Crest of the Bukovina Society of the Americas The Bukovina Society of the Americas
P.O. Box 81, Ellis, KS 67637, USA 
Martha McClelland , President
Bukovina Society Headquarters & Museum, Ellis KS 67637

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Vol. 04, No. 4   -   December 1994

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Oren Windholz, President
Raymond Haneke, Vice President
Joe Erbert, Secretary
Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

Editorial response to
P. O. Box 1083
Hays, KS 67601-1083

Bukovinafest 1996

The meetings for 1996 will perhaps be the largest ever for the society. Dr. Ortfried Kotzian has written that he is planning to attend Bukovinafest 96. Dr. Kotzian is affiliated with the Bukowina Institut of Augsburg. He is a prominent author of Bukovina history and along with his wife and three daughters perform a variety of musical and singing acts. Dr. Kotzian will speak on new information about Bukovina and the development in the new democratic states of Romania and Ukraine.

Ken Meter, coauthor of Border People, about the Böhmish in America has become well acquainted with board member Steve Parke and will address our convention. Ken is part of the German-Bohemian Heritage Society of Minnesota whose people trace back to an area now the Czech Republic. Many of our Catholic Deutsch BÖHMISCH ancestors originated there before migrating to Bukovina. Steve has also lined up Dr. Paul Michelson from the Society for Romanian Studies to give programs on his trips to Romania.

Paul Massier, board member from California, has offered to provide and assist with a number of programs dealing with our cultural heritage such as corn husking and quilting bees, demonstrations of old appliances, social and entertainment activities, and food preservation.

Aura Lee Furgason is working on a band that plays music from Bukovina. Van Massirer, Irmgard Ellingson, and other board members continue to give us valuable input. A number of other prominent Bukovina personalities are being booked for the Bukovinafest 96.

A committee is being formed to create a Bukovina cook book. It is not too early now for everyone to dig out their favorite recipes and send them to the society mailing address, or contact a board member. The book will also include home remedies and household hints from our ancestors, so remember to jot those down and send them in.

Just the goodies members brought to the Oktoberfest for sale would make a good start on a cook book.


The board of directors will schedule the annual business meeting of the Bukovina Society with no plans for speakers or programs. Those attending will be able to gain access to computer and additional microfilm resources the society will acquire in the near future. Information and dates will be set and announced by the spring issue of the newsletter.

Ellis Oktoberfest

The Fourth Annual Ellis Oktoberfest was a great success. Led by the Geschwentner family of Rich's IGA, the events brought many people out to celebrate. The Bukovina Society again conducted opening ceremonies. Pastor John Binder gave the invocation, and official welcomes and remarks were made by Ellis mayor Jim Wannamaker and society president Oren Windholz. The board of directors led the audience in singing German songs. After the tapping of the first keg, the polka bands played and everyone enjoyed the foods, crafts, and activities.

The board asked local society members to bring baked goods for sale at the Bukovina Booth. The response was tremendous and resulted in a profit of over $400.00. Many thanks to the area members and friends who supported us. The board has dedicated the funds to acquisition of additional microfilm records from Bukovina villages.


Bukovina Tour

The Bukowina Institut has offered to create a tour of Bukovina for members of the Bukovina Society similar to those they have conducted in past years for members of the Landsmannshaft der Buchenlanddeutschen. The selection of sites and villages would be entirely based on the requests by participants of the tour. The Institut needs a year planning time, and suggests the fall of 1996. Travel is on a bus with restroom facility, and round trip from Munich. The total time would be about two weeks with the first few days visiting the Augsburg area, and a few days after the tour attending Oktoberfest in Munich. Estimated cost of the tour is $2,000 dollars plus the travel to Munich and time in Germany. Bus capacity ranges from 40 to 60. A flyer is enclosed for you to' return indicating an interest, with no obligation to sign up until a final decision is made by the society to sponsor the tour.

Bukovina People & Events

Our museum cannot remain open each day because of the time involved, but is seen by many people through the tours sponsored by the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau. Many people stop in Ellis during vacation to stay in the campground and to visit the other museums. When stopping at the Bukovina Society, a sign welcomes them with phone numbers for Ray Schoenthaler, Ray Haneke, Joe Erbert, and Ralph Honas. Many additional visitors have been able to see our home because these men open up and provide tours. Some of the visitors have roots in Bukovina, purchase our books and mementos, and join the society. Thanks to the guys for their work. The museum is kept in good shape by these volunteers.

Van Massirer, board member from Crawford, Texas, has offered to host a future convention of the Bukovina Society in mid Texas. The 1995 date is too soon, and 1996 has been planned, so perhaps we will be meeting in Texas in 1997.

Wilhelmina Steininger from Naperville, Ill. wrote to the secretary expressing her pleasure in the annual Bukovinafest. She was born in the Bukovina and has been a promoter of the society since she attended the first annual meeting with her son and granddaughter. She has since brought other family and friends to meetings and helped in our sale of books and memberships.

A nice letter was received from Agnes and Clyde Schellhammer on their great appreciation of the Bukovinafest. They come each year from Shawnee Mission, Kansas to enjoy the programs and activities.

Joe Erbert joined a group of Volga German musicians to make a tape of German music for a Russian folk festival held in September. Leona Pfeifer took the tape to the festival in the Volga River region which was organized by Johann Windholz.

Dr. Schmeller Visit To Augsburg

Dr. Helmut Schmeller, retired professor at Ft. Hays State University, took the opportunity to visit the Bukowina Institut during a business and family trip to Europe. He had graciously offered to bring materials back to the society and the archives. Because of the good response on our purchase of microfilm last year, Dr. Schmeller was asked to review the microfilm at the Institut for future acquisitions. He spent time with the leaders of the Institut, brought back a number of books and publications, and put in orders for microfilm from the villages of Gurahumora, Illischestie, Karlsberg, and Radautz. Other villages are represented within some of these records. We anticipate receipt of these within the next few months, and a second order will be placed soon.


The society has been organized and operating as an association, and the board authorized filing of the Articles of Incorporation creating a non profit corporation in the state of Kansas. The bylaws and tax exemption papers will be filed soon.

The society board has authorized the purchase of a new computer package. New applications and demand has created a need to replace the original computer generously donated by Dave Zerfas. Money from the fund drive for the first computer will be used with the balance from the general account.


  • 70. Lois J. and Paul Wagoner, Colby, Ks.
  • 71. Dr. M. Louise Garbe, Seattle, Wa.

Thanks to these folks for keeping the club growing. Please consider making your contribution of $150.00 to the lifetime endowment. No more annual dues. You receive regular newsletters and it supports the society. In the last newsletter, we identified new lifetime members as Joseph and Betty Augustine of Oakdale, Minnesota. It should have been Beverly, and it was quite a surprise to Joe who was sure it was Beverly.

The response to our request for 1995 annual dues was good. For those not paid up, this will be the last newsletter sent until 1995 dues are received. We send regrets to those who may have been billed in error.


Four family reunions will bring hundreds of guests to the Bukovinafest. The Honas family will have their third reunion in conjunction with the convention. The Deutscher family has set our convention as their time for reunion. An Augustine reunion will involve a number of families from Canada. Ralph Burns was up there for a wedding recently and said a lot of interest has developed. The Erbert/Fuchs family reunion will mark 5 years since their first get together. A committee from the board of the society and representatives of each family will meet to coordinate activities. Any other families wanting assistance in scheduling a reunion can contact a board member.

Other Societies

Steve Parke attended the 4th Czechoslovak Genealogical/Cultural Conference in October in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He met with several people who would like to participate in our future conventions with old ethnic ties. They also see Bukovina Society members being interested in some of their activities. The Capital City Czech Choraliers of Lincoln performed and are interested in being a part of our future activities. The Czechoslovak Genealogical Society is at P 0 Box 16225, St. Paul, MN 55116-0225.

The newsletter Neuer Louisville Anzeiger was received from the Kentuckiana Germanic Heritage Society, established in 1991. Those wanting to affiliate in that area can contact them at P O Box 37271, Louisville, KY 40231. A sample copy of their newsletter is available upon request.

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