Concordia Club History
The Centennial Celebrations 1973 Content
The “Festbuch: compiled for the 100th anniversary of the Concordia Club recounted and illustrated the history of the club from its inception in the new world in 1873. We were led through the period of the great song festivals, the humiliations and ensuing intimidations suffered by our members and all German speaking inhabitants of the former Berlin during the First World War, through the period of revival between 1925 and 1939, up to the end of the Second World War when the huge immigration surge began.
This was followed by the purchase of a proper club house, and later the recreational grounds near New Hamburg, called Concordia farm, the introduction of the permanent “Oktoberfest” celebrations, the great fire in November 1971 and the rebuilding during the following year, which culminated in the meticulously planned celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the club.
"CONCORDIA" latin for harmony, friendship, unity, alliance, etc.
1873October 7th - First Male Choir "Concordia" founded in Berlin, Ontario. (1st President M. Grebenstein). November 12th - Forming of "Deutsch Kanadischer Sängerbund" (German-Canadian Choir Society) Prof. H.T. Zollner
1875August 17th, 18th, 19th - 1st and most outstanding "Sängerfest" (Song Festival). A profit of $600.00 was donated to the town of Berlin to build a concert hall in Woodside Park.
1876Concordia Hall and Berlin Concert Hall were the centers of many successful song festivals. The following years the club showed not only major activities in choral singing, they also played a predominant role in the formation of a Philharmonic Society and Orchestra, education in music, language and sports. Many executive members were involved in forming the community, either in commerce, industry, municipal positions or church activities. (See Hall of Fame at the Club).
1915New Club premises on 107 King Street, Berlin.
1916Sept. 1 - Berlin was named Kitchener by a mere plurality of 36 votes. Hostility, political tensions, war and anti-German feeling stopped all Club activities.
1925February 10th - Founding of "German Club Kitchener" established (Pres. W. Klemann). The Women's Auxiliary is also formed.
1930December 15th - A charter on the name "Concordia Club, Kitchener" was obtained.
1934Permanent accommodation in the Merner Block, 59 King Street.
19362nd prize at German Festival in Toronto.
1939World War II. Concordia Club again terminated all activities.
1948Reconstruction of a Male Choir (E. Wuertele)
1951New Club location on King Street (opposite the K-W Hospital).
1952-3Co-operation between Council of Friendship and Concordia Club to solve new immigrant problems and needs.
1954Purchasing Matlock Gardens - present site of the Concordia Club, 429 Ottawa Street South. The necessary amount was financed by Club members (Gläubiger Gruppe).
1956May 16th - New Club Premises
1960Installation of a mixed choir (H. Fuegel); first Miss Concordia (Ingrid Walthers).
19621st Children's Choir
1965A dream come true! Purchasing of 190 acres near Baden -> Concordia Farm
1967Canada Centennial Project of Concordia Club: Oktoberfest (Julian Rauchfuss)
1971Major fire destroyed upper part of building.
1972October 6th - New Club ribbon cutting by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
1973100 Years of the Concordia Club, Inc.
1998125 Years of Concordia Club, various events througout the year took place to commemorate this festive occasion. Highlights: Dedication of the "Berlin Stube", Civic Celebration at City Hall in June, Canadian Citizenship Court in November, Club Birthday Party, Gala Dinner and Anniversary Choir Concert in November as well as New Years Eve Celebrations.
For additional & more detailed information, please contact the Concordia Club, the Chamber of Commerce, or the Kitchener Public Library.
Feel free to visit our Hall of Fame in the lower corridors behind the restaurant. Tours of the rest of the building and Senioren Haus & Villa Concordia can be arranged by appointment.