" For the Austrians present this afternoon • . this place, for the next few hours, is truly a little piece of Austria." So said—except that she said it in German— a small national when presenting a bouquet, an Friday last week, to the Austrian Minister, Baron Georg Franckeustein, on the occasion of his visit to Watford. The purpose of His Excellency's coming was to open an " Austrian Bazaar," at the Oddfellows' Hall, in aid of the building fund of the Holy Rood Convent.
Mgr. Canon Jackman and his many helpers had certainly done everything possible to " Austrianise " the locale and atmosphere. Over the hall a large shield of Austrian eagles was displayed; the Austrian flag flew from the church tower. These things are vouched for. And Vienna bread? Surely! Tyrolean costume and scenery added to the sense of Continental realism. The bazaar was a two-day affair, the opepers arranged for being the Austrian Minister on Friday and Mr. Alfred Denville, M.P., on Saturday.
Welcomed by Mgr. Jackman and by the Mayor of Watford, Baron Franckenstein performed' his task with great felicity. He associated himself warmly with the cause for which the bazaar was being held, had graceful words of thanks for the Mayor, and confessed that Providence had willed that he himself should be an incorrigible beggar. After the war, at the time of Austria's greatest distress, it fell to him to raise an international loan for his country. At the present time, he said, he was endeavouring to raise, for the University of Salzburg, a sum equal to that which Canon Jackman was seeking to get for his worthy cause at Watford, namely four thousand pounds.
Repaying a Debt "A long historic friendship," His Excellency continued, " binds our two countries together. We, in Austria, are well aware of the debt of gratitude that we owe to the British people for the help they have given us in the terrible times following the war. In coming here today and in associating myself with your aims I wanted to give proof of that great friendship and to pay off a little of our debt."