A Joyful Send-off for Outgoing Consul General Wolfgang Drautz
Enlarge image Raimund Kallée, left, and Saskia Weber present Consul General Drautz with a parting gift from Consulate staff members. (© Germany.info/Los Angeles) As his 36-year career as a diplomat drew to an end, Consul General Wolfgang Drautz relished every last moment from accepting farewell gifts to lunch invitations and helping movers pack up his office.
During a recent session of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the five-member governing board of L.A. County presented him with a plaque of appreciation for his "outstanding leadership in strengthening the ties between Germany and the people of Southern California and the western United States during his posting in Los Angeles." Along with the plaque, he also received a beautiful watercolor print of Mission San Gabriel, which founded by Father Junipero Serra in September 8, 1771, is considered ''the birthplace of Los Angeles County.'' Today, with 88 cities, a population exceeded by just eight states and the world's 17th economy, Los Angeles County is America's largest and most dynamic county.
Enlarge image Consul General Drautz shows off the watercolor print of Mission San Gabriel. (© Germany.info/Los Angeles) Consul General Drautz expressed his gratitude to the Board of Supervisors comprised of Zev Yaroslavsky, Chairman, Supervisor, Third District; Gloria Molina, Supervisor, First District; Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor, Second District; Don Knabe, Supervisor, Fourth District; and Michael D. Antonovich, Supervisor, Fifth District for their gifts and for the opportunity to deepen and expand the already excellent relations between Germany and Los Angeles County. "Ï learned a lot about L.A.'s potential – its diversity, the creativity of Angelenos and its worthiness as a partner in many fields for Germany. My family and I have enjoyed our time in Los Angeles and we return to Berlin with a deep feeling of gratitude and a longing to continue our friendship with this great city and its people!" he said.
Enlarge image AJC luncheon, from left, Gosia Szymanska Weiss, Adam Weiss, Joel Mogy, Consul General Wolfgang Drautz, Fredrick S. Levin, Gary Jacobs. (© courtesy AJC Los Angeles Office) Later in the week, he was invited to a luncheon hosted by the AJC (American Jewish Committee) Los Angeles Office at the Hillcrest Country Club. He was touched by the gift he received, a beautifully engraved pen in appreciation for his continued fostering of German-Jewish relations in Southern California.
And the farewell gift-giving continuned. During his last bi-monthly conference at the Consulate General, he was delighted to be presented with farewell gifts from staff members that included a special collection of his speeches with accompanying images, lunch in the Big Apple during his upcoming vist to New York, and a framed group photograph.
Enlarge image Consul General Drautz helps to pack up his belongings. (© Germany.info/Los Angeles) Finally, his last days in the office approached and the time had come to gather all his mementos and books. As he helped the movers pack them in boxes for the long journey home by cargo ship to Germany, he couldn't help but look back on his time in the Foreign Service — from his first posting to Moscow during the Cold War to his last sunny and warm days in Los Angeles.