, Philip is not only the farmer; first and foremost, he is also her husband.

The Dance group has two more performances this year. Together with the Companion Singers and the Matterhorn Jodlers. we will entertain the seniors at the Tabulam and Martin Luther nursing homes. Like every year, we will enhance the Christmas program with a bit of folklore for the seniors Christmas party at the Swiss Club. The group will again organise the Jass nights next year. Congratulations to all the winners for 2013. We have decided to have another Unterhaltungsabend next year. The date is 3 May 2014. Could it be the last? Please support us. We would like to keep performing Swiss folk dances. But to do so, we need more members. We would love to welcome new members. We are a happy relaxed group. We have fun. Join us. Many thanks to all our friends and supporters for their generosity. To the Swiss Club and Roger Moullet, we like to thank you for letting us use the premises for our practice and for the continuous generosity. We wish Marlene Webb a speedy recovery from an unfortunate accident. Past member Eleanor Schmidig has not been well. We hope to see you soon again at the Club. On behalf of the Dance Group, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

‘Flug in die Nacht - Das Unglück von Überlingen’ (Based on the mid-air collision of BA 2937 & DHL 611 in July 2002) Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 8.30pm Swiss Club, 2nd floor 2009, 90min, Drama, Swiss German, English subtitles Director: Tim Endemann with Ken Duken, Sabine Timoteo, Jevgenij Sitochin, Mike Müller, Sophie von Kessel Johann Lender’s job turns out to be his undoing: the 35-year-old air-traffic controller was alone on his shift on July 1, 2002, when a Russian passenger airliner collided with a cargo plane in the airspace under his control and crashed near Überlingen on Lake Constance. All 71 passengers were killed. Yuri Balkayev’s wife and two children were also among the casualties. About one year later, Balkayev stabs the air-traffic controller to death in front of his own family. But hope is still alive in little Kolya, an orphan who also lost his mother, a Russian stewardess, in this tragedy.

Sylvia Hochuli

The Swiss Club Restaurant. It’s where you meet your friends.

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Free for members, non-members gold coin donation. Enjoy dinner at the club, before or after the movie. Please book with the restaurant on 9650 1196.


Social Jass

4th Jass Night Results – Swiss Club, 14 Sept Singles

1. Ida McDonald ...........................................2804 2. Fred Portman ............................................2769 3. Ernst Fries .................................................2766


1. Doris Conrad & Hans Keller .......................5275 2. Therese & Alec Say ....................................5170 3. Ida McDonald & Benny Hurlimann............5162

Swiss Club Jass Königin & Champion Team 2013 – ERNIE HUGLI TROPHY Königin

1. Ida McDonald ...........................................8180 2. Roger Moullet ..........................................8130 3. Ernst Fries .................................................8057


1. Ida McDonald & Benny Hurlimann..........15715 2. Doris Conrad & Hans Keller .....................15456 3. Therese & Alec Say ..................................15073

Melbourne Jass König & Champion Team 2013 – GÜNTER BRITSCHGI TROPHY Combined Swiss Club & Matterhorn König


1. Fred Portman ..........................................13287 2. Ernie Hugli ..............................................13191 3. Walter Imfeld ..........................................13146 1. Doris Conrad & Hans Keller .....................25541 2. Luzia & Louis Blochlinger ........................25316 3. Brigitte & Sepp Goldiger .........................25152

For all who enjoy the game but want to play for enjoyment only. No competition, just social! Inexperienced players most welcome (not suitable for total beginners though, must know at least the basic rules and the value of the cards!) Enjoy Dinner before the game. RSVP your table on 9650 1196. If you intend to come along, please send a SMS (0402 018 363) with preference of cards (German or French) until the Tuesday before, so we know how many booths to reserve.

• Wednesday, 27 November 2013 • Wednesday, 22 January 2014 • Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Information supplied by Paul Eisenegger 9544 4681

• Wednesday, 26 March 2014 (date to be confirmed)

3rd Jass Night Results – Matterhorn, 10 Aug

We hope to see you at 7.30pm on the above dates.


1. Paul Leuenberger ......................................3026 2. Margrit Schacher.......................................2712 3. Dölf Bohren ...............................................2695

Barbara Kündig


1. Margrit & Sepp Schacher ..........................5249 2. Simone & Alex Bähler ...............................5189 3. Brigitte & Dölf Bohren...............................5173

Upcoming Jass Nights - 2014 Swiss Club

1st 2nd 3rd 4th & Final

15 March 31 May 5 July 30 August


1st 2nd 3rd

22 February 10 May 9 August

Matterhorn Cup Winners – 2013 Men Ladies

Paul Leuenberger ..........................................5914 Luzia Blochlinger ..........................................5468

Information supplied by Brigitte & Sepp Goldiger


Swiss Club of Victoria

Higgs and Englert win Nobel Prize for Physics Britain’s Peter Higgs and Belgium’s François Englert have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics for their theoretical discoveries on how subatomic particles acquire mass. The two scientists had been favourites to share the prize after their theoretical work was finally vindicated last year by experiments at the CERN research centre’s gigantic particle collider outside Geneva. Englert, 80, and his colleague Robert Brout, who died in 2011, were first to publish, but 84-year-old Higgs followed just a couple of weeks later and was the first person to explicitly predict the existence of a new particle. “The awarded theory is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement. “According to the Standard Model, everything, from flowers and people to stars and planets, consists of just a few building blocks: matter particles.” Englert and Higgs had theorised about the existence of the particle in the 1960s to provide an answer to a riddle: why

matter has mass. The tiny particle, they believed, acts like treacle on snow – causing other basic building blocks of nature to stick together, slow down and form atoms. But decades would pass before scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, were able to confirm its existence. The European particle physics laboratory announced the news in July of last year. The Swiss contribution CERN is ‘elated’ over the prize, according to panellists at a press conference held at CERN following the announcement. Swiss Minister of Research and Education Johann SchneiderAmmann also offered his congratulations to CERN and the other Swiss institutes, which contributed to the building of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. “The fact that a third Nobel prize comes to Geneva today is the well-deserved result of unique global collaboration at the highest scientific and technical levels,” he said.

From the ‘Berner Oberländer’ Newspaper. Well done Marcel and Trudi Theiler!

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Introducing the new SCV President, Sigrid de Castella Where were you born? I am a third generation Australian-born Swiss national, so I hold dual nationality. What is your Swiss ancestry? My family history goes back many years in Neuchâtel, Gruyère and Fribourg. It was through a friendship of my ancestors with Sophie La Trobe that they were convinced to migrate to Australia. My great-grand uncle, Paul, arrived in Australia in 1849 and my great-grandfather, Charles Hubert, followed in 1854. Together they ran cattle in the Yarra Valley and eventually established the wineries of Yering Station and St. Huberts, working with many other Swiss settlers. Years later my great grandfather moved to Charterisville in East Ivanhoe and worked with artists such as Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin in the Heidelberg School of Art. His eldest son, François, my grandfather, soon followed his father’s winemaking footsteps to become Victoria’s Government viticulturist. With this history it’s no wonder that my hobbies include art appreciation, photography and drinking wine. Do you visit Switzerland often? I try to go back to Switzerland every few years to catch up with extended family and to research our family history from records in the Fribourg Archives. When I’m not in Switzerland I miss it terribly. When I visit and step off the plane it feels like being ‘home’.



What’s important to you about being involved in the Swiss community? It’s an important link to my ancestry and the relatives I never knew, like my Swiss grandparents who died before I was born. By being involved with the Swiss community I can feel a bit closer to them by experiencing the culture and traditions that they loved so dearly. What languages do you speak? With my ancestry originating from Neuchâtel I decided to learn French at school, but we only spoke English at home. I do not speak German or Swiss-German, but perhaps I should learn! Why did you join the Committee in 2009? After becoming a Swiss Club Member I decided I wanted to learn more about my Swiss heritage, meet Swiss people and interact on a more regular basis. I also wanted to become more involved and give back to the Swiss community. Helping out on the Committee was the perfect opportunity. What do you hope to add to the Club as President? There are really two things I’d like to achieve over the coming years. I have a Bachelor of Business, with a double major in IT and Management, and I worked in IBM for 5 years mostly around process management and re-engineering. So I am hoping to help identify areas in the Club that can be streamlined or formalised a little more so that the Club can operate even more smoothly than it does now. The second thing I am hoping to achieve is to implement many of the fantastic ideas we received from the Members Special Event held earlier this year. There were so many great suggestions to improve the Club! I’m also hoping we can add some new functions and reach out to the younger second and third generation Swiss, whilst upholding the traditions and culture that’s already been established by past Presidents, Committee Members and Members. How can our Members help you? Firstly, by getting involved! Come to as many events as possible and actively participate. In ensuring the viability of our ‘home away from home’ we also need some help managing the Club and its Events. Too often the burden falls on the heads of a few regulars or the already stretched Committee. We have lots of small jobs to do and you don’t need to be a member of the Committee to help out. If you can offer an hour a week (or more) then please contact us! Secondly, by upholding our traditions and respecting our Members and the Club. We should never forget that it’s the stories and experiences of our more senior Members that tell us where we came from, who we are, and help keep our traditions alive. Thirdly, by giving us feedback – and that means me as well! As an Australian-born Swiss I do not have the same cultural experience as Swiss-born Swiss. I am relying on your experience and knowledge to help me lead the Club in the right direction. Swiss Club of Victoria

We just got home from a wonderful weekend in Hepburn Springs where we participated in the Swiss & Italian Festa. It is always a pleasure for us to get together and enjoy the festivities with the other Swiss groups. This year, for the very first time, we sang a beautiful Italian song together with the Matterhorn Yodlers. Both choirs sang together at St.Peters Church in Daylesford and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. Next Sunday, together with the Dance Group and the Yodlers we are visiting Tabulam and Martin Luther Nursing Homes. We love to bring a little bit of pre-Christmas cheer to the residents there. On behalf of the Swiss Companion Singers, I want to wish you all a very joyful Christmas and the best of health for the coming year. We still practice at the club on the 3rd and 4th Thursday of the month. Heidy Giger

Towards the end of the year, the Swiss Yodel Choir Matterhorn regularly takes part in two traditional events: the Swiss & Italian Festa in Hepburn Springs and Daylesford, and the pre-Christmas entertainment for the elderly residents of the Tabulam & Templer and Martin Luther Homes, together with the other Swiss groups. This time the performances at the Sound Shell in Hepburn Springs on Saturday and in St.Peter’s Church in Daylesford on Sunday morning were rather special, as we combined with the Companion Singers to present the very rousing song ‘La Montanara’ as a fitting finale to our performances. This uplifting experience confirmed that there can be strength in numbers! On that note, the Choir would cordially welcome new singers – please call our President and Conductor Chrigel Hostettler to find out where and when we practice (Tel. 9754 7390). Erwin Weinmann – Secretary, Swiss Yodel Choir Matterhorn


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100g / ²/³ cup each of whole hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds Knead into the fruit dough. 1 egg yolk (for brushing)

Pear Loaf (Birnbrot)

Method Cut the fruit dough into 3 equal parts and shape into logs about 20cm long. Cut the Zopf dough also into 3 parts and roll out into a rectangle approx. 30 x 25cm. Lay the log-shaped filling in the middle, then wrap the outer Zopf dough around the filling, brushing with egg or water to seal. Prick several times with a fork and trim off any excess dough (see 1 & 2). Baking Bake on the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 200°C for approx. 45 minutes. Storing If wrapped in clingfilm or a freezer bag, the pear loaf keeps in the refrigerator for approx. 1 month.

This pear loaf, or pear bread, comes from the Grison region and is traditionally eaten in the European winter months, especially at Christmas and New Year when it is served in slices with butter or occasionally cheese on top. As with so many Swiss specialities, the recipe varies from family to family or baker to baker with each claiming theirs to be the original and best. The truth is, however, that in times past, people added whatever ingredients they could lay their hands on to the autumn pears which still grow in abundance in the canton of Grison. Ingredients (makes 3 loaves, 600g each) Filling 500g dried pears 250ml red wine (Merlot or similar) Soak dried pears in wine for 12 hours. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes until soft. Leave to cool, removing any stalks or pips. Drain, keeping any left-over wine. 150g / 1 cup each of dried figs, prunes, dates (stoned) Chop together with pears into fine pieces, a food processor or similar is ideal, put into bowl. You can also add the left-over wine from the pears. 100g / ²/³ cup each of raisins, sultanas, candied orange peel 100g / ¹/³ cup of cane sugar 1 unwaxed lemon (grate rind, add zest to mixture) 1 tbsp of Lebkuchen spices ( a mix of 2 parts ginger, 1 part cinnamon, ¼ part nutmeg, ¼ part cloves – all ground) 1 tsp of cinnamon 200ml / 1 cup of Kirsch or Williams 100ml / ½ cup of rosewater Mix together with pears etc. 1.3kg of Zopf (egg loaf) dough Add 500g of the dough to the fruit mixture and knead. This is your fruit dough.


Lay the filling in the middle of the rolled out dough and cut out the corners.

Brush the edges of the dough with egg or water and wrap around the filling.

From ‘Swiss Cookies’ Bergli Books

His Helvetic Majesty! Matthias Sempach (27) from Alchenstorf in the canton of Bern, was crowned ‘Schwingerkönig’, or King of the wrestlers, at the 2013 triennial ‘Eidgenössischen Schwingund Älplerfest’ in September held in Burgdorf, in the Emmental valley. It is the country’s largest sporting event, where hulking wrestlers in sackcloth shorts fight for glory and crowns of oak leaves.

Newly-crowned Matthias Sempach holds the prize bull awarded to the wrestling competition winner

Swiss Club of Victoria

It has been a wonderful year again meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. Thank you for your continuous support. I also want to thank Roger and staff for looking after us so well. I am delighted that the number of Ladies coming to the Luncheon has increased and I hope this will continue in 2014. I am looking forward to your company again with some interesting and inspiring guest-speakers. Dates for the forthcoming Luncheons in 2014:

E Tanzliedli Gell, neesch mer ke Määtli, wo Geld hed wie Heu; wenns meh wäässt z verbruuchid, Denn hescht es nüd frei. Nemm ääni, wo s Hüüsli recht häämelig macht. Die lood di vertwarme bi Tag ond bi Nacht.

Laughter Laughter is a melody, A concert from the heart A tickling by the angels Creative living art Laughter heals and comforts It’s sometimes gentle, sometimes bold Laughter is a freeing dance Performed within the soul S. West Laughter Folk come from all walks of life and areas of Melbourne, not to forget the rest of the world. Laughter Yoga has lit up the lives of a growing community worldwide for many years. We learn to laugh for no reason at all, and progress to the high art of ‘laughing at yourself’, which brings about immediate relief from all sorts of worries and most kinds of stress. We meet every 3rd and 4th Thursday at 6pm Second Floor, Swiss Club Contact: Marianne Bishop 9432 2421 or Heidy Giger 9889 9321

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• Wednesday, 5 March The first guest-speaker of the year is Chantal Imbach (Professional Organiser).

• Wednesday, 7 May Wishing you all a very joyful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. A big thank you to Marianne for all her help. Price $22 pp for members, $25 pp for non-members. Includes 2-course meal, wine, soft drinks and coffee. New-comers most welcome. For information and bookings ring me on 9889 9321 or Roger at the Club on 9650 1196. Bookings are essential! Heidy Giger

A member of the Swiss Federal Council boarded a Swiss Airline flight. When he boarded, he took the first available seat in first class instead of his assigned seat on the other side of the plane. He immediately opened up his briefcase and set up some work for the flight. A flight attendant approached him and explained he was in the wrong seat and asked him to move. He refused to move, stating that he was a ‘Bundesrat’ and could sit wherever he liked. The flight attendant alerted the flight crew manager who also approached the passenger. She tried to reason with him. She cajoled him. She demanded that he move to another seat. He stated he was too important to comply with her and refused to change seats. So they alerted the plane’s captain to the situation. The captain approached the passenger and spoke with him quietly for two minutes. Without further protest, the ‘Bundesrat’ member packed up his belongings and moved to his assigned seat. The flight crew asked the captain, “How did you do that? What did you say?” The captain replied, “I told him that the seat he was in was going to a different destination. If he wanted to go to his destination, he would have to move to the other side of the plane.”


91st Congress of the Swiss Abroad Davos, 16 - 18 August 2013 Australia was represented strongly at this year’s Congress of the Swiss Abroad in Davos with three council delegates attending, Beat Knoblauch (NSW), Marc Godat (Qld) and Roland Isler (Vic).

The Council Meeting - 16 August At the meeting of the Council of the Swiss Abroad, the following main items were on the agenda: • Inauguration of the newly elected Council of the Swiss Abroad for the term 2013 - 2017 • Consular Network Developments • Electronic Voting – Response to the 3rd report by the Federal Council • Online election of the Council of the Swiss Abroad • Inheritance tax agreement with France • Presentation: The Swiss in Australia And probably the most important item: • Law for the Swiss Abroad – Adopting the OSA response to the draft proposal. You will recall that we arranged to have the draft proposal of the new law sent to all registered Swiss in Australia. The following is a summary of the Council’s response to the draft proposal:

strengthened and that the cooperation between the Swiss foreign institutions, in particular the Council of the Swiss Abroad, is enshrined in law. Finally, the OSA also advocates that a legal basis is created in the Law for the Swiss Abroad that facilitates the introduction of e-voting and for non-discrimination of citizens living abroad. For the full text of the response and about the other agenda items, please go to Presentation: The Swiss in Australia Although one of the last items on the agenda, it was nevertheless a very important one. It gave us the opportunity to present a picture of our Swiss communities in Australia. Underpinned with many interesting visuals, we covered a wide spectrum – business/science (SwissCham, SAAN), folklore, history, community organisations (Swiss Club, Swiss Society etc) and main events (Swiss Festival etc). Beat organised a large number of copies of the book ‘The Swiss in New South Wales: A History’ to be sent over to Davos. An issue of the book was presented to every Council member and also the OSA executive. Roland likewise handed a copy of the book ‘The Swiss Club of Victoria: the First 100 Years’ and a copy of Roman Meyer’s SCV movie documentary to OSA president Jacques-Simon Eggli. These items will be included in the OSA archive. As part of the centenary celebration of the OSA in 2016, this extensive archive documenting the Swiss Abroad community will become part of the Federal archives in Bern. The presentation was very well received.

Summary The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) welcomes the creation of the Law for the Swiss Abroad. It considers the draft proposal prepared by the commission as an important legislative and administrative simplification. The law will form the basis for a future-oriented, holistic, sustainable policy in the field of international mobility of Swiss citizens. However, the OSA strongly opposes the lifting of the compulsory enrolment requirement (Immatrikulationsobligatorium), and regards it as incompatible with the purpose of the proposal. Instead, the OSA advocated the networking of the consular missions abroad with the domestic departments for population control (Einwohnerkontrollen). To achieve a coherent Swiss Abroad policy, the OSA considers it necessary that the development of a political Swiss Abroad strategy is expressly stipulated in the Act and that the Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA) is explicitly granted the competence to develop this strategy and coordinate the administrative activities in this area. The OSA further advocates that the Federal governments obligation to provide information to the Swiss Abroad is


Swiss Club of Victoria

The Congress - 17 & 18 August The Congress the next day attracted around 380 Swiss from around the world. The theme was ‘Switzerland in time of Globalisation’. Visitors were able to participate in three workshops exploring globalisation of institutions, the economy and of migration. Keynote speakers were Franz von Däniken, Past Secretary of State and Political Director of the EDA, Rudolf Wider, Director of the OSA, Jacques-Simon Eggli, President of the OSA and guest of honour, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. During a chat with us, the high-ranking politician revealed that she had family links to Australia and a visit downunder is on her agenda. Roland presented her with a copy of the SCV history book and movie documentary, which she gratefully accepted. This Congress was the last one attended by OSA Director Rudolf Wider as he will retire next year. He was duly honoured and thanked for his many years of exemplary service to the Swiss Abroad. In the evening we took the cable car up to the beautiful Hotel Schatzalp, were over dinner, many new acquaintances were made and old ones maintained. After two busy days, day three was a relaxing one. On the program was a scenic train ride on the ‘Rhätische Bahn’ from Davos to Chur with lunch on top of the Muottas Muragl (2456m). Again presenting a great opportunity for networking and rounding up a most interesting and rewarding Congress in Davos.

Roland Isler, Marc Godat, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and Beat Knoblauch

Roland Isler - Council of the Swiss Abroad

Roland presenting ‘The Swiss in Australia’

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Emails to ease election to expatriate assembly Parliament has backed moves to share expatriates’ emails as part of reforms to the election of the Council of the Swiss Abroad – despite concerns over data protection. The proposal – unanimously endorsed by the Senate on Wednesday, 18 September – seeks to make the Council, which is the executive arm of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), more transparent. The motion mandates the government to cooperate with the OSA, allowing the organisation to approach individual expatriates by email, but outlines that it should not violate the rules on data protection. The move is aimed at an election reform of the assembly representing the interests of the more than 700,000 expats around the world. The other parliamentary chamber, the House of Representatives, had passed the proposal in June. OSA director-elect Ariane Rustichelli has welcomed the parliamentary motion. “The decision by the Senate is a step in the right direction. It will allow the introduction of direct elections of members to the Council of the Swiss Abroad over the internet.” Rustichelli added that a number of questions remained to be resolved, including the role of the council with directly elected members, to be discussed when parliament tackles a proposal for a new law on expatriate matters. Gerhard Brügger, head of the foreign ministry’s consular directorate, said practical options for a cooperation would be evaluated with the expatriate organisation. “We will sit at a table to analyse the situation together. There is no immediate time pressure, the next general elections to the Council of the Swiss Abroad are scheduled for 2017.” Clarifications During the parliamentary debate the speaker of the senate’s foreign committee Ivo Bischofberger came out in favour of

New OSA directors Ariane Rustichelli and Sarah Mastantuoni will take over as joint directors of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) as of the beginning of January 2014. They will replace Rudolf Wyder, who is to retire after more than 25 years at the helm of the OSA secretariat. Rustichelli has been head of the communications department and Mastantuoni served as legal advisor for the organisation. They will both have to be formally elected by the Council of the Swiss Abroad next March.


reforming the council’s election procedure, saying the current method lacks transparency, undermining the legitimacy of the panel. He was backed by Filippo Lombardi, the sponsor of the Law for the Swiss Abroad. For his part, Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter reiterated reservations by the cabinet about violations of data protection if the OSA were to get direct access to addresses of registered Swiss citizens living abroad. “In principle we are in favour of the parliamentary proposal, but we disagree on the form of cooperation,” he told the Senate. Having won assurances by proponents of the motion that they were not insisting on a direct access to the email addresses of expats, Burkhalter later agreed to work towards a solution. Criticism Criticism of the election procedure has been rife among expatriates, notably in France, home to the biggest Swiss Abroad community. A seat in the expat council leadership remained vacant following a bitter dispute at the latest council meeting held in Davos in August. Council members agree that the panel has a problem of democratic legitimacy with the current vote system as most Swiss expatriates do not belong to an official Swiss association. Outgoing OSA director, Rudolf Wyder, has said it is necessary to expand the voting base. But he also pointed out that the current system, delegating the organisation of elections to different national expat associations, ensures a particular closeness to local reality. E-vote The government has pledged to introduce e-voting for the entire expatriate community by the 2015 parliamentary elections. The Federal Chancellery on Monday, 16 September confirmed it would continue trials with online voting despite criticism by a group of younger parliamentarians. They said the technology used for the ongoing trials lacked the necessary security measures and referred to an attack by computer hackers earlier this year. The authorities have downplayed the potential dangers, saying the government would proceed with the test, giving security concerns priority over a speedy introduction of e-voting. The OSA said it agreed that security was key for e-voting. It expressed confidence in the government policy on the issue. Urs Geiser,

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Test your Swiss Knowledge - Answers Across: 2. Davos; 4. Roeteli; 6. Fromart; 9. Freiburg; 10. Burkhalter; 11. Jungfrau Down: 1. McDonald; 3. Valeri; 5. RedCross; 7. Silvesterchlausen; 8. Chur; 12. Bern; 13. Bally Swiss Club of Victoria

Emigration hits highest rate since 1990s The number of people – Swiss and foreign nationals – departing Switzerland for ‘greener pastures’ has increased to levels not seen for 20 years, figures show. But the country still remains attractive to immigrants. In total the population of Switzerland grew by 1.1% on 2011 to 8.04 million, according to a recent statement by the Federal Statistics Office. The population first reached the eight million mark in the summer of 2012 and almost 40,000 additional people came in the months until the year’s end, according to the office’s definitive population statistics for 2012. Since 2009 the annual population rise has been hovering at around 1%. Nevertheless, migration still plays ‘the main role’ in the growth of the resident population, the office said. Four fifths of people arriving in Switzerland came from Europe and there was a marked increase in immigrants to Switzerland from the south of the continent in particular, with economic crisis-hit countries such as Greece (up by 44.8%), Spain (up by 36.2% and Italy (up by 28.1%) posting the biggest rise. Bye bye Switzerland The number of people leaving Switzerland, however, grew by 7.7% in 2012, to 103,900 people (compared with 96,500 in 2011). According to observers, this is the highest rate since the early 1990s when 117,000 people left the country due to the economic crisis. The 2012 rate was up 0.9% among the Swiss and up 10.7% among foreigners. The favoured destinations for the Swiss leaving were France, Germany and the United States. Among the foreigners, emigration in 2012 compared with 2011 rose the most among the Poles (42%), Montenegrins (35%) and the Portuguese (9.1%). The Germans – whose large immigration to Switzerland has caused much debate in the German-speaking part of the country, particularly over cultural misunderstandings – came in fourth at 8.8%.

Close trust-based relations between Switzerland and Australia: Swiss nationals obtain facilitated entry On the last stage of his trip to the Asia-Pacific region, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Monday, 28 October. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is the first foreign minister Ms Bishop has received since she assumed office. Ms Bishop announced that Switzerland is to be included in Australia’s automated border processing system ‘SmartGate’, thus facilitating Swiss nationals’ entry into Australia. Switzerland is the first non-English-speaking country to benefit from this facilitated entry system. The two ministers also signed two agreements, one to establish regular ministerial-level political dialogue and the other to strengthen cooperation on research and innovation.

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Swiss Events & Functions Please note that this calendar also list events other than those organised by the Swiss Club of Victoria and its subgroups. Please book all Swiss Club functions (bold entries) with Roger, phone 9650 1196 or fax 9650 3104 and check website for latest information and details of upcoming events. For all other events please contact the relevant organisation (see page 3 for contact details).


Saturday Saturday Thursday Saturday


Monday 06 Wednesday 22 Wednesday 29

Club reopens for 2014 Social Jass Swiss Movie Night: Liebe und andere Unfälle (Love and other accidents)


Saturday Saturday Monday Thursday Saturday Wednesday

01 01 03 06 22 26

Foundation Day Celebration SwissKids Editorial Deadline - Newsletter March issue Kapelle Grüezi Mitenand entertains at the Club Jass Night - Matterhorn Social Jass


Saturday Wednesday Thursday Wednesday Saturday Friday Monday Wednesday Wednesday

01 05 06 12 15 21 24 26 26

SwissKids Ladies’ Luncheon Kapelle Grüezi Mitenand entertains at the Club Swiss Movie Night: Flug in die Nacht - Das Unglück von Überlingen Jass Night - Swiss Club Annual General Meeting & Dinner The Second Floor unavailable until 24 April Social Jass (date to be confirmed) Comedy Festival opens (runs until 20 April)

07 07 12 21

Senior Christmas Afternoon Tea (by invitation) SwissKids (with a visit from Samichlaus) Kapelle Grüezi Mitenand entertains at the Club Club Restaurant closes after dinner (reopens on Monday, 6 January 2014 for lunch)

OTHER REGULAR SWISS CLUB MEETINGS: Committee Meetings: every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month (excluding January) Swiss Folk Dance Group Alpenrose: practice every Tuesday evening at 8.15pm Swiss Companion Singers: practice and social gathering every 2nd and 3rd Thursday of each month at 8pm Laughter Yoga Helvetia: meets every 3rd and 4th Thursday of each month at 6pm The Swiss Diners Club: dates for get-togethers can be found on or on Yahoo group http://groups.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all members! Login and get the latest info:

Swiss Club of Victoria

Half-Yearlyy General Meeting ing






Final Jass

Seniors Luncheon

Edelweiss December 2013  

Swiss Club of Victoria Edelweiss Newsletter December 2013

Edelweiss December 2013  

Swiss Club of Victoria Edelweiss Newsletter December 2013