Upcoming Events

You’ll find information about our events on this page and on our Facebook page.


October 2018

GSW Choir debuts in a concert of organ and choral music 

Sunday, 28 October 2018 at 3 pm
St James Church, 71 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt

Bild könnte enthalten: Himmel, Wolken, im Freien, Natur und Text

Reflections on the centenary of the end of that “War to End All Wars” – Nationalism; the sober reality; heroism; “Peace in Our Time”…

Organ Music includes Edward Elgar’s Imperial March (composed 1897 for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Victoria, grandmother of Kaiser Wilhelm II), Max Reger’s Lament for the Fallen (on all sides) 1914-1915 and César Franck’s Pièce Heroïque. 

Short choir pieces by Bach, Schütz, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Reger and Distler. Several of these are settings of texts by Goethe.

Directed and played by Bruce Cash (as part of the series run by St. James Church Lower Hutt and the Wellington Organists’ Association).

Entry by Koha

Past Events

My life in the DDR: Personality, ideology & the normality of anomalies

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade
How did an East German end up teaching physics in the South Pacific? The speaker will use his own personal experience as a starting point for generalising about some of the life-shaping contradictions encountered by those who grew up in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) and came of age at the time of German reunification.

Uli Zuelicke had just turned 21 when the Berlin Wall fell. He continued his physics studies in Leipzig, graduating with a Diplomphysiker degree in 1993, and spent the next five years in the USA. After obtaining his PhD in Physics from Indiana University, Uli returned to Germany to undertake a postdoc at the University of Karlsruhe. In 2003, he and his American wife, Kris, came to New Zealand where he started his academic career at Massey University in Palmerston North. Since 2011, he has been a Professor of Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. Find out more »

September 2018

Philosopher, Polemicist, Prophet: Marx in his Time and Ours

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 at 7 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade

Marx was a complicated thinker. German philosopher, Victorian polemicist, Prophet of the coming Communist revolution, he was not a systematic writer, and his ideas remain difficult to reconstruct, despite the immense body of “Marxist” work that claims him as a key inspiration and source. He was a man of his time whose views were developed through now-obscure quarrels with long forgotten figures, but whose insights about the nature of modern social and economic life still remain useful and relevant today.
In this lecture, Simon Keller and Xavier Marquez present Marx as a distinctly German philosopher whose disparate and conflicting ideas made him both an inspiring figure for socialist movements since the 19th century and an acute analyst of contemporary capitalism. Find out more »

August 2018

Thomas Gaynor Organ Recital & Pre-Concert Talk at St. Mary of the Angels

Saturday, 25 August 2018 from 6:45 pm, Concert begins at 7.30 pm

Prizewinning organist Thomas Gaynor will be back in his home town to play in recital on the Maxwell Fernie Organ in St Mary’s, with a programme including works by Bach and Mendelssohn, as well as Widor’s Sixth Organ Symphony.  

In 2017, Thomas was the first organist since Gillian Weir to win first and audience prizes in the St Albans International Organ Competition.  He is also a laureate of the Tokyo-Musashino Organ competition, the Bach-Liszt Organ Competition in Erfurt/Weimar, and the Sydney International Organ Competition. 

Thomas recently became the first organist in thirty years to be awarded the coveted Artist’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he is studying. 

The concert begins at 7.30pm.  Please note that Thomas will also be giving a pre-concert talk at 6.45pm about his experiences competing in Germany on Bach’s organs and other historic instruments of the time.

This fundraising concert is to assist Thomas to complete the final year of his doctorate in Organ Performance and Literature at Eastman.  Entry is by koha at the door ($20 suggested). Find out more »

June 2018

Filmabend #3: Der geteilte Himmel – The Divided Heaven

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 5.30pm in VZ 606, Von Zedlitz Building, Victoria University of Wellington (Kelburn Parade).

Regie/Director: Konrad Wolf (1963/64)

1961 in der DDR, kurz vor dem Bau der Mauer. Rita Seidel ist nach ihrem Zusammenbruch aus der Stadt Halle in ihr Dorf zurückgekehrt, um Ruhe zu finden. Sie erinnert sich an die vergangenen Jahre, an ihre Liebe zum Chemiker Manfred Herrfurth, an ihre Arbeit in einer Waggonfabrik und an ihr Studium fürs Lehramt. In der Fabrik und an der Uni gab es Probleme mit politischen Opportunisten und ideologischen Hardlinern; Ritas Liebesbeziehung fand ein Ende, nachdem Manfred, verbittert über die Betonköpfe, die sein neues chemisches Verfahren abgelehnt hatten, nach Westberlin gegangen war und Rita nicht mitkommen wollte. Der geteilte Himmel, entstanden nur wenige Jahre nach dem Mauerbau, ist einer der mutigsten Spielfilme, die je in der DDR gedreht wurden, nicht nur wegen seiner ungewöhnlichen Dramaturgie, sondern weil er die Verantwortung für die Konflikte im eigenen Land und nicht beim „Klassenfeind“ sucht. 

East Germany in 1961, just before the construction of the Berlin Wall. After suffering a nervous breakdown, Rita Seidel returns to her village from the city of Halle to find peace and quiet. She recalls the past years, her love for chemist Manfred Herrfurth, her work in a railway car factory and her studies to become a teacher. There were problems with political opportunists and ideological hardliners in the factory and at university. Rita’s love affair came to an end after Manfred, bitter that uncompromising supervisors had rejected his new chemical process, fled the city for West Berlin without Rita, who chose not to join him. The Divided Heaven, created just a few years after the Wall was constructed, is one of the bravest movies ever to be made in the GDR – not only because of its unusual dramaturgy, but also because it seeks responsibility for conflicts in one’s own country and not with the “class enemy”. Find out more »


December 2016

Goethe Society Wellington 2016 Christmas Dinner

Thursday, 1 December 2016 at 6:30 pm

Brooklyn Deli (199-201 Ohiro Road, Brooklyn Village)

img_8693The Goethe Society Wellington invites you to join Members and Friends of the Society to celebrate a very busy year of events and activities and to catch up in social setting over dinner (own expense). The Brooklyn Deli is fully licensed. This is a private function so the Brooklyn Deli Team have prepared a set menu and prices for our group. Some parking is available behind the Deli. Please RSVP by Monday, 28 November to goethe.society.wgtn@gmail.com and include your choice of main. Find out more »

September 2016

New Zealand/Germany Scientific Relationships, including Associate Professor Nancy Bertler’s work in Antarctica.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade


The Goethe Society Wellington invites you to an evening about New Zealand/Germany Scientific Relationships, including Associate Professor Nancy Bertler’s work in Antarctica.
Part 1: Associate Professor Nancy Bertler, a New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellow, will talk about the potential collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet – Implications for Global Sea Level. Rapid deglaciation of West Antarctica remains a primary uncertainty in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Predictions for 21st Century sea level rise. The recent and unpredicted collapse of multiple ice shelves, rapid acceleration of Antarctic ice discharge, and large scale changes in atmospheric circulation and ocean currents suggest that dynamical responses to warming play a more significant role than is currently understood and captured in coupled climate-ice sheet models. New results from current research projects (i.e. RICE, ANDRILL, WAIS) indicate a higher climate sensitivity of the Antarctic ice sheets than previously thought.
Part 2: New Zealand and Germany’s science relationship – recent history and future prospects. Rick Petersen, Senior Advisor, International Science Partnerships Team, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, will discuss highlights from the past couple of years in the New Zealand/Germany bilateral science relationship, identify some of the events that are likely to take place in 2017 to mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement and give a flavour of where the relationship might develop over the next few years. Find out more »

September Filmabend: Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland/Almanya – Welcome to Germany

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 at 5.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, VZ 606, Von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn Parade
Hüseyin Yilmaz came to Germany from Turkey in 1964, and later brought his wife and children. With warmth and a sense of humour, his granddaughter recounts their family history – whilst the clan is “back home” on holiday. Where their real home is, is a question they are all confronted with. Find out more »

August 2016

Heike Papenthin: The Current Refugee Situation in Germany & How Germans Handle it

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade


Whenever talking about Germany these days, the topic comes up how this nation in the centre of Europe deals with the current refugee situation. As an active Couchsurfing host, Heike Papenthin has had many encounters with young Germans, who have shared their stories with her about their and their friends’ involvement – stories which should be told. Heike’s mother was a refugee in World War II which might explain her deep interest in the current refugee situation in Germany. Heike is the National Language Adviser for German supporting the development of German language education in New Zealand. Find out more »

June 2016

June Presentation – Sonnenwendefeier with Ingrid Kölle

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 7:30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade
A reading from “Neuseeland – ein Länderporträt” Join us for the annual Sonnenwendefeier and listen to Ingrid Kölle read from her book “Neuseeland – ein Länderporträt” (German edition). This talk will be in both German and English, and there will be time for questions. Copies of her book (in German) will be available for purchase on the evening ($25, cash only)… Find out more »

May 2016

May Filmabend – Kaddisch für einen Freund

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 at 5:30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, Von Zedlitz Building, VZ 606, Kelburn Parade
Kaddisch für einen Freund (2010/11)
Directed by Leo Khasin with a running time of 94 minutes
Ali ist neu im Kreuzberger Kiez. Als Flüchtling aus dem Libanon steht seine Duldung in Deutschland auf der Kippe. Die harten Jungs aus der Gegend geben ihm eine Mutprobe auf: in die Wohnung eines alten Nachbarn einzubrechen, einem russisch-jüdischen Emigranten. Danach muss Ali bei dem alten …   Find out more »