Astrid C. Wenzke Honoured By The German Government

Mrs. Wenzke and Dr. Ingo Winkelmann (Photo by Dr. Andreas Zimmer, German Foreign Office)

During a festive ceremony at the German Foreign Office in Berlin Mrs. Wenzke was presented with the prestigious “Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany”.

The ceremony was led by Dr. Ingo Winkelmann, Director of the Division of Central America, Caribbean and Mexico. Dr. Winkelmann is also a former German Ambassador to Costa Rica among many other diplomatic assignments.

He started the proceedings by reading out some of the reasons that led the German Government to present the award to her. He stated: “Mrs. Astrid Wenzke lives in the British Virgin Islands for some 40 Years. Since 1983 she was the Trustee for the German Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad until she was sworn in as German Honorary Consul to the BVI. She has fulfilled these voluntary assignments with great engagement. Due to the intensive Cruise- and Sailing Tourism in the BVI very often consular assistance was needed (sickness, accidents, lost passports) and she provided that in a very non-burocratic manner time and time again without considering weekends or time of the day. She is well-known and impeccably connected in the BVI. For example – whenever a German Ambassador from Trinidad visited (to the BVI his title is Consul General) the BVI, she hosted dinners at her home, including a large number of influential dignitaries. There is evidence of the recognition of Germany in the BVI. This recognition had also an impact on German politics, for example in 2013, when the Premier of the BVI hosted the “Caribbean Challenge Initiative”, assisting in its climate change and environmental goals. About her voluntary assistance in various organizations one often reads in local media; for the above reasons is was suggested to recommend that the “Order of Merit” should be bestowed on Mrs. Wenzke”

Mrs. Wenzke suffered a stroke in the BVI in October 2018 and was sent to Germany for surgery. She is scheduled to return to her beloved BVI before the end of April.