Helvetic.LA

LA's virtual Swiss neighborhood!

Posts Tagged ‘Emigration

One Night Only in LA, at the Beverly Hills Women’s Club: The History of the De Büren Family

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Written by M:)

April 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

21st Century Ticinesi in California: the Dairy Farmer

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Written by M:)

January 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Congrès des Suisses de l’étranger à Saint-Gall : le Musée était présent

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by Musée des Suisses dans le Monde – Museum of the Swiss Abroad on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 6:36am

Ciel (presque) sans nuages pour l’Organisation des Suisses de l’étranger (OSE). A son Congrès de St Gall, elle a pu entendre une ministre des Affaires étrangères résolue à faire progresser la cause de la 5e Suisse.

Changement de décor samedi pour les Suisses de l’étranger. Après le Conseil en la salle du parlement cantonal, au cœur de l’ancien couvent de St Gall, dominé par la masse imposante et pourtant légère de la rutilante cathédrale baroque, c’est une halle de foire de l’OLMA qui accueille les quelques centaines de délégués du Congrès.

Point d’orgue de la journée: l’allocution de la ministre des Affaires étrangères Micheline Calmy-Rey, venue dire aux Suisses de l’étranger à quel point ils comptent pour elle et pour la patrie

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Written by M:)

August 26, 2010 at 6:13 am

Message from President Doris Leuthard

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Fellow countrymen and women

Ladies and Gentlemen

Let us take a moment on our Swiss National Day to look back and reflect on Switzerland’s values and qualities.

On the first of August, Swiss nationals celebrate traditions and customs, and they feel the bond with their country whether they are at home or abroad. All this makes our Swiss National Day a special occasion.

Dear Swiss Abroad, you have come together today because of the close and genuine ties you have to your homeland. You, the 700,000 or so Swiss citizens abroad, work hard for the good of our country. In your host country, you represent the virtues to which Switzerland owes its good reputation. You embody the open mindset that has always served Switzerland well. You are an important calling card for our country. You also hold a mirror up to us. You have the necessary distance to be able to provide us with direct and honest feedback about our actions. You are our eyes and ears,because many things look different or better from the outside or from a distance.

The last few months have been difficult for many countries, Switzerland included. The financial and economic crisis has forced us all to adopt extraordinary measures. By maintaining a sense of proportion and a certain calm, we have weathered this crisis. We have positioned ourselves well. Today Switzerland is well placed, even very well placed when compared internationally. Unemployment figures are also falling. This is encouraging and offers hope for the future.

It is nonetheless better to err on the side of caution as it is still too early to speak of a turnaround. And events in recent months have shown that pressure from abroad is unlikely to diminish. We must therefore stand firm, yet at the same time be prepared to be more flexible in areas in which we can improve our position.

It is all the more important to foster good international relations, which makes you all the more important as ambassadors for our country. This is where you support us directly.

I can promise you this: even when the pressure intensifies and we have to be hard but fair to stand up for our interests abroad, Switzerland will, as always, remain true to its values of openness, solidarity, reliability and freedom. With qualities and virtues such as these, we will also be well equipped to overcome future crises!

On behalf of the Federal Council, I wish you a very happy first of August.
Doris Leuthard, President of the Federal Council

Audio Message (English), including the traditional ringing of the President’s hometown church bells, announcing the official Message by President Leuthard.
http://media.swissinfo.ch/audios/swissinfo/2010/07/bf2010_eng-15515614-128k.mp3

Uni SGhttp://www.myswitzerland.com/it.cfm/homeswissinfo

Written by M:)

July 31, 2010 at 12:00 am

From Geneva to Tranquility

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As an ongoing feature of the Helvetic. LA blog site I will be featuring stories of Swiss emigrants who came to California, their unique stories and how they have made a positive impact on their new home. I thought it fitting that I start with the story of my own Swiss grandfather.

Henri de Büren (1900-1986)

My grandfather, Henri de Büren was born in 1900 on the family ranch in Santa Victoria, Argentina. He was the first son of Philippe Frédéric de Büren (1865-1953) a Swiss emigrant to Argentina and Louisa Fabrini (1882-1974). He would spend his first 11 years in Argentina, before the family moved back to Geneva, ostensibly for the schooling of Henri and his siblings.

Henri was very handsome, athletic, and stubborn. In his youth, he loved spending time in the mountains, and I would told that he climbed the Matterhorn more than once. In his early 20s while still living with the family in Geneva, his father got him a job at a local factory. Henri would leave every morning with his lunchbox and overalls, and return in the evening, very tired. After a number of weeks, Henri’s father contacted the owned of the factory where he was supposedly working, and the owner said, “your son never showed up”. Being quite the playboy and bon vivant, Henri had thrown his lunchbox and overalls in the bushes a couple of blocks from the family home, and had been spending his days with his friends in town.

His father was none too pleased, and in effort to teach his son a lesson and at the same give him the practical skills to run a large farm. His father always assumed that he would return one day to Argentina and take over the ranch. Henri’s father sent him in 1923 to Tranquility, California, near Fresno to work on the farm of Lawrence Schorsch, a fellow Swiss. Why he was sent to this particular farm, is a mystery.

Henri worked for a while on the Schorsch farm and then moved to Fresno where he got a job with the power local utility, doing among other things killing rattlesnakes in advance of workers installing power lines. He would later move to San Francisco and marry Emilie Lasserre, a teacher of French Basque origin, who interestingly had taught Joe DiMaggio as a boy.

Henri and his brother Philippe in Geneva, 1954

At that point Henri had decided to make his life in San Francisco, and would return to Switzerland and Argentina later in life only on vacation. He would not take over the ranch as his father had intended. The job would fall to his youngest brother Carlos, whose children make up the current Argentine branch of the family.

While in San Francisco Henri did many different jobs. Among them was draftsman for the famous architect Julia Morgan, and working the night shift at a local brewery.

My most enduring memories of him were his great love of nature and his incredible culinary talents. He was able to prepare seven course French meals in a very small kitchen and when he was younger would give French country pâté “fait maison” as a Christmas gift. I used to call him “Grand”, short for the French grand-père, and he and my grandmother would often pick me up after elementary school and take me the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

Henri died in 1986, followed only two weeks after by Emilie, his wife of some 50 years.

Henri was a study in contrasts. He was a very serious and reserved man, who could at times be incredibly gregarious. He valued his physical strength but at the same time was highly creative, and probably much more sensitive than he would ever acknowledge. And like many emigrants he walked a sometimes difficult line of being a patriotic American without forgetting his rich European heritage and Argentine roots.

To learn more about the de Büren family and Swiss roots that extend back to the 12th century please visit http://threebeehives.blogspot.com/

Written by jdeburen

July 24, 2010 at 8:12 am

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