Grimma Garden Stone

Pipestone Flyer

A flood, and a granite stone, bind the communities of Leduc and Grimma, Germany.

On Sept. 15, a plaque dedicated to the community of Grimma was unveiled on a stone found in the Robinson subdivision of Leduc, during a ceremony in the Stone Barn Garden, further cementing the relationship between the two communities which started when a local resident happened to be in Germany in 2002.

At the time Fritz Koenig was in Leipzig, Grimma had been devastated by flooding. “What I saw was horrible,” he said. “Water and garbage covered everything.”

When Koenig returned from his trip, he spoke to other German-born residents of Leduc about the devastation he saw, and together they raised $35,000 for relief. Those dollars were matched with funds from the Wildrose Foundation, and $70,000 was sent to Grimma from Leduc. With that donation, Grimma was able to work on rebuilding, and the first step of a friendship and partnership between the two communities was taken.

Located 25 kms from Leipzig, Grimma has around 30,000 residents, and is a small city surrounded by agricultural lands and a major industrial centre.

“Sounds like anywhere else we know,” said Mayor Greg Kritschke. “What this is, is a testament to the strength of our relationship. Granite lasts for ever and that is what this partnership is about.”

Realizing how alike the two communities are, and how each could benefit from partnerships with the other, Koenig approached Pat Klak, past executive director of the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association, about furthering relations with Grimma. “He came in, said I should write a letter to Grimma,” she said. “I said that’s a wonderful idea. He said, ‘you should do it now.’ ” Klak did and over the last few years, there have been visits to Grimma from Leduc delegates and delegations from Grimma to Leduc.

“This is a perfect partnership,” said Krischke. “We feel there will be good economic activity to come out of this.”

The plaque that was erected in the Stone Garden is dedicated to the people of Grimma for their strength in overcoming disaster and moving on, while also taking time to enjoy the beauty of nature. “The gardens and yards in Grimma are just amazing,” said Leduc Councillor Beverly Beckett.

Leduc resident Henry Rutowski, who translated the plaque from English to German during the ceremony, said, “This plaque is a reminder that we have a tradition and a culture … I hope this will last for years to come.”

Wolfgang Hoffman, a resident of Munich was visiting family in Leduc and happened to be at the garden ceremony.

“It is a great honour for me to see the German people who left there remember the people who are still there,” he said. “They always have remembered Germany and how to help their own here and the people of Germany.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read