When construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme came to an end, many German migrants who had been involved in it, moved to Canberra and took an active part in the construction of the nation’s capital.
In 1958 Canberra’s population was approximately 40,000 including a good representation of German speaking migrants. Four years later the population had increased to 63,000.
Towards the end of 1960 the idea of establishing a German club and the name “Harmonie” was suggested and accepted. In the hope that harmony and goodwill would prevail in the club. The monthly contribution was 5 shillings; and on 9 June the Club became an incorporated body.
Every function contributed to club funds, and the idea for club rooms of their own became increasingly popular among members, who by now numbered almost 200.
In August 1962 the authorities offered the Club a block of land in Narrabundah with a covenant of £40,000.
The idea of a club building started to take shape when the first sod was turned in August 1963. Two months later, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Ritter, performed the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone. The hard work and the donations by members speeded up construction, and the club building was officially opened on 3 October 1964.
In February 1971 a contract was signed to build the club extension including a large auditorium complete with beautiful parquetry flooring.
Today The Harmonie German Club is still the quintessential harmonious Club. We have a proud Stammtisch (locals table) and we cater for a broad range of interest groups, sporting bodies, community associations, we have a rich arts culture with dance, live music, traditional choirs.
We boast a fantastic restaurant serving traditional Bavarian and Australian foods and serve imported German Beers, Wines, Ciders and Schnapps alongside a great range of popular beverages.
We are active in the community and represented at Canberra’s Multicultural Festival.
And don’t forget our annual Oktoberfest festival, second only to the original Oktoberfest in Munich.