If you talk to the board members of the Sieboldshöhe settlers’ association, one term comes up very often: “A community has emerged here again. You know each other, you meet, you talk to each other,” says Herbert Stapff, who was chairman for almost 20 years and was elected honorary chairman by the general assembly a few weeks ago.
The association was founded in 1952, when the first residential buildings were built high above the Main valley in the newly planned “Gartenstadt Keesburg” district. Siedlervereinigung Keesburg would therefore be the correct name of the association: Sieboldshöhe is the name of a small piece of land on which the first houses of the former Hindenburg settlement were built in the late 1920s.
“In the narrower sense, we represent the interests of apartment and house owners”
The settlers’ association is a local association of the nationwide association of homeowners: “In the narrower sense, we represent the interests of apartment and house owners,” says the newly elected chairman Matthias Kemmer, who was previously Stapff’s deputy: “Because of the many house builders on the Keesburg, insisted on it great interest after the war.” Today the settlers’ association has around 570 members throughout Frauenland and in Lengfeld.
The community of house builders forms the origin of the association: the founding members supported each other in building their own homes from the 1950s onwards. Lending tools to members “was a priority back then, and surprisingly that’s still the case today,” reports Matthias Kemmer.
Volunteer work for the whole district
But what characterizes the life of the club today is the voluntary work for the entire district, from which not only the members benefit. “There are areas in Würzburg that have become dormitory towns. We’re trying to prevent that at Keesburg,” says Herbert Stapff. In the past, the district not only had its own Kupsch, but also around twenty small shops for the local needs of the residents, reports the honorary chairman: “It was a village in its own right up here, and unfortunately not much of that is left.”
Because most shops are now closed, the settlers’ association successfully campaigned to turn the square in front of the Rösner bakery, which has become the central meeting point, into a market place once a week: Every Friday, hawkers come and offer their goods on. “That wouldn’t have happened without us,” says Stapff, not without a certain pride. The next project is a boules and bocce court on the green area next door – the municipal garden department has already signaled its support.
Once a year there is a fountain festival
It is not the only meeting point in the district: the small green area around the Sieboldsbrunnen, which the association donated in 1978, is also well received. The fountain festival of the settlers’ association takes place here once a year: “It’s like a small folk festival with music, where people come together and talk to each other,” says Matthias Kemmer.
The association put the fountain back into operation with its own funds in 2012 on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, after it had been shut down by the city for cost reasons. Several members of the association take care of cleaning and repairs on a voluntary basis. The Settlers Association also arranged for a public bookcase to be installed on the Keesburg in February. And since autumn there has been a small memorial to the educator Friedrich Fröbel on a green area in Fröbelstraße, which has also become a meeting place for the neighborhood with seating groups.
Weekly grocery shopping service for the elderly
“We’re not just an administrative association, we take care of the people,” says honorary chairman Stapff. For example, the association runs a weekly shopping service. Every Wednesday afternoon, four volunteer drivers take it in turns to pick up older fellow citizens in a minibus and take them to the shops.
“These are mainly older women who are no longer so good on their feet. It’s like a little trip,” reports Herbert Stapff: “They go shopping themselves, then sit down for a coffee and join us after a few hours delivered back home with the full shopping bags.”
Apply for the campaign “Set an example!”
The campaign “Make a mark!” was and is being continued in times of the corona pandemic – most recently in predominantly digital form. Exemplary initiatives are reported on in the newspapers of the Main-Post media group and online at www.mainpost.de. After the jury’s decision, the four prizes – endowed with 500 to 3000 euros – will be awarded in a separate event in late autumn.
The initiatives come from a wide variety of areas: This includes social activities such as visiting services, help with homework and food banks, but also cultural commitment.
Initiatives can either apply themselves, or they are suggested by third parties – for example by readers or the editors. Everyone can name people or groups who contribute important things to the common good in their area. Projects and initiatives from Lower Franconia and the neighboring Main-Tauber district can be submitted.
applications for the awards and reporting, please send no later than September 30, 2022 to: