The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 32 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part V


The River Irwell at Salford, looking towards Manchester City Centre –

Peter’s Passionate Plan

With the intent of giving Biene a mild shock followed by a pleasant surprise I wrote Biene  a letter, which seemed to suggest that the waiting period might be cut short by more than she had anticipated.

Calgary, September 11th 1965

My dear Biene, I have to bitterly disappoint you. Believe me, my pain is greater than yours not to see you as quickly again as we first thought possible. We must resign ourselves to some unforeseen circumstances. I don’t know how it all came about. Either the official of the university exam committee did not have all his marbles or I wasn’t quite there myself, but — I passed the test!

Aren’t you a little glad now that you will be able to come to Canada as early as next spring? Oh, how happy I am to finally have gained a foothold in Canada. This will be the last letter with my brother’s return address; for I will immediately start looking for a small apartment to rent in the northwest of Calgary close to the university. From there I will write to your parents in Velbert. I hope that they will have some understanding for our unusual plans. But I have to ask them soon, if everything related to your immigration should pan out as intended. Right after your parents have given us their consent, I will pay a visit to the immigration office and will initiate the process. You need not do anything, until the Canadian Embassy in Cologne will give you further notice and tell you what to do. Greetings with love, Peter

Biene thought she had prepared her parents well, before she had left for England. She now wrote a letter to her mother, who had given her until now her full support for our plans in Canada. In it she let her know that a letter from me would be coming soon, in which I would ask the parents to grant me permission to marry her beloved daughter. Shortly afterwards, Biene urged me, “Please write my parents soon. For now they have been prepared.”


Manchester Town Hall – Photo Credit:

In my mind, I was merely going through a number of steps that would involve a few letters going back and forth with questions about my progress at my studies, my job prospects in the teaching profession and my assurances that Biene would be well looked after and be happy. In my mind the exchange of letters was a mere formality, a remnant of an old custom that appeared antiquated in the modern world, yet had a useful function of getting to know one another. This was especially true in my case, where a formal visit from Canada was out of the question. With Biene having done her best to have her parents prepared for my letter and in view of the fact that she would be of age to determine her own destiny, I did not spend one minute worrying about a negative reply. Besides, after passing my English proficiency test, I was riding on a wave of renewed optimism and was looking forward to boldly taking on the next major hurdle, two intensive semesters back to back with hardly a break in between. My ambitious goal was not just to get by with average marks, but to excel with a high enough grade point average to be eligible for government grants to acquire the necessary financial support for the following year.

18 thoughts on “Chapter 32 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part V

  1. taphian

    Your stories are really wonderful to read on grey November days. There are always so many obstacles in your lifes. How things have changed today. You could just write an email today. I’m curious to see how you continue with Biene. Have a nice day, dear Peter, regards from rainy and grey Hamburg Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, dear Mitza! That our story is brightening up your grey November days in Hamburg is truly an amazing compliment. I hope you will have a little bit of sunshine in your part of the world soon. Greetings from the equally grey Province of BC!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Edda

    Lieber Peter!
    Da muß ich doch gleich antworten, denn Du hast wieder so mitreißend geschrieben ! Wie warst Du euphorisch und stolz, so schnell Erfolge erzielt zu haben, Deine nächsten Pläne waren schon in Angriff genommen und Biene sollte gleich daran teilhaben..Alles sah so gut aus und Ihr habt Euch sicher (!) schon in einer kleinen Wohnung glücklich zusammenleben sehen!
    Auch die Eltern waren jetzt informiert -was sollten sie auch anderes tun, als Euch ihren Segen zu geben?? Und soll ich mal raten? Es ging schief..? Oder?
    Eltern sehen immer zuerst das , was in der Zukunft der Kinder schief gehen könnte- das ist fast immer so!! Da bilden wir wohl alle keine Ausnahme..😌😏

    Jetzt bin ich ja gespannt, wie es weitergeht…
    Wieder ganz herzliche Grüße von uns an Euch!👋👋👋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda! Über deine nahezu hellseherische Begabung kann ich nur staunen. Es sieht jetzt gerade so aus, als ob nichts mehr schief gehen könnte. Wie oft hat doch Biene geschrieben, `schreib meinen Eltern bald, denn nun sind sie vorbereitet.` Auch ich sende dir und Dieter die allerliebsten Grüße aus dem noch milden BC!


    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for taking part in our life’s journey! Indeed there were a lot of obstacles to overcome. The greatest test of our love for each other and our resolve to get married is yet to come. Thanks again for your interest in our story!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Inge

    what a wonderful surprise for Biene , that long waiting to see each other and start your life together , made my Heart jump for Joy.
    sitting on needles to hear the rest of your Romance, Thank you Peter, Love you Both Dearly

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reocochran

    I like how this couple (you two) were trying to overcome obstacles to be together. Careers and education are big considerations when moving to another country. Following ettiquette (“protocol”) was especially important in those days. Not till the 70’s were young men skipping the parents’ permission. . . Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for your kind words and insightful comment, Robin! In the absence of modern means of communication in the 60’s we were facing problems that could have been resolved today with a simple email.


    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Drafting a letter to Biene’s parents was a very difficult, task since I was a complete stranger to them. It was more like asking them to let me rob their beloved daughter and carry her away into an unknown foreign country.

      Liked by 1 person

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