- Written by Roger Suhr
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The Swiss Club of Central Indiana was founded in 1979 by Frieda Nyhart and a small group of Indianapolis residents of Swiss descent; their purpose is to provide an organization where Swiss nationals and Swiss-Americans could preserve and maintain their national heritage. The club also strives to provide information on the heritage, traditions, and customs of Switzerland to schools, youth groups, civic organizations, and individuals in the Indianapolis, area. Club members also provide hospitality and assistance to Swiss visitors in our city.
With between 30-50 members, the Swiss Club centers its activities around several events every year: The Swiss Club General Assembly (with club elections) in late spring: the First of August (Swiss Independence Day) Celebration; the International Festival (in Indianapolis), and the Columbus, Indiana, International Street Festival, both in the fall; the early-winter Raclette Dinner; the traditional Christmas Party and the Annual Fondue Party in early-spring. Other scheduled activities might include wine-tasting gatherings, involvement in local civic/ethnic happenings, or all-day or overnight excursions to Swiss events in other cities.
Annual dues are $35 per family or $18 per single member; the club does not mount any special fundraising activities aside from its merchandise booths at the International Festivals in Indianapolis and Columbus. Membership is open to all and is not restricted to those of Swiss ancestry or citizenship. An informal newsletter is mailed to members several times a year to keep them abreast of scheduled events.
On September 2, 2004, Mr. Andreas S. Weber was appointed the new Swiss Honorary Consul for Indianapolis. Mr. Weber replaces retired Honorary Consul Frieda Nyhart, the first woman Honorary Consul in the United States, and among the founders of the Swiss Club of Central Indiana. Mr. Weber is the president of REGO-FIX Tool Corporation, a family-owned Swiss-based company in Indianapolis. He is also the president of the Swiss Machine Tool Society and a member of the Swiss Club. The address of the Consulate of Switzerland in Indianapolis is given below.
The Swiss Club of Central Indiana is registered as a non-profit organization. For more information about the Swiss Club or to request a membership application, please contact Claude Desmeules, President, or Katherine Desmeules, Secretary of the Swiss Club of Central Indiana.