|Ladies for Rizal Bonn: Lady Aimee, Lady Gloria, Lady Susan, Lady Betty, Lady President Helen and Lady VP Margie|
On the occasion of the 150th birthday of Philippine national hero Dr Jose Rizal on 19 June 2011, the Order of the Knights of Rizal Bonn (KOR) and Kababaihang Rizalista Bonn Chapter (LFR) travelled to Wilhelmsfeld near Heidelberg to actively participate in the anniversary celebrations.
The day before, the 21-strong group (including 4 children) led by Sir Peter Plückebaum, KGOR, Commander, Bonn Chapter travelled the 250 kilometer stretch between Bonn and Wilhelmsfeld via a convoy of five cars and stayed overnight in a nearby hotel. A tour of the castle and Rizal’s various accommodations in Heidelberg was conducted after arrival to help re-acquaint the KOR LFR Bonn Chapter with the city in which Rizal lived for a few months in 1886. Rizal stayed in Heidelberg to practice Opthalmology after finishing his studies in Paris. It is in Wilhelmsfeld near Heidelberg where Rizal finished his novel entitled “Noli Me Tangere” which first saw publication in Berlin in 1887.
The celebrations on 19th June 2011 at the Rizal Park in Wilhelmsfeld, was opened by Rainer Weber, KCR, Chapter Commander of KOR Wilhelmsfeld Heidelberg. Subsequent speeches remembering the life and works of the national hero were made by First Secretary Robert Manalo of Berlin, the Kulturburgermeister of Heidelberg and Kababaihang Rizalista European President Lady Jane Mushake. After the speeches, the various LFR KOR Chapters present at the occasion namely, Stuttgart, Berlin, Hamburg, Wilhelmsfeld-Heidelberg, Bonn and Koln started laying down wreaths on the foot of the statue of Dr Jose Rizal. The Ateneo Choir, in a European concert tour, rendered Philippine songs while a 6-piece orchestra ensemble played the German national anthem.
|Sir Peter Plueckebaum, KOR Bonn Chapter Commander with LFR Bonn President Lady Helen Lacuna laying the wreath at the foot of Dr. Jose Rizal's statue at Rizal Park, Wilhelmsfeld|
After the official ceremonies, the celebrations continued with a hearty lunch of Philippine and German dishes prepared by the Wilhelmsfeld Heidelberg Chapter. A Knighting ceremony of the Wilhelmsfeld and Marquardt Stuttgart Chapters and a film show featuring Rizal followed afterwards.
The group went back to Bonn tired, but happy. Their participation in the celebrations not only commemorated the 150th birthday of our national hero and enriched their knowledge about Rizal’s experience in Germany but also demonstrated their strong cooperation with the Wilhelmsfeld Heidelberg Chapter. The group forged new contacts and cemented old friendships with other Chapters. More importantly, the KOR LFR Bonn Chapter’s trip to Wilhelmsfeld was another golden opportunity to bond as an organization and solidify the group.