A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

30th Anniversary of Friendship Stone Dedication May 15 Public Encouraged to Attend

The New Melle Friendship Society is thrilled to announce that a distinguished delegation from Melle, Germany, will visit New Melle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the Friendship Stone. The public is invited to join the New Melle Friendship Society on Wednesday, May 15, at 3 p.m. along with the New Melle Chamber of Commerce, City officials, and special guests from Melle. The rededication will take place at the stone situated at the front entrance of the hall at New Melle Sports and Rec., 4700 Hwy Z, followed by light refreshments.

This is a unique opportunity to meet our sister city neighbors and be a part of history. Please consider attending this special anniversary and supporting the hard work of the New Melle Friendship Society. After the ceremony, learn more about how this partnership began and how you can help keep the relationship going.

The Friendship Stone is a 6,000-pound granite boulder shipped from Melle, Germany and gifted to New Melle by the German/American Friendship Group. The stone stands to serve as a symbol of the strong friendship and partnership that has been shared by the two sister cities for close to 40 years now. The official sister city relationship between New Melle and Melle, Germany, was established in 1988, thanks to the tireless efforts of several residents and officials of both cities. Jo Ann Hammel, president of the New Melle Friendship Society, has visited Melle on several occasions and noted, “We are unique with our partnership; as many, many families in our area arrived from Melle in the late 1800s and when looking at a phonebook in Melle, you would think it was from our area because you see all the same names.”

The delegation includes Jutta Dettmann, the mayor of the City of Melle; Juergen Kramer, press officer of the city of Melle; Barbel Thoms, a member of the Deutsch-Amerikanischer Freundeskreis Melle and has visited New Melle on previous occasions; Angelika Weitkamp, a member of the Deutsch-Amerikanischer Freundeskreis, and Ina Wernhoener, a journalist from the Meller Kreisblatt newspaper. Ina spent a year in New Haven, Missouri, during her youth, which is the sister city of Borgholzhausen, located near Melle. Paul Obernuefemann, an Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany based in St. Louis and who has attended several events in the past, will also be joining the group.

A local family will host the visitors while they are in town, and has various outings planned around the area.

The New Melle Friendship Society appreciates your support and encourages your presence to show our sister city how proud we are of our German heritage and traditions.

First Friendship Stone Dedication-Small.jpg

The original dedication photo from 1994 (L-R) Justin Flesch, Jürgen Krämer,
Wilhelm Röper, Hedda Oberschmidt, Günter Oberschmidt, Manfred Mettke,
Wilhelmine Krause, Bärbel Thoms, Elisabeth Balsing, Hans Harms, and
Alberta Toedebusch.