Der Habtman (President) of Grundsau Lodsch Nummer Ains, William Meck of Alburtis rings to order the annual Versammling (meeting) at the Kutztown Grange.PRESS PHOTOS BY LOU WHEELAND Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Rawdsleit members Pastor Brian Haas of Christ UCC, Walnutport, and Patrick Donmoyer carefully move the Grundsau carriage to its place of honor. Donmoyer is director of Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University. Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Members and guests of Grundsau Nummer Ains sing and act out the groundhog song giving allegiance to the grundsau. Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Doug Madenford and Chris LaRose traveled from north central Pennsylvania back to their roots to perform their music. Madenford treated grundsau lodge members to a series of jokes that brought the Pa. German speakers nearly to their knees in laughter. Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Die Rawdsleit (Board of Directors) of Grundsau Nummer Ains: the Rev. Brian Haas; Dr. William Donner; William Mantz; Keith Brintzenhoff; Patrick Donmoyer; William Meck; Edward Quinter; Richard Reilly; Michael Werley; the Rev. Alton Zentner; and Jeffrey Shearer. Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Der Unnerhabtman (vice president) William Mantz of New Tripoli, leads the procession of the Grundsau (groundhog) with the American flag. Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Ralph Grammes of Upper Macungie, joins in singing at the Grundsau Nummer Ains versammling on Groundhog Day. Copyright - Lou Wheeland Photography
Celebrating the Groundhog
Grundsau Lodsch Nummer Ains gathers for Versammling
Members of the Lehigh Valley’s oldest groundhog lodge, Grundsau Lodsch Nummer Ains (Groundhog Lodge Number 1), had their annual Versammling (meeting) at the Kutztown Grange Hall on Groundhog Day.
The Lodsch, 82 years old, ais the first of the 18 lodges to be formed in the region.
Once the evening Versammling begins, only Pennsylvania Dutch is spoken, leaving English only speakers at a loss.
When one looks around the hall at those who are conversing in Pennsylvania Dutch, the hope is evident for future generations to carry on the tradition.