Last week a Mr. Driedger from Ontario called to tell me he is planning to spend several weeks of the summer in the Steinbach area and is interested in volunteering at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) during that time. We had actually received notice of his interest a few weeks earlier from the SOOP representative in Winnipeg. SOOP is a program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) which seeks to connect people who wish to volunteer their time and skills with organizations in need of their services.

Mr. Driedger has a background in a variety of practical skills such as mechanical repairs, yard work, gardening and other maintenance tasks. Our museum is always in need of volunteers to help in these areas. We will have no trouble providing this willing worker with all the tasks he needs to keep him busy during his time in Steinbach. And we would be happy to hear from others who would have similar interest in joining our crew of volunteers.

We have old cars, trucks and tractors that need some mechanical skill and some TLC to bring them “to life” so that we can drive them around the Village and maybe even in the Pioneer Days parade.

Another project in need of attention is the replacement of our chicken coops. We have six cages used to house our chickens, ducks, geese and even rabbits during the summer months. These cages have served the museum for many years and really need to be replaced. A handful of skilled volunteers could complete this task in short order.

Our Education Program is always in need of volunteers, especially during May and June when we will have thousands of children and their teachers at MHV for their field trips. During their visit to our museum, we offer the children an interpretive program that is administered by staff and delivered by many faithful volunteers. The two areas in the Village where we are most in need of volunteers are the Blacksmith Shop and the Printery. Volunteering in the Blacksmith Shop involves firing the forge and demonstrating basic blacksmithing functions. In the Printery, our volunteers are trained to operate our old printing press. Both are great locations to engage children’s interests.

Volunteers are invited to call Anne Toews at 204-326-9661 or email her at [email protected]

Freedom 15 Update

Freedom 15, our debt-elimination campaign, has had a very successful start. To date, our supporters have donated just over $205,000 toward the campaign. This includes the $100,000 matching donation from one individual. Recently I asked another individual if he too would put up $100,000 as a matching incentive. He indicated he would be happy to put up $25,000 of matching money if we found three more individuals to do the same, thus creating another $100,000 matching incentive. I would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining him in this initiative.

Film Night

On Thursday, February 19, the MHV Auxiliary will host another film night. The film to be shown is One Hundred Forty Years! produced by Laszlo Markovics, whose previous film about Friesen Machine Works was a big hit. This new film, similar in terms of its historic focus, tells the stories of the C. T. Loewen companies and of Oberschulze Jakob Peters, whose family currently operates Cornerstone Timberframes Inc. As usual for such events, there will be time for visiting over pie and coffee after the film.

Calendar of Events

  • February 19 – MHV Auxiliary Film Night - 7:00 PM
  • March 1 – Vespers Service – 7:00 PM

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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