A packed meeting hall in the Cultural Center of the city of Herne (partner city) greeted the inaugural meeting of the newly elected council. Dieter Chilla, former and current chairman, welcomed representatives from all constituencies. Special welcomes were extended to Arkadiusz Lesko, chairman of the German cultural society "Heimat" (Home) in Ortelsburg / Szczytno, and Dariusz Malinowski (also from "Heimat").
Dieter Chilla was pleased that the posts in all 16 rural communities and three towns, had been taken up. He felt that that was a sign of the vitality of the Society.
Arkadiusz Lesko thanked the council for their material suport, and stressed the importance of working on common projects. In particular, he pointed out the importance of the German-Polish illustrated book about historic Ortelsburg, currently in preparation.
In his review Dieter Chilla explained how the Ortelsburg District Community has become dynamic, proactive and future-oriented. Looking back at 2012, he referred to such projects (amongst others) as:
The following members have resigned from the previous council and were - if present - awarded an honorary membership and the silver badge of honor of the District Community: Willi Berwein, Helena Hartinger, Anna Kilimann, Margret Stobinski and Kurt Spriewald.
Under sponsorship of the honorary chairman Edelfried Baginski, Dieter Chilla was, by secret ballot, unanimously elected chairman. Herbert John was elected vice chairman of the District Community.
The following officers were also unanimously elected:
With regard to the articles of the society, changes were made in order to execute some courses of action more speedily.
A key amendment was greeted with considerable applause: "Völkerverständigung" (Understanding between Peoples), particularly between the Germans and the Poles, was added to the list of objectives of the District Community.
In detail, the chairman spoke of the changes associated with the Ortelsburger Heimatbote (Home Messenger): Starting in the nineties, Alfred Denda has given this "flagship of the Ortelsburger District Community" a profile and has earned a lot of recognition for it. For private reasons he is now forced to give up this work. The chairman expressed in front of the assembly the deep gratitude and great respect for Alfred Denda; this was impressively underlined by continuous applause from the assembly.
In a first phase Detlef Ollesch has taken over this work for the 2013 "Heimatbote" (Home Messenger) and we thank him for his involvement. After the election by the council, the leadership is now with Alfred Olbrisch.
The chairman closed with the words "Ortelsburg lives, East Prussia lives!"
The meeting ended with the traditional singing of the "Ostpreussenlied" (East Prussia song).
March 2013, Dieter Chilla