Ippener flies the flag in Los Angeles

Great Ippener / Los Angeles

“Everything starts with a friendly invitation,” said Arnold Wiechmann, chairman and captain of the Ippener shooting club, at the general assembly in January 2019 – and read an invitation. The “Phoenix Shooting Association” from Anaheim (USA) wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary – and asked if the Ippeners would also come. “The euphoria was great, and many were considering whether they could come with us,” recalls press spokeswoman Ilka Eichler. Nine club members between the ages of 28 and 68 have now put this plan into practice.

Background: In Anaheim, a district of Los Angeles, there is a “German Club”. Its members are mostly immigrant Germans who want to cultivate their customs far away. Under the umbrella of this association there is, for example, a large carnival association, a choir, an Oktoberfest community – and also the shooting association, which carries out its shooting sports with air rifles. Because shooting with other weapons would be too expensive in terms of insurance. The chairman of the association: Heinz Wiechmann, the brother of Arnold Wiechmann who emigrated to America many years ago.

Fireworks every evening

The Ippener group flew together from Hamburg via Amsterdam to Los Angeles. The door-to-door journey takes 24 hours. The group was housed in a large rented house with a pool in the immediate vicinity of the local “Disneyland”. “If you stood in front of the house, you could see the final fireworks of the parade of the amusement park every evening,” they said.

In the house you catered for yourself together and could sit together nicely. This house is about a 20-minute drive from the clubhouse of the inviting club. To be mobile, two large SUVs were rented.

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The anniversary celebration extended over three days. The food was “typically German”: suckling pig or sausage with potato salad. Other clubs that participated with delegations were: Schützenverein Buschhausen from the vicinity of Osterholz-Scharmbeck, American clubs from San Diego and San José. The American clubs visit each other annually.

The royal shooting had already taken place a few weeks before the festival – because the new king has to take care of the organization of the festivities. As luck would have it, the chairman became king: Heinz Wiechmann.

Since he was unable to crown himself, the Ippen chairman, Arnold Wiechmann, was asked to coronate his brother, i.e. to put the chain on him. This took place on Saturday, the main day.

On Friday the festivities began with brass band music, suckling pig and “in civilian clothes” (which was definitely more pleasant at temperatures around 30 degrees) as well as with the obligatory speeches and the handing over of gifts.

On Sunday, Maike Kieselhorst, Carsten Schröder and Thomas Lange took part in the shooting for the Ippener shooting club. They took second place out of seven teams. Carsten Schröder was the best of the day and received a plate of honor. There was also a “participation pennant” for the local flag.

Large coat of arms printed

Since the original flag of the Ippener rifle club was not to travel that long and the new king had to hang up a flag with his home symbol in the clubhouse by next year at the latest, it made sense for Heinz Wiechmann to have a large Ippener coat of arms printed now that the German delegation was able to carry in front of them when they marched in on Saturday.

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In addition to the festivities, the travelers naturally also took the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. Hollywood couldn’t be missing. Five members of the group had to start their return journey after just one week, four stayed there for another week.


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