My family and I remember our posting to Montreal above all because of the historic, cultural, ethnic, gastronomic and geographic diversities of the Consulate General’s jurisdiction.
We fondly remember our official and private tours to and in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland/Labrador and it is only by way of examples that I can point out some especially significant goals and events.
- In Quebec: Quebec City (Ice Plastic Competition), Gaspésie (Shipyard Opening) and the Eastern Townships (Ice Wine Harvesting),
- In New Brunswick Fredericton, Saint John, the Bay of Fundy (and for our drummer son the unforgettable detour to Meductic with the Sabian Cymbal factory, whose owners descend from the famous Turkish-Armenian cymbal maker Ziljian),
- In Nova Scotia Halifax (Cemetery for the victims of the Titanic disaster, Powdership Explosion 1907), Lunenburg and Peggy’s Cove (Lighthouse, Memorial for the Swissair victims of 1998). On our drive there lunch at the roadside diner of a Swabian Immigrant family (including “spaetzle”),
- In Prince Edward Island especially Charlottetown (Anne of the Green Gables),
- In Newfoundland St. Johns (with receptions on the occasion of the appointment of Mr. Scharwey as our new Honorary Consul, and of the visit of a NATO squadron). Icebergs drifting by the harbour exit were equally impressive as a stormy aircraft landing on the third attempt. Regretfully we did not manage to visit the Viking settlement of Anse aux Meadows.
- And finally in Labrador Goose Bay (with visits to the German Air Force detachment including an Oktoberfest beer barrel tapping).
I also vividly remember a rather unique Order Ceremony: In 2005 I had the pleasure to present the distinguished businessman and benefactor Rolf C. Hagen with the Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit, bestowed upon him by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. We took advantage of a gathering we had already planned, and only the other Hagen family members were in the know when I started my laudation. Regretfully, Rolf C. Hagen passed away in 2011.
There was one event in Montreal which will remain in my memory forever. Together with the Consul General of Israel we held a commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel at Redpath Hall of McGill University. Speaker was our then Ambassador to Ottawa, Mr. Christian Pauls, who described his experiences in Israel (his father Rolf Friedemann Pauls was appointed 1965 as the first German Ambassador there).
Incidentally, our current German Ambassador to Canada, Ms. Sabine Sparwasser, served as DHM at that time.