Lydia Ann (nee Horst) Bauman may be Canadian Mennonite’s oldest reader. At 104 years of age she still reads the magazine in her assisted-living suite at Fairview Seniors Community in Cambridge, Ont. She gets the magazine through nearby Preston Mennonite Church, where she attended until the COVID-19 pandemic closed churches.
She misses church and she misses the people, so she is grateful for the reading material that comes from the church so that she can “keep in tune with it.” But she says she reads more slowly now.
She says the COVID-19 health crisis has “mixed up” her life. She misses getting visitors and attending Sunday evening services at Fairview. But, she says, “If it’s nice, I go outside. I just love walking!”
Lydia Ann has been a part of Mennonite churches her whole life. She was born on July 20, 1915, when her family was part of the Old Order Mennonite community. In 1923, her family started attending Floradale Mennonite Church, and in 1924 they joined the newly built Elmira Mennonite Church. She met Howard Bauman there at the evening meetings, where he was sometimes one of the speakers.
They were married in 1940. He served as a pastor of Elmira Mennonite from 1945 to 1966. Then they moved to Akron, N.Y., where he pastored Clarence Center Mennonite Church for more than 20 years. They moved back to Elmira, where they attended Zion Mennonite Fellowship until they moved to an apartment at Fairview and made Preston Mennonite their church home.
For now, this life-long Mennonite appreciates any of the ways she can keep in contact with the church, including Canadian Mennonite.
Canadian Mennonite would like to know if Lydia Ann Bauman is our oldest reader. If you, or someone you know, is over 100 and still reading CM, we would love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a story idea about Mennonites in Eastern Canada? Send it to Janet Bauman at email@example.com.