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.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Cullen, Dormaars win gold for Wetaskiwin Wrestling

Rookie wrestlers step up for Wetaskiwin team

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

Most Read