Partnership West Lothian District – Hochsauerlandkreis

by Jürgen Wagner

In the development of a really European society, partner­ships like the one between West Lothian and Hochsauerland play an essential role. It is through music, that a Europe of the people comes to exist locally step by step. To keep the partnership alive and to maintain it, much commitment, enthusiasm and work is needed.

Thanks to a musical event in March 2002, when the church wind choir Gleidorf played together with a musical delegation from West Lothian, numerous personal and human contacts have developed. The intense talks were deepened the following day already, at a private meeting in the “early­summer” garden. This is how the participants learned common things and differences from each other, together with feelings and prejudices and preferences and dislikes as well. Shortly said: everybody tested the other one’s way of being.

These contacts have been intensifed by both sides and  considerably deepened as the years went by. Private visits  in Scotland and Gleidorf respectively, school exchanges, changing of houses during holidays and giving support  in the search for a Headgreenkeeper have lead to a good knowledge of each other and respecting the other one’s way of the life and attitude. Concerts of the Scottish bands in  the Gleidorf church lead to an extraordinary support by  the Scottish friends and fnally resulted in the installation  of the “Gleidorf Music Festival”.

Being impressed by the extraordinary commitment for  building a new village centre through a village park and by the generosity of farmer Teipel, who put the space at our  disposal, the West Lothian District was considerably involved in shaping the opening ceremony. Together with the Gleidorf church wind choir, the West Lothian Jazz band and a Piper delegation, the event was well celebrated with about 800 guests. The event caused great emotions. Both sides agreed, that the Gleidorf Festival should be repeated once in two years. By now, the 4th Gleidorf Open Air Festival has taken place already. Thanks to private sponsors, the West Lothian District and the Hochsauerlandkreis, it has always been with free entrance for the citizens of the Schmallenberg area. The gain from it is a deep friendship and understanding between the Scottish musicians and the German participants.

In connection with this partnership, we wish that, especially between the youth, there will be a vivid exchange and personal and human contacts will develop.