The sun has set on Oktoberfest.
The 16-day festival wrapped up earlier this month, leaving revelers with fond (yet faded) memories, and their souvenir steins to relive the Deutsche-inspired debacle.
My husband and I were recently gifted a pottery stein from his parents in Australia.
This particular jug has seen many pints. It originally came from Europe, before finding a home on Edward Hordern’s (my husband’s great-great grandfather) mantle in Australia.
Edward Hordern was the youngest son of Anthony Hordern, who founded Anthony Hordern & Sons in Sydney, which at one time was the largest department store in the world. The senior Hordern established the company in the 1820s, and it thrived for about a century.
The stein has been passed on through five generations, finding its way to Canada, where it now sits on our bar. It is believed to pre-date the 1930s and once held a hinged lid, as traditional steins do. (Pewter lids were introduced in the Middle Ages as a post-plague precaution).
Featured on the jug are two armoured soldiers with steins of their own, who are locked in a gaze. The inscription on the stein is curious but cheery. In German, it reads:
“When you say nothing at all, drink beer, don’t worry, go and drink and sing. Good Morning Mr. Fischer.”
We haven’t a clue who Mr. Fischer was. He may have been an uptight German in need of some good advice and a cold brew. I’d like to think, however, he was a happy-go-lucky gent who fancied a good tipple in the morning.