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Die Sivvezich Fersommling
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

The 70th Gathering


            At the turn of the twentieth century, most people in our region spoke the Pennsylvania-German dialect.

            But, as 1899 turned into 1900 and beyond, the dialect slowly faded as those 

Schreiver Carl Arner administers "die awbinnerei" to new

Rawdsman Kerry Dietrich.

who so commonly spoke it passed into history.

            The members of Grundsow Lodsh Nummer Sivva (Groundhog Lodge Number Seven) gathered last Thursday for their annual Fersommling (gathering).

            After canceling its annual event in 2020 and rescheduling it in 2021 to September due to COVID, the group was once again back on schedule for the fourth Thursday of every April.

            This seventieth Fersommling kicked off the group's 71st year.  With about 130 attendees, five new members were added to the Lodsh and one new Rawdsman was added to the board by way of Die awbinnerei, or binding assurances, with a series of light-hearted and comical promises. 

            The festivities were led by Habtmon (Head man) Ron G. Marks with ample Pennsylfawnish-Dietsche music provided by Kermit Ohlinger on his accordion. 

            After a wunnerbaar (wonderful) meal served by the folks at the East Greenville Fire Company consisting of Pennsylvania-German favorites like salaat 

PA State Senator Bob Mensch (standing) addresses the group.  

Seated, left to right, are Rawdsmen Duane Bortz, Tom Spaar,

Larry Roeder, Kerry Dietrich, Carl Arner, and Leroy Marks, Jr.

mit Seidelfleesch K'ovuel'd brich (salad with hot bacon dressing), Worsht Un Shunkellfleesch (sausage and ham), and Grumbaera Filsel (potato filling) attendees were treated to stories and tales.

            The primary purpose of the group is to preserve Pennsylfawnish-Dietsche customs, heritage, and dialect of the Pennsylvania-Germans who settled in this section of the state.  There are 17 Grundsow Lodshs in Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, Carbon Lehigh, Monroe, Lebanon, and Schuylkill Counties.

            In addition to Marks, other Rawdsman include Leroy Marks, Jr. (Unner Habtman/Under Headman), Carl Arner (Schreiver/Secretary), Kerry Dietrich and Joe Schultz (Gelthavers/Treasurers), Ray Eppler (Fudermaishder/Meal Organizer), Larry Roeder (Historiker/Historian), and Rawdsmen Paul Batman, Duane Bortz, 

Part of the festivities of the evening included having new 

members pledge with a series of comedic and playful prom-


Richard Bieler, Tom Spaar, and Charles Zepp.  The group paid respect to recently deceased Rawdsman Lawrence Diehl and former Rawdsman Ephraim Long.  A memorial board was prepared and donated to the Lodsh by Mark Kern naming all past members of Lodsh Nummer Sivva.

            Grundsow Lodsh Nummer Sivva was organized in 1952 and took the sub-heading of g'shwishich Dee Barioma un Dee Magowi (between the Perkiomen and the Macoby).  Founding Rawdsmen were Kenneth Hallman (Habtmon), Andrew S. Berky (Gelthaver), Mark H. Layser (Schreiver),

Music for the evening was provided by Kermit Ohlinger.

Woodrow Slemmer (Fudermaishder), and Rawdsmen Warren Fluck, I. Victor Stahl, Chester Reifinger, Francis Kulp, Clinton Hoffman, Ray Rapp, Warren Guldin, Jonathan B. Hilligass, and Russell Bechtel.

            According to the Pennsylvania Grundsow Lodsh founders, the 13 Rawdsmen signifies that the organization is not superstitious.






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