of Alberta

Helen Bergen fonds

Accession 2003.021

Title and Physical Description

Helen Bergen fonds. — 1943-1944. — 2 cm of textual records

Administrative/Biographical History

Helen Bergen was born on 1925, to Abram and Susanna (nee Epp) Willms. She immigrated with her family to Canada in November 1925 where they settled in Glenbush, Saskatchewan and later Cowley and Lethbridge, Alberta. She graduated as a Registered Nurse from Galt Hospital School of Nursing in Lethbridge. With additional training in public health in Manitoba and northern Canadian experience she was in a position to answer the call to missions nursing overseas. Ordained as such in 1957, she was the first missionary nurse to go overseas, completely supported by the Sunbeam Women in Mission of her home congregation, Coaldale Mennonite Church. She spent her life in an international career as a single woman, the majority of the time working in a nursing school in a hospital at Hualien, Taiwan. There she became the director of nursing from 1962 to 1972. Her service there was widely lauded by the Taiwanese, and references to her quality work appear in several publications. She finally retired in 1992, after which she met and married Peter Bergen. She died on 21 January 2003.

Scope & Content

The fonds consists of a Bible school notebook.  Some entries are in English, some in German Gothic cursive script and some in German Latin cursive script.

Source of Acquisition

Gift by Helen’s sister, Margaret Willms, 2003

Related Materials

For books related to the fonds, see:

Klassen, Irene. (2006). Their Mark: Their Legacy. Calgary, AB: Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Kehler, Susan Martens. (2002). Journey of Many Steps: A history of Mennonite Christian Hospital Nursing School. Hualien, Taiwan: Mennonite Christian Hospital
Willms, Margaret. (2006). Tribute found at:
Accession 2003.021
Last updated 16 Jul 2008 – Judith Rempel
Revised July 2012

Files Inventory

1 – 1 Bible school notebook – ca. 1943-1944


GRANDMA #385818