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The 'Bund der Bayern' was established in August 1959 by Mr Heinz Brueckner. He and several other Bavarians formed the 'Edelweiss Schuhplattler' group. After only two short months of relentless practice the group made its first public appearance.


Popularity of the 'Edelweiss' group increased with appearances at the Tanunda Weinfest, the Festival of Arts and also through the television media. The first 'Bayern Abend' in 1960 was held in the old club house of SAADV.


During the construction of the new premises, the group held practices in a hall hired from G.T.V. 9. New costumes and necessary mending to old ones were paid with money earned at monthly dance evenings organised by the group at Henley Beach.


Upon completion of the new club premises in 1963, the group then moved back to the SAADV and adopted the new name of 'Heimat- und Volkstrachten Verein, Bund der Bayern'. The original name of 'Edelweiss' was retained by the Schuhplattlers of the Bund der Bayern.


In 1964, together with the SAADV the first 'Schützenfest' after World War II was held at the Gorge Picnic ground. As the Schützenfest grew in popularity, the SAADV took over the organisation and transferred this ever popular social activity to the Hahndorf Oval.


In 1966 the Youth group of the 'Edelweiss' was formed, under the leadership of Mr Otto Vogl. In 1972, the Youth group received it's own flag. The flag was beautifully hand painted by Mr Paul Wegener and was donated to the group by Hans and Anni Knoll. The president of teh SAADV, Mr Hein Diestel-Feddersen, unveiled the flag in the presence of many guests including the well known Pastor Zinnbauer. The flag was blessed by Father J. A. Baron from the German Catholic Centre St. Bonifatius, Collinswood.


In 1977, the very first 'Tanzfest' was held in the clubrooms of the SAADV. It was a modest beginning for the new traditional 'Volksfest'. Mr Dieter Fabig, President, and Mr Walter Tietjens, Secretary, together encouraged the 'Brücke' to sponsor the Festival. Other members who contributed to the success of the Volkstanzfest were Hans Knoll, Christel Kranich, Bruno Kranich, from the 'Bund der Bayern', and Mary Feddersen from the 'Deutscher Volkstanzkreis'.


For many years the 'Bund der Bayern' was a member of the 'Good Neighbour Council'. After this council dissolved the group joined the 'Folkloric Society'. As a result of this many new friendships were kindled. Some of the highlights were participating in a 'Preisplattln' with the 'Austrian National Dancers' and becoming honorary lifetime members of the 'South Coast Scottish Club'.


Throughout the years a bell ringers group under the name of 'Alpen Echo' has formed, their instruments being finely tuned cowbells.


Due to lack of actively recruiting new members, the group was on the brinck of collapse in 2011. But due to the relentless efforts of a small number of members the group managed to considerably increase in size again over a short period and is currently one of the biggest and most proactive groups of its kind in Australia.





The 'Bund der Bayern' has been fortunate to have had some very experienced people to guide it. Whilst the exact years have not been accurately recorded, the below list shows the order of leadership:


  • Heinz Brueckner (founder)

  • Hans Knoll

  • Otto Vogel

  • Hans Knoll

  • Manfred Kranich

  • Christel Kranich

  • Manfred Kranich

  • Tony Mittermaier

  • Dieter Fabig

  • Ramona Criado

  • Rob Portsch

  • Stephan Knoll

  • Reinhard Struve (from July 2011)


Under the various previous consitutions of the group, the following persons were acknowledged as honorary members:


  • Heinz Bruckner (deceased)

  • Otto Vogl (deceased)

  • Hans and Anni Knoll

  • Traudl Daniels

  • Herbert Bargmann

  • Manfred and Christel Kranich

  • Michael Carter


Over the years others have been very generous towards the group and received the certificate of 'Ehrenbayer'. John Amer, Dieter Fabig, Werner Wagnitz and , Werner Bromberger have all been awarded this honour.


Due to a change in constitution in 2013, honorary membership is now generally restricted to not more than five persons at any time. As at September 2014, there are currently four honorary members:


  • Hans and Anni Knoll

  • Manfred and Christel Kranich


There have been many highlights over the years, including performances at the Sydney Opera House, in Penang/Malaysia, Port Moresby/Papua New Guinea, Festival of Arts, Vintage Festivals, Schützenfest, Stanthorpe, Newcastle, Port Lincoln, Broken Hill, Whyalla, Mount Gambier, Brisbane, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Darwin, and Perth just to mention a few.


Annually, members meet at a picnic in December when Saint Nikolaus and Krampus visit the group.


Other regular social events include the annual "Tanz auf der Alm" and the networking event "Oktober is Over!" to celebrate the finish of the annual, exhausting Oktoberfest-season.


Many years ago the dancers adopted the costumes from the area of Miesbach. Even today the boys are still proud to wear the Lederhosen and half socks ('Wadlstrümpfe'). In 2012 the group decided to change to a dresscode for the girls that is more suited for the hot Australian climate, and opted for traditional Dirndls in the Bavarian colours of blue and white.




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