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Welcome to GGBS!
Saturday, 12 June 2004

 GGBS Logo

This is the website of GGBS, the regional committee of Gemeinden Gemeinsam Biel-Seeland.  For more than twelve years our association maintained a partnership with the Macedonian region of Kruševo.  Due to acute lack of active members, it was decided to terminate our formal activities by the end of 2008.  Hence GGBS is now in the process of liquidation. On these pages you will find all kind of information about our association, our partner region and our activities.

Since its foundation in May 1996, 55 delegations with a total of 133 participants have visited our Macedonian partnership region and doing so, have carried out  numerous projects.

3D-Printer Workshop at the Kruševo High School
Monday, 17 March 2014
3D-printer RepRap Prusa i3 Even though our association GGBS was dissolved five years ago, the contact with out partner town Kruševo still continues.  During the last few years this occurred mainly during holidays or while stopping by on through trips.  But now for the first time since a while this spring we plan to organize once again a concrete project in Kruševo.  The theme of the project is 3D-printing, i.e. printers which, instead of printing text on paper, will fabricate real 3D objects from molten plastic, using the FDM technique ("Fused Deposition Modeling") to build up the object layer by layer.
Successful Start of OSM Mapping Project!
Friday, 05 June 2009

OSM map of KruševoEven if GGBS no longer exists officially, our contacts and friendship with Kruševo continues.   From May 16-28 Heinz and Andrea Spiess visited our (need we now say "ex-"?) partner town in order to initiate a cartography project based on  OpenStreetMap (OSM).

OSM is an Internet based, worldwide geo-mapping project, whose aim it is to create an open-source, non-commercial detailed map of our entire planet.  The work for this is done by thousands of volunteers, each putting his efforts into mapping his or her "litte corner of the world"First steps with the new Garmin eTrex GPS devices and afterward see to it that it is maintained up-to-date.  An important tool for this work is a GPS device which allows recording a precise track log of the paths walked, biked or driven through. Such tracks then form the basis for the creation of the actual online map.

At its very last meeting the former board of GGBS decided to support this cartography project, even after the official end of the partnership, with a on-time contribution for buying the necessary GPS equipment.

TLF hat nun eine Garage!
Thursday, 18 December 2008
TLF-Garage Soeben hat uns der Vize-Gemeindepräsident von Kruševo, Blagoja Blagaduša, mitgeteilt, dass das Tanklöschfahrzeug nun nicht mehr im Freien sondern in einer Garage steht!  Dies freut uns sehr, denn der fehlende Unterstand war das grosse noch offene Problem, das uns die Gemeinde Kruševo versprochen hat, mit Hochdruck zu lösen.  Im nebenstehenden Foto zeigen Feuerwehrmann Tome Taleski (l.) und Blagoja stolz das "neue" TLF in der "neuen" Garage.
Ausserordentliche MV
Saturday, 13 December 2008

An der ausserordentlichen Mitgliederversammlung vom 9. Dezember haben die anwesenden Mitglieder schweren Herzens den Antrag des Vorstands gutgeheissen, unseren Verein per Ende 2008 aufzulösen.

Firetruck in Kruševo - Mission Accomplished!
Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Visit at the fire station Nidau/IpsachDuring the five days Blagoja , Tome and Toni stayed in Switzerland their agenda was rather busy.  After the instruction session at Brändle AG on Thursday, they were invited to visit the Fire Department of Nidau/Ipsach on Friday, where they were received very cordially by commander-in-chief Kurt Schwab and his crew.  Not only could they visit the entire fire station and the newly created fire fighter museum on the upper floor, but they were also invited to show (under the watchful eyes of the local experts) in practice what they had learned the day before at Brändle about the use of their "new" firetruck.  But that's not all!  During the weekend (during which our three guests from Kruševo had the occasion to get to know Switzerland from the more touristic side) commander Schwab went on search (in his fire station and that of the neighboring villages) for good used surplus equipment, which could be given to the fire department of Kruševo.  This way on Monday evening, the Macedonian firemen could fill their (previouly empty) firetruck with best quality Swiss fire-fighter gear: firehoses, nozzles, manifolds, flame-resistant jackets, helmets, belts, etc.. yes, even an 10m aluminium extension ladder to top the firetruck's roof!  Great many thanks to commander Kurt Schwab, the fire brigades of Nidau/Ipsach and of the neighboring villages for this fantastic proof of solidarity for their Macedonian coleages!!!

Arrival in KruševoOn Tuesday September 2nd the long journey began.  Before sunrise, at 5 o'clock, Blagoja, Tome and Toni left Biel with the firetruck, heading for Macedonia, where they arrived three days later - exhausted but happy.  But the most tiring was not the driving but the many border crossings, at each of them some new bureaucratic problems came up and had to be resolved.

Filling the tank at the lakeLate on Thursday evening the firetruck finally arrived in Kruševo, where it was welcomed by Kruševo's Mayor Lefkija Gažoska, the fire brigade and a big crowd of curious spectators.   Unfortuntely the the firetruck could only stay a few hours in its new home town.  In the wee hours of Friday morning Toni and Tome had to return the truck to Skopje for the final customs clearance. But in Macedonia it's red tape all the way - so it was impossible to get the necessaary papers before the (long) weekend, so -to the big disappointment of all- it got Tuesday before all formalities were settled.  What a pity - this way the planned official handover on September 8 (the Macedonian National Holiday and the Liberation Day for Kruševo) fell through.

 Instructing the fellow firemen On Wednesday morning Tome and Toni could at last show their fellow fire fighters all the technical details of the new fire engine and train with them the correct use of the freshly overhauled fire pump. At the end, fire chief Zore Krsteski tested the newly acquired skills of his men with a fire drill ( MPG video clip small 4MB , large 23MB, photos can be found in our picture gallery).

It is now in the hands of the Municipality of Kruševo to find or build a suitable garage for their "new" firetruck, so that the vehicle is not parked outside come rain or shine, as was the case with its predecessors.    The Mayor as well as the fire-chief have promised us, to bundle their forces to resolve this open issue in the near future.

The fire department, the Mayor and the entire population of Kruševo express their deep gratitude to all who have helped this for them so important wish to become true!

TLF Projekt steht vor Abschluss - Uebergabe im Lago Lodge
Wednesday, 27 August 2008

"TLF Sarnen" wird "TLF Kruševo" Wir haben es geschafft!  Dank den vielen und grosszügigen Spenden konnte GGBS die nötigen finanziellen Mittel zusammenbringen, um  das Tanklöschfahrzeug "TLF Sarnen"   für unsere Partnergemeinde Kruševo zu kaufen.   Da sich in der Zwischenzeit während dem Gebrauch als Ersatzfahrzeug der Zustand der Pumpe sehr verschlechtert hat, wurde eine kostspielige Revision der Pumpe nötig, was unser Projektbudget um einige Tausend Franken mehr belastete.  Dafür kann die Feuerwehr von Kruševo das Fahrzeug nun mit einer frisch revidierten Pumpe antreten, welche auch in den nächsten Jahren ihren Dienst ohne weitere Probleme leisten sollte.

Am Donnerstag 28. August ist es soweit:  Eine 3-köpfige Delegation der Gemeinde Kruševo (bestehend aus den zwei erfahrenen Feuerwehrmännern Toni Petreski und Tome Taleski sowie dem Stadtrat Blagoja Blagaduša) wird in die Schweiz kommen, um das Fahrzeug zu übernehmen und mit diesem zurück nach Mazedonien zu fahren.   Die offizielle Übergabe des Fahrzeugs findet am Freitag Abend im Lago Lodge Nidau statt, im Rahmen eines kleinen Apéros, zu dem wir alle Spenderinnen und Spender sowie Helferinnen und Helfer eingeladen haben.

 Wir möchten uns auch hier bei allen, die unser Projekt mit Spenden, Taten und guten Ratschlägen unterstützt haben, noch einmal ganz herzlich bedanken!

Fund raiser: A fire truck for Kruševo!
Wednesday, 04 June 2008
Das alte FeuerwehrautoUnfortunately and despite all the efforts, our partner town Kruševo did not succeed yet in finding a replacement for their old and no longer reliable fire truck.  And also our efforts to find a "free" pump water tender turck for the Kruševo fire department here in Switzerland have not lead to any tangible result.  Since this problem concerning the safety of the people of Kruševi, however, increases as time goes by, GGBS has decided to give priority to this project during the current year Will this become  Kruševo's "new" fire truck? and start looking actively for a reliable and affordable second hand fire truck.  However, given that the finiancial means of our association are not sufficient for such a big project, we have to organize a fund raising campaign in order to try collecting the missing money.
GGBS General Assembly: Our days appear to be numbered!
Wednesday, 28 May 2008

This year's GGBS general assembly took place at  the Restaurant Kreuz at Nidau on Tuesday May 27 and it was well attended.  We were happy to welcome  at the assembly Andreas Kohlschütter, the president of our national roof organisation Gemeinden Gemeinsam Schweiz (GGS).  As was communicated in advance, the main question of the evening was if and how the activities of our regional committee could and should continue.  Alas, it does not look well regarding the future, the days of our association appear to be numbered.  Nevertheless, during the remainder of the year 2008, we plan to accomplish one more big project, which aims to provide a replacement for the old and unreliable pump water tender of the fire department of our partner town Kruševo.

54th Delegation to Kruševo
Saturday, 15 December 2007

Toshe ProeskiThe 54th GGBS delegation to Kruševo took place from November 30 to December 4, 2007.  Our president Ursula Weiss visited our partner region to participate at the official closing event of the 2nd Common Project of the four local women's associations OŽOK, CVET, HORIZONT and OŽOŽ.  In addition, Ursula's visit was the first after the tragic death of the young and famous singer from Kruševo, Toše Proeski - an deadly accident which without doubt will leave a durable imprint on this town.

In our picture gallery you can find the photos which Ursula has brought back from her trip.

53rd GGBS Delegation to Kruševo
Thursday, 20 September 2007

Kruševo's Mayor puts the new blackboards into use The 53rd delegation to Kruševo took place from September 6 to 12.  The main goal of this trip was the distribution and installation of the material we had sent with a large truck to Kruševo in July.  Besides many school desks and chairs as well as some technical material, the transport also contained 9 big mechanical blackboards.  Since the latter are not easy to install and each of them weighs more than 250 kg, it was important for as to personally be present to participate at the installation.

 Our committee member Heinz Spiess brought us back from his trip once again a lot of photos.  He will upload these by and by to our photo gallery .  Some pictures are already uploaded, others will follow.

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