Historical society discusses new projects

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April 7, 2020 | Web First
Mennonite Historical Society of Canada
The Mennonite Historical Society of Canada met at Camp Peniel in the Laurentians north of Montreal on Jan. 17 and 18. (Photo by Roy Draper)

The Mennonite Historical Society of Canada (MHSC) met in Quebec on Jan. 17 and 18 and discussed several new projects, including a history book of Mennonites in Canada since 1970 and a cross-Canada celebration of the centenary of the arrival of Russian Mennonites in 2023.


Laureen Harder-Gissing, right, presents the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada’s 2020 Award of Excellence to Lucille Marr. (Photo by Barb Draper)

• Building on the Society’s November 2018 history conference, “A People of Diversity: Mennonites in Canada Since 1970,” it invited Brian Froese and Laureen Harder-Gissing to co-author a book on Mennonites in Canada from 1970 to 2020. Froese teaches history at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, and Harder-Gissing is Archivist-Librarian at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo. 

• Plans are proceeding for the Russlaender Centenary project. The main feature of the commemoration will be a cross-Canada train trip in 2023, beginning in Quebec City with stops and events planned across the country. Participants can choose to be on all or any of the segments of the journey, or be involved when the travellers arrive in their part of the country. 

• The Society also chose to recognize the migration of Mennonites from Canada to Mexico and Paraguay in 1922, the largest ever mass emigration from Canada. Events, exhibits and a conference are planned for 2022. 

• This year, the Society’s Award of Excellence was presented to Lucille Marr in recognition of her contributions in research, writing and teaching about Mennonites and Brethren in Christ in Canada; her work on the Society’s executive; and her role in the founding and ongoing work of the Société d’histoire mennonite du Québec. 

• The Society’s new executive includes: Laureen Harder-Gissing, president; Conrad Stoesz, vice-president; Jeremy Wiebe, treasurer; Barb Draper, secretary; and Bruce Guenther, member-at-large.

The Mennonite Historical Society of Canada met at Camp Peniel in the Laurentians north of Montreal on Jan. 17 and 18. (Photo by Roy Draper)

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