The first meeting of German people interested to form a club to cater for the needs of German speaking migrants who wanted to communicate with other German migrants in Cairns was held on the 27th June 1971. Nine people attended. It was resolved to form a club and name it Cairns Germania Club. The same nine people met again on 4th July 1971 and founded the Cairns Germania Club, elected their first President and formulated the club’s constitution.
The names of the founding fore bearers:
E. & Ferdinand Knobloch , Gitta & Ferdinand Douw, Ursula & WolfgangSchaefer , Alois Hoffmann Johanna & Gerhard Liebnau
Gerhard Liebnau is the only founding member celebrating with us the 46th anniversary.
Many new members joined the club and soon a folk dancing group was formed by Alois Ettinger, who years later became one of the Presidents.
A lot of people worked very hard, gave up their time on a voluntary basis to make the club the way it is still today. Ten years after the formation of the first ever German Club in Cairns the need for own club premises made the members through their committee and some individuals within the club bought an old unused church hall in Winkworth Street Cairns. The purchase price was $21,000. A $5,000 deposit secured the deal which was loaned to the club by one of its members and of course paid back over a period of time.
A lot of work had to be done to transform a church hall to our club house. Since 35 years of ongoing restorations and maintenance the German Club Cairns has one of the ‘greatest little club houses’ in Australia.
At the beginning of 1990 the name Cairns Germania Club was officially changed to German- Austrian-Swiss Association trading as Germania Club. The change came because many Austrian and Swiss people joined the club.
To move with the modern times, the old fashioned name ‘Germania Club’ is now officially changedto GERMAN CLUB CAIRNS.
The first Oktoberfest in Cairns was introduced by the German (Germania) Club in 1991. Theevent was staged at Barlow Park by Gunther Kremser, leader of the ‘Edelweiss Folks dancers’and President at the time.
The since then yearly Oktoberfest is actually the German Clubs’ Fundraiser to cover most of the costs and keep the club alive.
Every year a new Committee is voted and together with a number of volunteer members, called‘working bees’ this group of people are managing, maintaining and running the club, giving theirtime, experience and knowledge. The German Clubs’ mission nowadays is still to keep the German Language and Culture alive, however this goal is mainly to reach through the famous‘Oktoberfest style’ entertainment with German food and Beer.