Dear family, friends and VIPs!
“There is nothing more urgent than saying thank you”. I read that Marcus Tullius Cicero had said and written that around 100+ some years, born as he was in 106.
How right he had been! Which is why I have to apologise that I’m only writing today to thank everyone sincerely for all you bestowed on me on my 99th birthday – your good wishes, surprises and gifts. Even an email fluttered my way from South Africa, written by an old friend, who too is in his 90’s and with whom I’d lost touch over many decades.
The reason for my delay: I tried to answer each contact, which took time – and which had been followed by my translating something close to my heart..
A birthday celebration is always great. Yet I think that this day, especially one’s 99th, is in itself a gift to be grateful for and is celebrated. At the same time one recalls that one had little to do with it! I think that one probably celebrates the amazed gratitude that one has been able to enjoy that day.
That in no way limits the thanks due to you for friendship and sympathy – quite the contrary, this is more than due!
I dare say, I’d have spent the day demurely at home in our old farmhouse, had it not been for Konrad Melchers’ admirable efforts, coupled with those of the RWG! I would have been happy with the good wishes from all over the world. That is still the case! Only, I was not with my small family. Instead I was the RWG’s guest in a hotel at the edge of a peaceful forest in a nature reserve in our vicinity. There one was able to imagine – unfortunately erroneously – that the planet was not threatened by serious climatic issued. I could relax and enjoy a leisurely drive along the sea with Konrad a few days after the birthday.
I hadn’t spent these days alone. I discovered that the hotel had an entire ground floor intended for celebrations, where one could be among relatives and friends. Thus one could enjoy presentations and speeches beginning with that of the RSW chair Gesche Karrenbrock and finally glorious music by the fabulous pianist Alexandra Lubschansky.
I was delighted that many had been able to come to Northern Jutland – from Germany, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Switzerland – and also all others, who participated with their kind wishes, e-mails, cards and calls. It had started with the surprise video of the RW school, which was enjoyable and due to the entire school family, thank you! – and had included a great “Zoom event” in the afternoon, where it was a delight to see friendly familiar faces, to begin with my dear niece Emily and her son Tomer. Emily and her son Tomer, who were there on behalf of the whole family. A big thank you to VIPs, beginning with Dr. Eid, who had sent their greetings!
My thanks are due to the Danish Rotarian and her spouse, who had joined the guests.
Thanks are also due to the hotel staff, who looked after everyone, as with serving the meal chosen by Nina Melchers.
I wish to return to Alexandra Lubschansky. She was to accompany Pumeza Matshikiza , the gifted South African opera singer, who is currently engaged in London. She had planned a concert of African songs, at the invitation of Dr. Melchers. I knew her beautiful voice by then – but her last name had been long familiar! I soon learned that she was the niece of the equally one-and-only South African musician, conductor and composer Todd Matshikiza. He, as well as the musical “King Kong” of the last year in the 50s, for me is unforgettable, it belonged to my younger years and South African past.
The fact that the Pumeza concert failed to take place, was due to the European bureaucracy – and let us not forget, also due to racism. Ms. Matshikiza appeared three or four times at the Danish embassy with her visa application. This was finally granted – but only the day before the concert. Even on the following day, the indefatigable Konrad Melchers tried to arrange a flight for Ms. Matshikiza – but he finally had to throw in the towel.
Thank you everyone, who had looked forward to listening “live” to Pumeza Matshikiza’s beautiful voice!
A huge THANK YOU goes to Alexandra! In a single day she had mastered African melodies, which she presented to us masterfully. Thank you, dear Alexandra – for getting to know you and having been fortunate to listen to you!
I AM MOST GRATEFUL TO YOU ALL – EXCEPT FOR THE DISAPPOINTMENT ABOUT THE CONCERT – IT WAS TRULY A GREAT DAY!
WHICH IS WHY I RAISE MY CUP TO SAY:
CHEERS, PROST AND L’CHAIM!