History

The Southampton Anglo-German Society (SAGS) was established in 1967 with its origins in a German Circle, dating back to the late 1940's. This was created by German ladies who married English servicemen after World War II and by some German ex POWs who married British ladies. This new Society was open to the public who shared much interest in Anglo-German relations. The Inaugural Meeting was held at the Albany Hotel in Southampton. The Principal Founder Members were Liselotte & Norman Wood and Prof. Lucas of the University when the Society was closely linked with the German Department of the University of Southampton. Film and speaker events formed the main activities, but these were later extended to social events.


In 1968 SAGS held its first "Oktoberfest" at the Marlands Hall and stimulated considerable interest in the city, creating over 250 members.
The Society also became involved with the earlier European Movement. 


Later, SAGS became less reliant on the University and became affiliated in 1981 to the Anglo-German Association (now the British-German Association) in London. A result was that their major events then became incorporated in the SAGS annual programme. At the 1984 AGM Karl-Heinz Röse, BVK was elected as Chairman, bringing in significant changes to the Society including the revision of the Constitution and significant enlargement of the Membership. 


In 1991, The City of Southampton Council, in partnership with the Society, established a German Twinning Link with Rems-Murr-Kreis in the Stuttgart area.  RMK which derived its name from the two rivers; Rems (81Km long) and Murr (54Km long).  RMK had a population of about 470,000 and had a total area of 859 sq Km.  The District Authority was based in the town of Waiblingen.  SAGS were made responsible for the social side of the twinning and were given financial support from the City Council.  Since the Partnership, SAGS participated in many of the twinning activities and has arranged visits for clubs, schools, bands and art exhibitions of the twinning areas.  Regrettably, Southampton City Council was unable to continue financing the twinning activities after 2005 and the Partnership is no longer active.


In 1996 the Society was presented with "the Medal of Honour" by the British-German Association's president, the Rt Hon Lord Watson of Richmond, CBE at a special reception arranged by the German Embassy in London. 


The German Embassy has helped the Society to foster close relationships with the Deutsche Marine (German Navy). The International Port of Southampton has helped the Society to foster close relationships with the Deutsche Marine (German Navy) and was able to welcome many of their ships, including a 3-masted sail training ship "Gorch Fock" during April 2004.  SAGS arranged for the City of Southampton Albion Brass Band to play on-board and a the quay.  Courtesy visits were extended to many sailors to visit the New Forest with Receptions and dinner, usually held at the Hythe Sailing Club.  SAGS Members enjoyed numerous Receptions on-board hosted by the Ship's Captain or his Excellency, the German Ambassador.


Over many years, SAGS has supported other Anglo-German societies and organisations in Andover, Fareham, Winchester, the British-German Association in London, the Bayreuth German-English Society, Southampton University Staff Club, as well as music groups from Schwaikheim, Fellbach, Plüderhausen, the Albion Brass and last but not least the James Last Appreciation Society. Happy "Hansi", alias James Last accepted the Society's Honorary Membership in 1983 on the occasion of his 4th concert at the Gaumont Theatre (now the Mayflower) in Southampton. 


Many SAGS Members attended the popular musical interpretation evenings arranged by the so-called 'James Last Appreciation Society'.
This group was formed by SAGS Member Bert Worthington; it is now no longer in operation!


In 2007, SAGS Chairman Karl-Heinz Röse and became Honorary Life President.  It is with great sadness that we lost Karl-Heinz in December 2015.  His contribution and dedication to the Society and the tireless efforts to build friendships between Deutschland and England was immense.  
Albert-Lauritz Rasmussen continues Karl-Heinz's work as Chairman.