Annual General Meeting
Approximately 40 members attended the Annual General Meeting of Mennonite Heritage Village at the museum on April 7. Willie Peters, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, filling in for a convalescing John Klippenstein, led the assembled members through approximately 75 minutes of reporting, business and celebration.
The report from the Board of Directors provided information on its work in the past year. The approval and maintenance of board policies was a major part of the work. The board also processed an invitation to membership in the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, and participated in a Chortitza Oak Tree planting ceremony at the offices of Mennonite Central Committee in Winnipeg in celebration of both organizations’ 50th anniversaries.
The Executive Director reported on a number of operational highlights from 2014. The publication of A Collected History; Mennonite Heritage Village was clearly one of the accomplishments that has been celebrated. This volume will serve as a souvenir for many of our guests allowing them to own an “exhibit” that will remind them of MHV and the stories we tell.
Last year we again addressed a number of facilities issues. The Lichtenau Church and the Steamer Shelter were painted and a number of buildings received new eaves troughs. The Village Centre Doors were equipped with electric door openers for improved handicapped access and an electronic billboard was installed near the highway.
While our Auditor always provides a very encouraging report, this year the tone of his comments was particularly buoyant. While we’ve operated with a balanced budget for a number of years now, this year our statement actually reported a significant surplus. This was due to a large bequest received during 2014 and a very successful drive to pay off some of our debt in December. Given that bequests are normally one-time contributions and that the December drive was entirely designated for debt repayment and not for current operations, we will still need to be as frugal as ever in our 2015 operations. The members accepted a balanced budget for the current year.
A slate of four directors was elected to the board. Allan Kroeker, Carol Kroeker and Sid Reimer were reelected and Roland Sawatzky was elected to his first term. Each board member is eligible to server three terms, each being three years in length.
Anne Friesen was recognized for her ten years of service on the Board of Directors. Anne was first appointed as a representative of City Council and then was elected by the members. Her interest in the work of MHV was inspired by the passion of her late husband, H. K. Friesen. Anne has served the community through her involvement on the MHV Board and its committees with diligence and integrity.
Immediately following the conclusion of the AGM the Board met to organize its Executive Committee. John Klippenstein was elected as Chair, Willie Peters as Vice Chair and Carol Kroeker as Secretary.
As is the case with many events at MHV, there was opportunity to socialize and share stories around cookies and coffee after the conclusion of the meeting.