Taranaki Swiss Club Address
508 Salisbury Road
Othmar Hebler has been our President since 2005, and is very dedicated to his role. Othmar immigrated to New Zealand many years ago, and married Marlies, a Swiss, who was touring around our country. They have three children who all speak Swiss-German very well. Othmar participates in the Singing Group, plays the alphorn and accordion - in a nutshell he has great musical talent. He ensures that the Club house and surroundings are well maintained, helped by a hard-working committee. Othmar is our bus driver on our trips away, and for this we are truly grateful. His wife Marlies contributes a huge amount to our club also. Unlike her husband, Marlies' talents lie mainly in the kitchen. Thanks to Othmar and Marlies we have a great club and we look forward to many more years of service from you!!!
In February 1974, the day of Richard's arrival in New Zealand, he was offered a position as Aircraft Mechanic with NZ Aerospace Industries in Hamilton. Besides working on aeroplanes, he also flew them by gaining his commercial pilot and instructor licences. During his time in the Waikato, he joined the Hamilton Swiss Club where he got to know many of the members at the social events. After a few years at Waitemata Aero Club (Auckland) as flying instructor, he decided to explore the South Seas. He was fortunate to further his flying career with airlines in the islands of Tonga and Fiji, plus the atolls of the Marshall archipelago, where they resided for six and a half years. His wife, Lynley and son, Marcus, thoroughly enjoyed the tropical weather and crystal clear waters of the ocean. From there, they lived in Switzerland for 25 years, where their son received an excellent education. Having done a lot of scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean, Richard joined the Lake Thun Diving Club, where he became a committee member and President for many years. After retiring early 2016, Richard and Lynley returned to New Zealand, where they explored for fifteen months all the exciting places on both islands with their campervan and mountain bikes. Arriving in Hawera and seeing the great view of Mt Taranaki in the background, they decided this was the place they would like to settle. Joining the Taranaki Swiss Club middle of last year, Richard participates in the Singing Group and lends a helping hand. Lynley plays the piano accordion, and both enjoy participating with the musical entertainment. We were fortunate to have Richard join our committee at the last AGM in March, and we look forward to his helping hand at our functions!!!
Vonnie recently joined the committee and we're mighty grateful to have another lady in our midst! Vonnie's grandparents emigrated to New Zealand from Switzerland, and her father, Alby Schuler, has been an active member of our Swiss Club for many years. Vonnie, too, has been a members for many years and enjoys her Swiss heritage. As a young child Vonnie could speak the Swiss-German dialect well, but with her mother unable to understand the language, her comprehension of the language decreased. Vonnie loves cooking and baking "Swiss" food, with some of her recipes handed down in the family. Vonnie is married to Joe with their two adult children (Toni and Dillon) living nearby and thoroughly enjoys her six grandchildren. Thank you Vonnie for joining our committee, and we look forward to your valuable contribution for many years to come!!!
John is a recent addition to our committee. At 31, he brings youth! Yippee!! Having Swiss ancestry on both sides of his family, he is a third generation Swiss - the late Joe and Emmi Kiser's grandson. His parents, Arnold and Edith Fitzgerald, have been members for many years, and John has seven siblings; all his Taranaki-based brothers and sisters are members of our club too! John works on the family dairy farm just outside Kaponga. With age he has acquired an interest and appreciation of his Swiss heritage, and now joins his uncle Mark on the committee! John enjoys karabiner shooting and keglen, together with our other functions. Living close by, he's quite happy to help out whenever possible, with their tractor always close by if required. John, we look forward to your contribution to our Club for many, many years.
Zeno has been our Vice President for a few years, and has been on the Taranaki Swiss Club committee for many years. Zeno is a second generation Swiss, but understand the dialect very well. Zeno is a keen "jasser", enjoys keglen and has participated in the shooting activities in the past. He is a very, very talented musician, but sadly was involved in a car crash that left his left arm and hand badly damaged. But with his great determination and positive attitude he is slowly getting more feeling back ... hopefully with medical assistance he will get even more mobility. We all hope that Zeno will be back playing the accordion soon (especially Marianne who has had to dust the cobwebs off her accordion too often to accompany the Singing Group!!!). Zeno is also an excellent painter, and he has recently organised our own "Arbour Day" by removing an old tired-looking hedge and replacing it with some flaxes. Thanks for all you do for our club, Zeno, and we look forward to your continued support.
Marianne has been treasurer for longer than she cares to remember!!! And secretary for just a few years. Marianne writes the articles for the Helvetia magazine and updates (perhaps not often enough!!!) the website. With both parents immigrating from Switzerland, she grew up with Taranaki Swiss Club being an integral part of her social calendar. Marianne participated in the Trachtengruppe while it was active, and currently plays the accordion for the Singing Group. She enjoys Swiss tradition and culture and is grateful that her husband, Adrian, and sons, Daniel and Richard, also participate in the Club and help at functions.
Mark is our small bore rifle master, and has been on the TaranakI Swiss Club committee for many years. Mark is also on the Keglen sub-committee and helps at the karabiner shoots. Mark organises many of our shooting events, and does a terrific job. He is very thorough and ensures that the functions run smoothly. He is a handiman, and helps to ensure that the Club house is in good condition. Mark was also Swiss Society Rifle Master for many years, ensuring that results were handed in and medals ordered. Mark never makes a big noise, but makes sure that jobs get done!!! He has great kitchen skills ... a better pot-scrubber than Mark at the fondue evenings is hard to find!!! Although Marcus is up there too!!! We look forward to your valuable contribution on our Swiss Club committee for many more years!!!
Bryce is a relatively new addition to our Taranaki Swiss Club committee, and we appreciate your time and effort. Bryce has recently taken over the Karabiner Rifle Masters' duties ... being ably taught by Remigi who had many years of experience!!! It's great to see the younger generation giving these duties a go ... so well done. Bryce is a second generation Swiss, and has embraced the Swiss culture and tradition. He enjoys both small bore and karabiner shooting, and takes part in the Keglen events. We look forward to your continued support on our committee.
Erna has been on the Taranaki Swiss Club committee for many years, with Remigi retiring in 2016 from the committee. He had been Karabiner (big bore shooting) Rifle Master for several years. Erna is currently our friendly hall custodian, so if you require the hall for a function please do not hesitate to ring her. Erna is an avid jassen player, and both her and Remigi participate in Keglen and shooting events. Erna is one of our "fondue makers" and is wonderful around the kitchen. You must try one of Erna's home-made Baslerleckerli ... they are truly the BEST!!! Many thanks Remigi for your time on the committee, especially taking over the reigns of the Karabiner Shooting from the late Ruedi Dudli. Both Remigi and Erna participate with the Singing Group, with Remigi also assisting the accordion players by playing percussion instruments. Erna continues to make a big contribution on the committee, and we hope to have you for many more years.
Johnny has been on the Taranaki Swiss Club committee for many years, and we are so very lucky to have such a wonderful person looking after our grounds, ensuring that the lawns are regularly mowed (more often than at home, his wife Margaret tells us!!??!!), trees are pruned and maintenance is carried out. I hope that you realise how much we really do appreciate the work that you do, Johnny. Johnny is an avid Keglen competitor (and until recently was Keglen master for many years), takes part in the shooting programmes (both small bore and karabiner), is part of the Swiss Singing Group and is trying hard to learn the intricacies of Jassen!!! Well done, Johnny ... it’s great to see how much you enjoy Swiss culture and traditions. We are also truly grateful to Johnny’s wife, Margaret, who always helps in the kitchen ... providing food and doing untold dishes ... you’re a gem!!! Thank you Johnny and Margaret for your valuable and dedicated contribution to our Club over many years.
Walter is our Past President, and agreed to continue serving the Taranaki Swiss Club committee upon his retirement from the Presidency. Walter has been active in the shooting events (both small bore where he was President of the sub-committee and Karabiner), the Keglen and also the Jassen. Walter is currently running our jassen afternoons and thoroughly enjoys these games. Walter is a people's person, and loves a chat ... that's what a social club is for, isn't it Walter??!!! Walter participates in the Singing Group which he thoroughly enjoys. He is great at "Tahlerschwingen" and uses his percussion instruments accompanying the accordionists.
Marlies is married to our President, Othmar. She arrived in New Zealand as a tourist, and ... well ... the rest is history ... she married Othmar and they have lived in New Zealand ever since!!! They have three adult children who all speak Swiss-German ... well done for ensuring that your children speak the language of their forebearers! Marlies is efficient in the kitchen, ensuring that we always have more than enough food!!! Marlies participates in the Keglen, Shooting and Jassen ... and has won the shot put trophy several times. Marlies is in the Singing Group which performs for various other clubs and organisations.
Heidi has also been on the Taranaki Swiss Club committee for several years. She’s great in the kitchen and is an amazing waitress for the fondue ... ensuring everyone gets their fondues as soon as possible. She’s a keen sports competitor ... great in shot put, keglen and jassen!!! Heidi has shown her talents in the Singing Group, and is an excellent accompanist to the accordions with her broom and half brush!!! Heidi is also wonderful at “Tahlerschwingen”, so has many strings to her musical bows!!! Heidi recently took on the job as Keglen chief, and is an avid supporter of this event. Together with her late husband Nic they taught their children Swiss-German, and all speak the language fluently. Well done, Heidi. Their two sons, Sami and Thomas, have been regular competitors in the Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) held at our annual picnic, and between them have taken out many titles, with both now helping with administration and refereeing of the Schwingen. It is impressive to note that all of Heidi’s children are members of the Taranaki Swiss Club, and obviously cherish their Swiss heritage. Thank you for all you have done for our Club, Heidi, and we look forward to your continued support for many more years!!!
Marcus has also been on the Taranaki Swiss Club committee for many years. A plumber by trade, he is often called upon to utilise his skills at the Club house. We have just recently removed the old, cracked spouting and replaced it with new spouting ... Marcus getting us a good deal and assisting with the work. Marcus is also one of the team of Bar Managers, enjoys playing jassen and takes part in the Keglen. Marcus is an excellent pot-scrubber at our fondue evening ... he just gets on with it!!! Thanks Marcus, for your valuable support, and we look forward to you being on the committee for many more years.