2021 Reunion

35TH Annual AFRC Ski Reunion


Our 35th Consecutive Annual AFRC Ski Reunion was held on 11-15 March 2009 at Whitefish, Montana, with 105 of the faithful, families, friends and guests attending from all four corners of the USA and Germany.

Tim and Kate Ibey from Missoula, Montana, are to be commended for making the arrangements for our fine reunion.  THE LODGE AT WHITEFISH LAKE is no doubt the finest accommodations to include ski passes that we have ever had over these 35 years of our reunions.  The staff at the INN was most attentive and accommodating to our needs and served our two great banquets with outstanding food. Our thanks and appreciation goes out to Brian Averill, the General Manager, Fabienne and Katie in reservations, Sammi and Brandy in food services, and Dabney and Christinna  at the front desk for helping to make our stay there a most pleasant one and a successful reunion.    WE MUST RETURN HERE SOMEDAY  FOR ANOTHER REUNION!!

Least I forget it was Tim Ibey who sponsored our successful and memorable reunion at BIG SKY, Montana, on 24-28 January 2001. Tim also helped Rich Stahl, who sponsored the GEORGETOWN LAKE, Montana, Reunion in 1997 by locating and providing a mobile Hot Tub for our hotel.   In 1997 Tim assisted Brad Richey and Bill Henning with the BIG SKY, Montana Reunion.  Your sponsorships  and assistance to our reunions just gets better and better and from all of us,  A BIG THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS  for YOUR DEDICATION on a job well done.

With Paul Lambres and Joe Cilenti remaining the two loyal and dedicated Raiders behind the continued cohesiveness and administration of our Raiders organization, our 35th reunion was again most successful.  Their continued dedicated handling of the publicity, financial and registrations makes for always a memorable reunion. 

We have a new “BAZ CUP” thanks to Bill and Erica Southerland.  On a recent trip back to Bertesgaden, Bill and Erica visited the site of the old Bertesgadener Hof Hotel. The Hof, the swimming pool and the Thayer Annex have all been demolished to make room for a new government “Haus der Berge” museum of the mountains. While on site Bill found and retrieved a limestone block from the back corner of the Hof overlooking the pool area. From this stone piece Bill has had made a much improved and now renamed trophy: “The BAZ BERCHTESGADENER HOF CUP”. to be presented annually at the reunion to “THE MOST DEFINING RAIDER”. On the reverse side of the trophy is an inscribed plate telling the important historical significance of the old Bertesgaden Hof Hotel.  On behalf of all the Raiders I extend to Bill and Erica our sincere appreciation for this fine addition for our continued celebrations. To the left is a photo of the new trophy.  At our final banquet at Whitefish, the FIRST new “BAZ BERCHTESGADENER HOF CUP” was presented to “Big” Pete Simpson from Fairbanks, Alaska, as the “THE MOST DEFINING RAIDER FOR 2009”. 

The Berchtesgadener Hof hotel had previously been the "Grand Hotel Auguste Victoria," popular with visiting royalty. The Nazis bought it in 1936, remodeled it and renamed it the Berchtesgadener Hof, and used it to house dignitaries visiting Hitler's Berghof, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, and David Lloyd George. High-ranking Nazis such as Josef Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop also stayed here, as did visiting military officers such as Erwin Rommel. Eva Braun lived at the Berchtesgadener Hof when she first came to Berchtesgaden, before moving into the Berghof. Later, Obersalzberg functionaries such as Martin Bormann's brother Albert lived here, as did Hitler's sister Paula (incognito, as Paula Wolf). After the U.S. Army occupied the area in May 1945, the Berchtesgadener Hof was the scene of several high-ranking surrenders - including that of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring.

The U.S. Army took over the Berchtesgadener Hof in 1945, and it was one of the show-pieces of the Armed Forces Recreation Center until 1995 (my father stayed here in 1946). The rear balconies and sun terrace were justly famed for their view of the mountains. Sadly, when the U.S. Army left in late 1995, the famed hotel was closed and locked, as it remained for several years until it was torn down in 2006, to make way for a new "Haus der Berge" museum of the mountains.

Our next reunion, selected by the most votes received at our final banquet, will be held at TELLURIDE, COLORADO,  in   2010.  The exact date to be announced as soon as possible this coming summer  by Paul and Joe.

Love and Peace,  Uncle BAZ     In the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas  1 April 2009

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