Saengerbund celebrates 100th anniversary with special visit
Coplay Saengerbund’s strong bond with Austria was front and center May 30 when the Burgenland delegation was present for the Saengerbund’s 100th anniversary festivities.
The 14-member delegation was led by Hans Niessl, governor of the Federal State of Burgenland. Dr. Wolfgang Waldner, Austrian ambassador to the United States, traveled from Washington, D.C., for the special program.
Welcoming the Burgenland delegation were Frank Luizer, Saengerbund Heritage Committee chairman; Kevin Fritz, Saengerbund president; and Dean Molitoris, Coplay mayor.
Earlier in the day, the Burgenland delegation toured Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum and the Sister City grounds in Northampton, which celebrates the bond between the borough and Stegersbach, Austria.
At the Saengerbund, the program began with the singing of the Austria national anthem, Federal State of Burgenland anthem and United States national anthem by the Saengerbund’s chorus.
Fritz presented Niessl with a plaque from Coplay Saengerbund, which was founded in 1917. Karl Reiter served as its first president.
There was an exchange of gifts by the delegation and club.
On behalf of the heritage committee, Luizer recognized and presented certificates to past Saengerbund President David Scheffy, Robert Sterner, Elsie Mondschein, on behalf of her late husband Fritz Mondschein, Fritz and others.
The speakers addressed the ties of the people from Burgenland, the Saengerbund and region, enjoyed over the years, with visits from both sides of the Atlantic that will likely continue far into the future.
Niessl spoke of the tourism, in Burgenland, strides in education and a vibrant economy.
Walter Dujmovits, president of Burgenlandische Gemeinschaft, who has spurred many visits from both countries, said the relationship between the two countries and communities is strong.
Waldner said his first visit to Coplay left him very impressed, noting the affection the groups have for other is something that is admirable and to be cherished.
The Saengerbund chorus, under Director Joseph Weber, and the Hainz’nchor, under the direction of Robert Strauch, performed. After, Weber, Josef Kroboth and Emil Schanta entertained with button box accordions as the capacity crowd enjoyed food and co-mingled in the ballroom.