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In Memory of Erich Bayer, Ehrengauvorplattler

Erich Bayer, our Ehrengauvorplattler, passed away on November 4, 2016. Erich was elected our 2.Gauvorplattler on January 10, 1976, and then elected 1.Gauvorplattler two years later, on January 14, 1978, and remained in that capacity for eight years. Erich was named Ehrengauvorplattler at an Executive Board Meeting on March 1, 2003. Although on the Executive Board for only a relatively short time, his impact on our Gauverband was deeply felt.

It was during Erich's tenure as 1.Gauvorplattler that the Gauverband first formed a fourteen-member Judges Panel, made up of only experienced dancers and appointed by the Executive Board, to relieve the Gaufest Host Verein of the responsibility of judging the Gruppenpreisplattler. It was also under his tenure that the Preisplatteln Rules were removed from our Bylaws to allow more freedom to discuss them and make changes at future Delegates Meetings. Both of these changes occurred at the 1980 Delegates Meeting in Milwaukee and were in effect by the 1981 Gaufest in Montreal!

It was at that Delegates Meeting in Milwaukee, which I attended as a young first-time delegate, that I had my first opportunity to observe and meet Erich. I remember to this day, being impressed with how proudly and passionately he spoke of his beloved Bavarian culture and dance. Years later, when I became 1.Gauvorplattler, I remember discussions with Erich about the current position and direction of the Schuhplattler, and the Preisplattler, here in North America. I so did enjoy those informal discussions! I wish Erich's family, his Verein, and the entire Gauverband, much peace while remembering fondly a very proud Trachtler.

Ruhe in Frieden.

Tom Vogt 1.Gauvorstand

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