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42-Year Class Reunion


Class of ’77 meets for an EXTRA party at Schloss Blankensee

In 2017, we had our class’ 40th reunion. It was so much fun that the idea was brought forward that we shouldn’t have to wait five years again as usual, but have a get-together within two years. And that was realized on the weekend of 21-22 September 2019.

The organization team (Claudia Peter, Petra Linke, Marthina Koerfer, Fedor Ernst, Karsten Peters, and me) started back in 2018 to get preregistrations. We set the date for the third weekend in September. We were pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming number of early reservations. By the weekend, 28 had signed up including two who just wanted to stay for the evening. About half-a-dozen sent their regrets for not being able to attend.

We returned to Schloss Blankensee near Trebbin, about half an hour south of Berlin. We set the overall costs at €200 per person, which included lodging and the evening’s drinks. The Sunday tour was free. We collected sponsorships to offer financial support for those who find they might not be able to afford that. A surplus would be donated to the JFKS alumni association.

Was a bit more expensive this time at Schloss Blankensee because we rented during the main season and we also had one of the larger fancy rooms at our disposal for the dinner and party. The historic castle and gardens were beautiful and the attached bedrooms were comfortable. Marthina organized the room assignments this time and it seems everyone paired up easily again.

Saturday’s meeting

On Saturday the 21st, the big day arrived. Most people drove directly to the Schloss either by car pool or by themselves. Others met at School at 2 in the afternoon to provide rides for those who needed transportation.

Those attending were: Tahani Adnan, Alan Benson, Friedhelm Blanckenburg, Birgit Franke, Derrick Fulton, André Gahleitner, Roy Gerstenberger, Dorothea Goldschmidt, Ilse Gross, Ulrike Henning, Kaspar Hammerstein, Georg Jäsrich, Uli Kessler, Manfred Koecher , Martina Koerfer, Petra Linke, Andrea Müller, Irini Piacos, Claudia Peter, Karsten Peters, Oliver Remme, Peter Reich, Nicola Rönnpag, Claudia Spieß, Doris Timm, and Peter Zuriel (who signed up but didn’t show up afterall).

The weather was warm and sunny during the afternoon (contrary to the stormy and rainy weather we had last time). We were welcomed with coffee, tea, and cake on the lawn behind the Schloss. Interestingly all the fancy old teacups and saucers were different from each other; hardly two matched.

While a number remained to enjoy the garden surroundings designed by Lenné, another group of us took a walk through the gardens and environs. We went through the village out to the actual Blankensee, where we found a boardwalk for enjoying the splendid view across the lake.

We continued through the village to the far end, saw a field – this is what a field trip is for – and then returned via the boardwalk again. Some of us went on to see the bird sanctuary of the Teltow-Fläming countryside.

The buffet dinner later in the large Balkonsalon Lenné facing the garden out back was grand as well, featuring Mediterranean cuisine. Drinks such as wine, beer, soft drinks, and water were included.

After the dinner, Petra and I hosted several games. First of all, I had everyone line up by age. Was fun to see how everyone was organizing themselves. I was at the one end as the only one who hadn’t turned 60 yet. Divided the group in two – young and old – and played a charade game guessing principles (Bewer and Behrend) and school objects (Haus Reil and Essensmarken ). The groups also had to draw the floor plans of the pavilion we were in during 3rd grade or the new elementary school building we moved in for 5th and 6th grade. Also took turns recounting the earliest memories of 1st grade or elementary school. Petra also had some team-building games such as building a stepping-stone bridge out of paper sheets or making animal figures with your neighbors in the circle.

Later, André set up his video projector and showed pictures his parents had taken of us in early years. The usual guessing game of “who is who” began as well as “whatever became of so-and-so?” Click here for examples.

Everyone was quite happy to sit around in groups till late. I was with the last group discussing climate change and how we could or couldn’t save the world.

Sunday’s Charité Hospital tour

Everyone slept well. We gathered for a plentifully and leisurely buffet breakfast in the Green room. Had time together before we needed to leave for meeting for lunch again at the Porta Nova restaurant at Robert Koch Platz.

After that, a small group of us took a tour organized by Marthina of the historical Charité Hospital. Due to illness, I wasn’t able participate unfortunately. However, I got the impression that everyone was well pleased about the weekend. The consensus is now for the next reunion to be the 45th in three years.

In the meantime, do check out these two websites:

John F Kennedy School John-F.Kennedy School
JFKS Alumni Association JFKS.NET.

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