Centennial Celebration in Bori – 1935

from:  “Festtage in Bori: 100 Jahre Deutschböhmische Siedlung Bori”

Czernowitzer Deutsche Tagespost, July 23, 1935, p. 3-4
Sophie A. Welisch PhD, Trans.

Posted 3 April 2003

July 14 was for Bori a very special day of celebration. The entire village was adorned with flags. Triumphal arches with German and Romanian inscriptions greeted the guests. Although the weather appeared threatening, the previously determined program was maintained. In a long column the festive procession began its march from Gurahumora at about 9:00 a.m. in order to participate in the open air mass in Bori. In the vanguard came the military band, then the happy youth with their pennants and banners, the representatives of the other clubs followed by some 500 young boys and girls, and finally the men and women. A festively decorated altar had been constructed, whose cross, visible from afar, loomed large against the distant horizon. Vicar General Grabowski himself, assisted by numerous other priests, celebrated the Pontifical Mass. With earnestness and emotion the assembled group of 3000 participated in the religious ceremonies. After the Gospel, Deacon Schüttler delivered the homily. He stressed that genuine, robust German ethnic identity can only prosper on the foundation of a Christian worldview. German ethnicity without religion is neo-paganism. Faithful to the practices and tradition s of their fathers, the Boriers for one hundred years have always remained steadfast and lived according to their ancestral Catholic religion while at the same time also remaining true to their German customs and language. The speaker concluded with an appeal to all to hold fast to the good old traditions, unaffected by the atheistic rumblings of the new era.

Deeply moving were the well-rehearsed songs of the Catholic German youth clubs accompanied by the military band directed with great skill by Captain Apostolescu. For his generous scoring of the songs as well as for his personally conducting the music we extended to him our heartfelt appreciation!

A modest luncheon after mass brought together all the festival deputies and guests for several hours of song and serious discussion in Mr. Günthner’s house, appropriately decorated for the occasion.

Festivities and a garden party followed in the afternoon. After an introductory song, Mayor Paicu rose to the podium and in warm words commemorated the first settlers who migrated from Bohemia to Bukovina one hundred years ago and here created fruitful arable land from virgin forest. Thanks to their labor and the hospitality of the Romanian population, their second homeland in Bori soon became attractive and cozy. Between the German and Romanian people, he continued, may there always exist the fullest harmony for the well-being of the country.

Right Reverend Sonntag of Augustendorf delivered the ceremonial address. Deeply moved, he described the lot of the immigrants, their many cares and struggles, deprivations and disappointments, illness and death which some already experienced en route before the thirty families, after a long a difficult journey, physically and materially spent, arrived in Bukovina in the spring of 1835. On July1, 1835 they signed a contract with the Solka Ministry of Economics and by October 16, 1835 were already in possession of 122 yokes of fields and forest on the mountain slope: Bori. Under difficult circumstances and threatened by wild animals, they cultivated the land with plow and spade by the sweat of their brow in order to leave it as a legacy to their children. But the most precious legacy, which they passed on, is the loyalty to our faith and to our German ethnicity. It remains the sacred obligation of their descendants to defend these priceless holy traditions.

Thereupon Senator Cosmiuc ascended the podium. He congratulated the Boriers as a senator in the name of the government. In well-considered words he paid respect to the hard lot of the German-Bohemian colonists, who, from a wilderness, created the cultural environment we now enjoy. We are indebted to these gallant men, and we demonstrate this appreciation by completing the task they have begun. But the impetus for it resides in loyalty to faith, fatherland and ethnic group.

Guests from Germany and a group from Staffelstein in Bohemia extended heartfelt greetings from Bavaria and the Bohemian Forest. A choral recitation, “Our Homeland—Our Church,” recited by the youth clubs of Gurahumora and Bori, was well received.

After completion of the official portion of the program, Reverend Mück rose to speak. He thanked all those participating in the celebrations—guests from far and near but especially the representatives of the Romanian administration—with the assurance that our Catholic German people will always remain loyal to God, king, and fatherland. The unofficial portion of the program consisted of songs, poems, folk dances, games, theatrical productions, raffles, telling of jokes and other entertainments. The merry gathering of the numerous guests did not break up until after midnight.