The History of our German-American Club
German and Austrian immigrants and their descendants represent the largest ethnic group in America and they have collectively contributed immensely to the development and success of the New World. Evidence of our contributions can be found in every facet of this country’s development as in history and politics, science, medicine, engineering, electronics, music, in the arts and more.
The first thing that immigrants usually do is to learn the language and the customs of the new country and then try to blend in so much that their own ethnic customs and values become diminished. This is where individual clubs come in by keeping customs, work ethics and memories alive. There are thousands of such clubs in America and we are proud to be a viable German-American Club in these rural communities of Nevada City and Grass Valley.
Our Club was started in 1984 by our founder and first president Jim Bitzer. He was a second generation immigrant from the small town of Bitz near Ebingen and was proud to still be able to speak the German language. Our Gold Country German American Club will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary in 2014.
We meet on the first Friday of each month for socializing and dancing and we have a great Folk Dancing group, an active Hiking group, a Singing group and a Conversational German group. We also hold a big party to celebrate the German National Holiday in October and host a very successful annual Oktoberfest as well as a Maifest, a Summer Picnic and a Christmas Party. Over the years we have participated in the local Fourth of July, Constitution and Carnival Parades and have a number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize trophies to show for our fun and efforts.
Occasionally we feature a member’s family history in our monthly newsletter. This often brings home the fact that we live in a global village and shows us how far flung historic events had, and still can have, a ripple effect on us and our lives. This helps us appreciate the freedom and greatness of this country – America – and makes us grateful to have a chance to work and thrive here.
Written by Maria Caballero
Here is a copy of the Club’s Bylaws: GCGAC By-Laws rev 2016