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SCNSW March Newsflash

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Grüezi members and friends!

#FunFact: Playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century from Mamluk Egypt with suits similar to the tarot suits of Swords, Staves, Cups and Coins and pentacles, which are still used in traditional Italian, Spanish and Portuguese decks. The first evidence is a ban on their use in 1367, Bern, Switzerland. In the late 14th century, the use of playing cards spread rapidly throughout Europe with documents dating their use from 1377 in Switzerland. The modern game of Swiss Jass originated sometime during the 15th century and consists of Rosa, Eichle, Schilte, Schälla (Schwyzerdütsch) and Ecke, Härtz, Krütz, Schufle (Französisch). The playing cards shown above were originally made in Basel, c.1530. They were discovered inside a book and reproduced in 1998 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cartophilia Helvetica. Source and image credit:,

We had a wonderful time at the annual Jazz Picnic on Berry Island and met some equally wonderful new members of the SCNSW. Thank you to all who attended. A list of our future events for half of this year has been posted on the events tab of our website. Our members and friends are more than welcome to attend our upcoming events.

Upcoming Events in Sydney:

  • SPS: Balmoral Beach. Fri, 6 March. See details below.
  • SPS: Manly Sea Life. Fri, 13 March. See details below.
  • SCNSW: Wild Mushroom Picking. Sun 15 March, 9:00-17:00. See details below.
  • SPS: Botanical Gardens. Fri, 20 March. See details below.
  • SfK: Camping Weekend. Fri 27 March. See details below.
  • SPS: Easter Craft. Fri, 27 March. See details below.
  • SCNSW: Sports Picnic at Narrabeen Lakes. Sun 29 March, 11:00-15:00. See details below.
  • SfK: Southwest Regional Parklands. Sun 3 May. See details below.
Wild Mushroom Picking in the Blue Mountains

Autumn is around the corner and that means it is time to go into the wilderness to pick mushrooms! Our guide Margaret Mossakowska will take us through one of the State Forests, identify and collect edible mushrooms, then prepare a delicious lunch and learn how to preserve the bounty. Margaret has been picking mushrooms all her life (both in Poland and in Australia) and has learned the skill of cooking and preserving mushrooms in various ways from her mother. The most common and aromatic wild edible mushrooms to be found around Sydney are Saffron Caps and Slippery Jacks, which can be found in pine forests. There will be food samples for the adventurous to taste (pickled mushrooms and dumplings made using dried mushrooms) and we will pickle the smallest mushrooms. After the mushroom tour, we will then head off to Le Petit Chalet in Katoomba for an afternoon coffee and dessert.

WHAT TO BRING: Small knife, fork, eating bowl/plate, water, drinks (wine if you wish), and a perforated container for collected mushrooms (wicker or plastic baskets are the best). We will pick a lot, so do not bring something too small. If you would like to pickle some of your harvest, bring a few sterilised jars (300-500g size) with lids. Please wear good shoes and warm clothes, including rain gear.

When: Sunday, 15 March 2015, 9:00 to 17:00
Where: Meet at Blackheath for a trip to the Lithgow area. Parking on the Great Western Hwy near Blackheath Train Station.
Cost: Members to pay $50.00. Non-Members to pay $80.00.

Bookings are essential. Please contact Daniel Frutiger by Sunday, 8 March 2015 to confirm your attendance +61 2 9680 4299  |  0403 502 048  |

Sports Picnic at Narrabeen Lakes

A real gem just off the Wakehurst Parkway in Narrabeen, Bilarong Reserve is a tranquil little haven of natural bush, a well maintained grassed foreshore and of course the lake. The play areas are well designed with a huge ‘spider web’ and bridge climbing rope for the bigger kids and closed off toddlers’ area with sail style covering for shade. There is also the dry riverbed and sand sculptures for that extra adventure. The grassed foreshore is superbly maintained with large open spaces for sports, shaded picnic areas and tables, a clean toilet block and taps with drinking water. The lake is popular for windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and kiddies fishing. The SCNSW will provide sports equipment for the children. For those that would like to hire kayaks, ProKayaks has good hiring rates and are located only 4 minutes away from the Reserve. More info on Narrabeen Lakes here.

When: Sunday, 29 March 2015, 11:00 to 15:00
Where: Bilarong Reserve, Elanora Heights NSW 2101
Cost: FREE. Please BYO picnic lunch.
RSVP: Gabbi Muff (Events Coordinator, SCNSW) by Sunday, 22 March 2015 to confirm your attendance via


Australian Jass Tournament - Sydney 2015

We are very proud to announce that this year we will be co-hosting (with the AJT Committee) the annual Australian Jass Tournament in Sydney! There will be a wide selection of raffle prizes to be won and prize money for the top 3 players. The championship will be contested over 10 Rounds of 8 Hands, with each Hand equalling to 157 points. Players will be assigned a randomly selected number and randomly chosen different partners for each round. All players across Australia are welcome to register to play in this event. Players from out-of-state may find our AJT Flyer about Sydney helpful. Please read the rules and format of the Tournament to prepare yourself. Viel Glück to all players!

When: Sunday, 7 June 2015, 8:00 to 21:00.
Forestville Memorial Hall, Starkey Street, Forestville NSW 2087.
Cost: $20.00 - $45.00 (depending on registration option e.g., lunch and 3-course dinner can be inclusive - see the different pricing options on our Registration Form for details).
Just a friendly reminder to our members, friends and affiliates: we have changed our postal address. All correspondence to the SCNSW should be made to the following address, thank you:

PO BOX 3292
Schweizerdeutsch Tutoring
Interested in learning or keeping up Schweizerdeutsch? It is never too late to learn a new language – all age groups are more than welcome to participate. Lessons are also available online via Skype. Please visit our blog page for contact information and further details.
Swiss Playgroup of Sydney Events
Balmoral Beach
Where: Balmoral Beach.
When: Friday, 6 March from 10:00.
RSVP: Noemi Bangel email or SMS to 0416 160 919 by Wednesday, 4 March. Join us at Balmoral Beach. There is a playground and a café with snacks. Each family are to cover their own expenses.
Manly Sea Life
Where: Manly Sea Life, West Esplanade, Manly NSW 2095.
When: Friday, 13 March from 10:00 am.
RSVP: Noemi Bangel email or SMS to 0416 160 919 by Wednesday, 11 March. Manly Sea-life is quite a small aquarium (but those of you with Prams, to walk through the below area, you will need to leave them upstairs). There is an entry fee (those of you with Merlin Annual Passes, Manly Sea Life is included).
Royal Botanical Gardens
Where: Royal Botanical Gardens, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW 2000.
When: Friday, 20 March from 10:00 am.
RSVP: Noemi Bangel email or SMS to 0416 160 919 by Wednesday, 18 March. Join us for a great way to get the kids out of the house and enjoy the last rays of summer. There is a café for some food, however many have brought picnics in the past. ***Please note some of the Playgroup parents are considering attending Babies Proms at the Opera House and meeting up in the Botanical Gardens afterwards (no entry fee).
Easter Craft
Where: North Sydney Community Centre, 220 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060.
When: Friday, 27 March from 10:00 am.
RSVP: Noemi Bangel email or SMS to 0416 160 919 by Wednesday, 25 March. Join us for some fun Easter craft and Easter Egg hunt with lots more. Free for SCNSW members, $10 for non-members. ***Noemi will be overseas for work. She will have everything ready (eggs for the egg hunt and the craft), however she will need someone to run this month's Playgroup – please let her know if you can help out!
Schwiizerdütsch for Kids Events
Camping Weekend
Where: TBA. Ensure you are on their mailing list.
When: Friday, 27 to Sunday 29 March 2015.
Info: Join us for a fun camping weekend away.
RSVP: Beatrice Sidari by email.
Southwest Regional Parklands
Where: Southwest Regional Parklands.
When: Sunday, 3 May 2015.
Info: We will explore the Southwest Regional Parklands: Lizard Log Park, Playground, BBQ, 1.6 km cycle track loop and lookout.
RSVP: Beatrice Sidari by email.
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PO Box 3292