German Ambassador HE Andreas Michaelis undertook a two day programme in Bristol accompanied by his wife, Frau Heike Michaelis who is a teacher and by the German Consul General Hans-Guenther Loeffler. The delegation visited Airbus and then had a tour of the SS GB with German speaking head curator Joanna Mathers. The Ambassador learnt about the role of the German salvage team in rescuing the ship in the Falklands. This year is the 50th anniversary of the ship returning to Bristol. BHC Chair Ann Kennard and BAGS Secretary Jon Darch joined them for tea after the visit. The Ambassador had dinner with the WECA Mayor Tim Bowlesm Sarah Hildesley from Business West and Jenny Gaschke from the BCC Museums Team. The Consul General hosted a round table to discuss BREXIT impacts on Bristol and the progress of the EU Settlement Scheme for the members of the German community living locally. On the second day the delegation met with Mayor Rees who presented the Ambassador with a Bristol Bears rugby shirt as HE Herr Michaelis is a big rugby fan and played himself in Hannover as a younger man. The shirt had his name and the number 6 on the back. The meeting also included the official handover from Tim Illston, the outgoing German Hon. Consul to Kai von Pahlen, the incoming Hon. Consul. The Ambassador thanked Tim for his excellent work as Hon Consul. After this the Youth Mayors gave a presentation about the Youth Democracy project they were involved in with Hannover Politik zum Anfassen funded by the Erasmus Plus scheme. Lunch was with four representatives of the University of Bristol’s German Department and Arts Faculty. After that the delegation finished their visit with a tour of the Max Planck Centre at the University of Bristol which receives German funding.
The Ambassador had made a point of coming to Bristol as his first official visit outside London because he is from Hannover and had received a warm welcoming letter from Mayor Rees inviting him to Bristol.
L to R: Outgoing Hon. Consul Tim Illston, incoming Hon. Consul Kai von Pahlen, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and German Ambassador HE Andreas Michaelis
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and German Ambassador HE Andreas Michaelis