The German flag was raised on the flagpoles at Davitt College Castlebar recently to mark a visit to the school of the German Ambassador to Ireland, Mrs Deike Potzel.
The German Ambassador was greeted by Principal Bernie Rowland with Deputy Principals William Rowan and Anita Gallagher and escorted to the Joe Langan Sports hall where she received a rapturous welcome from over 450 pupils and all teachers of German.
There are over 300 German language learners in Davitt College and three German language teachers on staff. Themes chosen for the event were: Togetherness, Friendship, and Standing Hand in Hand.
Mrs Potzel was treated to the German version of The Beatles hit: ‘I wanna hold your hand’ - sung by the 300 pupils of German in Davitt College, steered by the Leaving Cert Music class and accompanied by John Flatley on piano and Mark Galvin (5th Yr ) on drums.
Leaving Cert German pupils who played an integral part in the the bi-lingual visit were: Martha Scanlon , Eoghan Brogan, Ruairi Boyle, Annabelle Comer Halliwell, Sofija Belseva, Elaine Cashin and Sadhbh Reddington, who spoke eloquently ‘auf Deutsch’ with clear concise German, spoken with clarity and confidence, which impressed Mrs Potzel. Dieter Jaeger a sixth year presented Mrs Potzel with flowers and Mayo Crystal as a’ Danke Schön’ for her visit to Davitt College.
The rich programme organised for the visit reflected the talents and gifts of all Davitt College pupils and included Irish Dance by Laura Foy, Katie Lynch and Caoimhe Irwin and a song ‘as gaeilge’ by first year pupils with their teacher Ms Sinead Healy on the harp.
Mrs Potzel was also treated to a taste of the language learning experience of many pupils from first year, second year, third year, fifth year and sixth Year, with Mrs Potzel commenting on their confidence, delivery, vocabulary and pronunciation. She also listened to the history of the very important ‘German School Exchange Programme’ which exists since 2003 between Davitt College and The Realschule Höchstadt.
In the German Ambassador's address to the school, she spoke of her roots in Berlin, shared some childhood memories and spoke about the importance of language learning and working together. Throughout the visit the German words and sentiments of 'Freundschaft ‘ Verbundenheit’ and ‘ Zusammenhalt’ featured strongly, highlighting the strong ties between Germany and Ireland and the friendship and strong ties between the Realschule Höchstadt and Davitt College.