Mennonite
Historical
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  1. Regier, Peter, fonds, 1945-1994, 30 cm

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    Accession 2017.014

    Regier, Peter, fonds, 1945-1994, 30 cm

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Peter Regier was born 16 December 1923, the son of Peter and Margaret (Dueck) Regier, at Ebenfeld, Russia.  The family migrated to Canada, landing in Halifax in 1930, and subsequently moved to Coaldale, Alberta.  The Regiers were farmers,  Peter married Annie Thiessen and died 29 April 2018.  Both Peter and his father, also named Peter Regier, were deacons in the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church.  They were also very active participants in various inter-Mennonite social, economic and educational endeavours.   Both served, at different times, on the Board and as Secretary of the Representative Assembly of Mennonite settlers at Coaldale, and that organization’s successor agencies.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of the minutes of the

     

  2. Connie Thiessen fonds, 2020, 5 cm.

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    Title and physical description

    Connie Thiessen fonds, 2020, 5 cm.

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Connie Thiessen is the daughter of Dietrich Thiessen, 1929-2020 and Nettie (Dueck) Thiessen, 1929-2004.  Members of both the Thiessen and Dueck families had come from the Soviet Union to Canada in the 1920s, and eventually settled at Coaldale, Alberta.  There were numerous siblings in both the Thiessen and Dueck families.  These are stories and short biographies of Connie’s ancestors, parents and siblings of her parents.

    Scope and Content

    In her manuscript entitled “Early Stories & Family Trees,” Connie Thiessen provides detailed genealogical information about her ancestors, their expereinces in Russia/Soviet Union, the migration to Canada, subsequent experiences in Canada, and short biographical information about her grandparents, parents and numerous uncles and aunts.  Both the Thiessen and Dueck families were supportive and active participation as members of the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church.  Much of the information is drawn from personal recollections, or diary entries ,of various family members.  The manuscript includes numerous family, church  and individual photographs.
    After their marriage Connie’s parents moved from Coaldale to Lindbrook, but Connies includes very little information about her own, or the family’s experiences after that move.

    Source of Acquisition

    Gift by Connie Thiessen

    Access Restrictions

    None

    Notes

    See also: short entry by Connie’s father, Dick Thiessen, on the Thiessen family, and the shrot entry by Connie’s grandfather, Rev. Jacob P. Dueck, on the Dueck family, in Coaldale, Gem of the West, 1900-1983, (Coaldale Historical Society, 1983), p-. 886-887 and 456-457 respectively/

    See also MHSA Accession 2016.021, Jacob E. Dueck fonds.  Jacob Dueck was a younger brother of Nettie (Dueck) Thiessen (Connie’s mother).

  3. SUSANNE BUHLER

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    February 5, 1925 – Neuendorf, Ukraine
    November 27, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta

    Susanne Buhler passed away peacefully on Friday, November 27, 2020 at the age of 95 years, after a short hospital stay. She made an impression wherever she went with her wonderful smile!

    Susanne is survived by her daughters, Ericka, and Elsie (Andy); her son Elston, grandsons, Ryan (Jessica), and Corey (Jeana); and her great-grandchildren, Ethan, Nixon, Hunter and Arielle; and many other relatives and wonderful friends she made throughout her life.
    Susanne was predeceased by her husband Abram, daughter Helga, son Edward, and brothers, Henry and John; they are all reunited in the arms of the Lord.

    Due to Covid restrictions, a small family Funeral Service will be held. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Susanne’s obituary at www.McInnisandHolloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Calgary & Southern Alberta Chapter, 1130F – 44 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 4W6 Telephone: (403) 266-5295, www.cfcalgary.ca.

     

  4. Schellenberg, Gail

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    Obituary for Colleen Gail Schellenberg

    The life that was Colleen Gail Schellenberg is now ours to remember and celebrate. Gail was born in Calgary, Alberta to John and Ina (nee Hiebert) Schellenberg on November 25, 1957 and passed in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 4, 2020. The Schellenberg family attended Foothills Mennonite Church and were very active in that faith community.

    Gail pursued post secondary education at Columbia Bible Institute in Clearbrook, BC, and later a teaching degree from the University of Manitoba. She taught at several religious private schools in Calgary, (Heritage Christian School, Menno Simons Christian School) and Kitchener (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate) before serving as principal at Westgate Mennonite Collegiate (Winnipeg) and later Rosthern Junior College (Rosthern). She returned to Winnipeg and became the administrator for IJC, Initiatives for Just Communities, where she worked until health issues intervened.

    Gail loved the prairies, poetry and her profession as an educator. The qualities that endeared her to family and friends she brought to her workplace. She was creative, independent, laughed often from her heart, and loved the students entrusted to her. She erred always on the side of giving second chances to kids first. She travelled widely in Central America, Europe, and China not so much as a tourist but as a keen observer of life. She was a small ‘g’ gardener, a voracious reader, a knitter, an outdoor music festival fan, and always on the lookout for a Christmas tree ornament as a gift for her many nieces and nephews.

    The gift of consciousness bestowed on us by the Divine has, wrapped at its core, the awareness of a limited warranty. How Gail chose to unwrap the gift was reflected in the decisions she made and the beautiful soul she possessed.

    She is survived by her mother Ina, sister Kim (Byron) and brothers Terry (Brenda), Craig (Patricia), Bob (Sandi), Jeff, brother-in-law Mike (Sylvia)

    and 17 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father John (2015), sister Karen (2002) and sister-in-law Ingrid (nee Janssen, 2015)

    At her request, there will be no funeral but private remembrances only. For those who wish, donations to the Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools, or Initiatives for Just Communities may be made.

  5. Hilda Dick fonds, 1890-1992, 2 large family photograph albums

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    Hilda Dick fonds, 1890-1992.

    Accession 2020.001.

    Administrative/Biographical History

    Hilda Dick was born in Coaldale Alberta on 4 May 1927, the daughter of Johann and Liese (Regehr) Dick.  She attended the Readymade elemntary school, the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Bible School, and then, after a series of short-term jobs,  trained as a nursing aide in Calgary.  She worked in  hospitals in Lethbridge and Coaldale before joining the clinic staff of the Coaldale doctors, where she worked for 34 years.

    Hilda and her twin brother Walter came from a large family comprised of eight sons and five daughters.  Hilda was the only single adult sibling, but always took a keen interest in the lives of her siblings and many nieces, nephews and later grand-nieces and grand-nephews.  After Hilda’s parents retired and moved to a house in town, Hilda provided care and support.  After her father’s death in 1968, she lived together with her mother who died in 1892 at the age of 102.

    Hilda accepted an important retirement project when she went through numerous family photograph albums and then compiled two large  albums – one focusing on photographs of the Dick family, and the other on the Regehr family.  The albums provide a comprehensive overview of the families’ Russian background and their Canadian experiences.

  6. Baergen, Cornelius (Neil)

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    1931 – 2017

    Cornelius “Neil” Baergen passed into the presence of his Lord on Saturday, April 8th, 2017. Neil is survived by his wife Hilda; son Ralph (Jacque) and their daughters Caroline, Emily and Sarah; daughters Carolyn and Kathleen Baergen. He is also survived by his brother Jacob (Irene) Baergen and sister-in-law Katie Baergen. A memorial service will be held at CrossRoads Church, (SW corner of 32 St and highway 2), 38105 Range Road 275, Red Deer County, AB on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm. Memorial donations may be directed to the Canadian Bible Society. Condolences to Neil’s family may be emailed to meaningful@telus.net.

  7. Baergen, Jacob (Jake)

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    Jake passed away peacefully at home with his wife Irene at his side and his children present via Zoom. Jake will be remembered as a man with a strong faith that inspired him to take on whatever he sensed God was calling him to do. He will be missed by his wife of 62 years Irene, his son Bruce (Debbie), daughter Rhonda, daughter Sharlene (Steve), grandchildren Cara, Alyson (Aaron), Sean (Tiffanie), Larissa (Clemens), Charlie, David (Lisa) and 4 great grandchildren.

    There will be a celebration of life via Zoom. Contact family members or First Mennonite Church for details.

  8. Goerzen, David D., fonds, 10 cm, 5 cds, 18 photos

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    Accession 2020.006

    Goerzen, David D., fonds, 10 cm., 5 cds, 18 photographs

    Administrative/Biographical History

    David D. Goerzen was born 17 September 1923 in the Mennonite village of Kalantarowka in the Caucaus region of the Soviet Union.  He was the eldest son of David Peter Goerzen and Susanna (Wiens) Goerzen, and married Margaret (Nachtigal) Goerzen.  The Goerzen family migrated from the Soviet Union to Canada in 1925 and lived for short periods of time in various places before settling on a farm on the Rosebud River betweem Crossfield and Acme, Alberta.

    During World War II David Goerzen performed alternative serivice as a conscientious objector, both as a farm labourer and as a worked in the Banff and Jasper National Parks.  His service included working, “unawares” on what was called the Habbakuk project.  It involved construction of the largest prototype of Sir Winston Churchill’s secret “Ship of Ice” – a large, flat, insulated floating frozen block of ice, reinforced with sawdust as a binding agent. Such a mixture was vertually impervious to submarine attack or bombardment and was expected to serve as a landing and possible refueling field or spot for wartime trans-Atlantic flights.
    After the war David Goerzen bought a half-section of land on the Rosebud River where he farmed until his retirement and move to Saskatoon in 1988.   David Goerzen died in Saskatoon on 24 March 2009.
    A few years beforee his death David Goerzen was contacted by Eco-Nova Productions asking for and filming an interview focusing on his wartime service as a conscientious objector, and specifically his work on the Habbakuk project.  That led to further work, including filming of the sunken wreck in Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park of the great Habbakuk ice ship.

    Custodial History

    The fonds was donated to the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta by Margeurite (Goerzen) Jack, David and Margaret Goerzen’s daugher.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of three distinct sets of files.  First, there are files contining information and photographs pertaining to the Habbakuk project.  Second, there are files containing genealogical information about Margaret (Nachtigal) Goerzen’s family.  Third, a few items pertaining to the Goerzen and nearby farms.

    Source of acquisition

    Donation by Marguerite (Goerzen) Jack, daughter of David and Margaret (Nachtigal) Goerzen.

    Finding aid

    Habbakuk files

    1. Ecopress folder of documents, reports and correspondence from various sources, collected by David Goerzen. pertaining to the Habbakuk project.

    2. Ecopoess folder of photographs and supporting information pertaining to the Habbakuk project and, collected by David Goerzen

    3. Mixed folder of official government documents, correspondence and reports pertaining to the Habbakuk project.

    4. Four compact discs recording interviews with David Goerzen and filming of the sunken wreck of the Habbakuk project.

    5 .Fourteen pictures taken while filming the sunken wreck of the Habbakuk project in 2006.

    6. U-Haul use of Habbakuk information in the promotion of that company’s services.

    Nachtigal family genealogical and family papers.

    7. File containing genealogical information on various branches of the Nachtigal family.  Margaret Nachitgal,  b. 9 December 1929, daughter of Johann Nachtigall and Sara Baergen, was married to David Goerzen.

    8. Nachtigal family – Russian official documents pertaining to their migration from the Soviet Union, in 1926.

    9. Nachtigal family – Canadian official documents pertaining mainly to citizenship matters.

    10. Correspondence between Gerhard Baergen, Margaret (Nachtigal) Goerzen’s grandfather and his daughter Sara, Margaret (Nachtigal) Goerzen’s aunt, describing several of Gerhard’s trips, including searches for land.
    The letters were written in German Gothic script, but some have been transcribed and translated.

    11. Three Gerhard Baergen photographs: 1, Wedding photograph, 1902, of Gerhard Baergen and Margaretha (Baerg) Baergen; 2 Funeral, December 1912, of Margaretha (Baerg) Baergen with her husband and their six children.  The  youngest child, Sara, married Johann Nachtigal .  They were the parents of Margaret (Nachtigal) Goerzen’s mother. 3. A later photograph of the Gerhard Baergen family.

    Additional David Goerzen files.

    12. File of short stories collected by David Goerzen, including a longer manuscript entitled “Stories from the Burns Ranch.”

    13. Aerial photograph of the Goerzen farm, and clippings about the auction sale in 1988.

     

  9. Camrose Mennonite Fellowship fonds, 1979-2011, 60 cm and one photogrpah album

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    Camrose Mennonite Fellowship fonds, 1979-2011, 60 cm and one photograph album

    Accession 2019.010

    Administrative/Biographical History

    The Camrose Mennonite Fellowship traces its beginnings to a meeting in the basement of the Murray and Sylvia Lauber home in March of 1979.  Participants decided to schedule once a month and later bi-weekly Bible studies.  On 11 April 1980 the decision was made to organize formally as a Fellowship. That was followed later in 1980 with the adoption of a constitution and incorporation of the Fellowship

    Members came from several different Mennonite backgrounds.  The group therefore sought membership in three Mennonite conferences and joined both the Northwest Mennonite Conference and the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta (now Mennonite Church Alberta).

    The group met in several community places before leasing and then purchasing the church bulding of  the Church of the Nazarene at 5204 – 53 Ave. in  Camrose.

    John and Kathy Lenshyn moved to Camrose and joined the fellowship in 1981.  John was of Roman Catholic background.  He had, however, completed a degree at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and accepted a less than full-time call to serve as pastor of the Camrose Mennonite Fellowship.  He served in that capacity for five years, followed by David Letkemann who served for two years.  Peter and Agnes Nickel joined the Fellowship in 1990 and Peter served as pastor until 1996, at which time he retired officially.   The Nickels, however, contined to serve the Fellowship in many ways until Agnes’s death in 2006.  After Peter Nickel’s retirement, Eric Mierau serverd as non-resident part time pastor for a few years.

    Activties of the Fellowship included Sunday morning worship services, Wednesday evening family nights, Bible studies, young peoples activities, two summers of Daily Vacation Bible School, and numerous potluck and family celebrations.

    Membership in the Fellowship was always small.  Over the years there were often signficant transitions.  With the departure of some families and insufficient resources to engage a full-time pastor, it was decided in 2010 to dissolve the Fellowship.  The closing service was held on 26 June 2011.

    Custodial History

    The records of the Fellowship, together with a photograph album, were donated by Murray Lauber who initiated the first meetings and who, together with his wife Sylvia, provided continuing strong leadership and support.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of files pertaining to the organization of the Camrose Mennonite Fellowship, minutes and reports of council and congregational meetings, subject files and church bulletins.

    Finding Aid: List of Files

    1-1 Constitutions, 1989, 1993 and 2009.
    1-2 Incorporation, 1980 and purchase of a  building, 1987.
    1-3 Policies, 1980-1985.
    1-4 Congregational and Annual Meetings, 1980-1984.
    1-5 Council Minutes, 1980-1981.
    1-6 Council Minutes, 1982.
    1-7 Council Minutes, 1983.
    1-8 Council Minutes, 1984,
    1-9 Council Minutes, 1985.
    1-10 Council Minutes, 1986.
    1-11 Congregational Meetings, 1985-1987.
    1-12 Congregational Meetings, 1988-1989.
    1-13 Congregational and Council meetings, 1990.-1993
    1-14 Congregational and Council meetings, 1994.
    1-15 Congregational and Council meetings, 1995.
    1-16 Congregational and Council meetings, 1996.
    1-17 Congregational and Council meetings, 1997.
    2-18 Congregational and Council meetings, 1998-1999.
    2-19 Congregational and Council meetings, 2000-2001.
    2-20 Congregational and Council meetings, 2002-2003.
    2-21 Congregational and Council meetings,  2004-2006.
    2-22 Congregational and Council meetings, 2007-2009.
    2-23 Dissolution, 2012.
    2-24 Closing Ceremony and History of Camrose Mennonite Fellowship, 2011 by Murray Lauber.
    2-25 Membership lists.
    2-26 Membership, Baptism and Transfer records.
    2-27 Brief History published in Mennonite Reporter, 1981,
    2-28 House Church Information, 1980.
    2-29 Church Rental/Lease, 1982.
    2-30 Church and Conference constitutions.
    2-31 Correspondence, Conference of Mennonites in Alberta, 1981-1985.
    2-32 Correspondence, Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1981-1986.
    2-33 Correspondence, Northwest Mennonite Conference, 1981-1986.
    2-34 Correspondence, Church and Conference commissions, 1981-1985,
    2-35 Correspondence, Conference of Mennonites in Canada, 1982-1985.
    2-36 Correspondence, General Conference Mennonite Church, 1982.
    2-37 Correspondence. MCC, 1978-1984.
    3-38 Pastoral Search, 1986,
    3-39 Refugee Sponsorship, 1988.
    3-40 “Neighbours Near and Far” Missions course, 1986.
    3-41 Monthly Announcements, 1980-1983.
    3-42 Bulletins, 1984,
    3-43 Bulletins, 1985.
    3-44 Bulletins, 1986.
    3-45 Bulletins, 1987,
    3-46 Bulletins, 1988.
    3-47 Bulletings, 1989.
    3-48 Bulletins, 1990.
    3-49 Bulletins, 1991.
    3-50 Bulletins, 1992.
    3-51 Bulletins, 1993.
    3-52 Bulletins, 1994.
    3-53 Bulletins, 1995.
    3-54 Bulletins, 1996.

    Photograph Album, kept by Sylvia Lauber providing insights and focusing on both formal and casual events in the history of the Camrose Mennonite Fellowship.  The photos are being screened by Bill Janzen, a member of the Fellowship for many years, who is providing essential information about the more noteworthy photographs.

  10. Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.

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    Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.

    Accession 2019.023

    Biographical history

    Cornelius Regehr was born 27 September 1911 in Terek, Russia, the son of Peter H. and Anna (Reimer) Regehr.  The family immigrated to Canada in 1925 and settled in Coaldale, Alberta.  Cornelius married Katharina Klassen in 1940 and, sortly therafter the couple moved to Yarrow, British Columbia where Cornelius worked in various jobs.  Katharina died in 2002.  Cornelius then married Elizabeth Wipf who died in 2008.  Cornelius died 26 December 2010.
    Numerous relatives remained in the Soviet Union and, for many years, those living in Canada had only very limited contact with those still living in the Soviet Union.  That increased dramatically after 1979 when it became possible for  family members to communicate more freely with relatives in Canada.  Many eventually left the Soviet Union and established new homes in Germany.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of three distinct and very different collections of letters.

    Folder 1 contains a carbon copy of a five page letter written by Liese and Johannes Janzen, dated 23 November 1952 to Cornelius Regehr’s parents, Peter H. and Anna (Reimer) Regehr.  This letter containes detailed genealogical information pertaining to both the Janzen and Regehr families.

    Folder 2 contains three letters, written 6, 9 and 15 March 1894.  They were written by Wilhelm [Janzen] to his wife Maria while he was on a preaching and evangelization trip.  In the letters, written from Gnadenthal, Bachmut and Alexanderfeld, all in the Soviet Union,  the writer refers to evanglistic services, house visitations and conversations with local Mennonite residents.  It is not evident how Cornelius Regehr received these letters.

    Folder 3  contains 31 letters or notes written to Cornelius and Katharina Regehr by relatives living in the Soviet Union but then emigrating to Germany.  The letters descibe in some detail conditions in the Soviet Union, the complexities and challenges of the migration from the Soviet Union to Germany, and conditions after they settled in Germany.

    Source of Aquisition

    Donated by Marge Friesen, daughter of Cornelius and Katharina Regehr.

    Access

    No restrictions.