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Helmut Goeckel

Helmut Göckel

Helmut Göckel, © Auswärtiges Amt

25.04.2018 - Article

1998 – 2002
[...] For us, the abundance of cultural events certainly contributed to Montreal’s already high degrees of attractiveness. We even considered retiring to Quebec; alas, children and grandchildren were too strong an argument for Germany. [...]

It’s been from summer in 1989 to summer in 2002 that my wife and I lived and worked in Montreal. We are looking back with fond memories at these four years, be it from a professional or personal point of view.

Professionally – working in francophone Quebec was interesting. For sure the Quebecois know that there is more to the world than just the North American continent. Even though their European focus lies on France, they are also interested in Germany. They are following current political, economic and cultural developments and feel strong bonds with Europe. Our cultural cooperation in particular was of a strong and bilaterally enriching dimension. The political discussions were of no lesser intensity. Being on the path of redefining Quebec’s role within Canada our partners showed a vivid interest in developments within the European Union, German views on national autonomy one hand and an increasing need for cooperation on the other.

On a personal level we got to know the Quebecois people as particularly amicable, considerate and open-minded. We are still staying in touch with friends in Montreal. A mayor challenge was the constant need to live and work in three languages – English, French and German! For us, the abundance of cultural events certainly contributed to Montreal’s already high degrees of attractiveness.

We even considered retiring to Quebec; alas, children and grandchildren were too strong an argument for Germany.