‘God Keep our Land Glorious and Free’

Written by: Linda Maendel on Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Canada, with its many immigrants is like a beautiful patchwork quilt. People from various countries have settled on our rich farmlands or in thriving towns and cities, proudly calling this home. This kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, tastes and customs gives our country a rich folkloric vista. Each ethnic group is like a quilt piece, adding its own unique colour or texture, and is stitched together with common respect, creating a spectacular whole.

I got a glimpse of this recently, when we celebrated ‘Sharing Our World’ in Portage La Prairie. Twenty three ethnic groups from the surrounding area gathered to share their world. Each had a booth with a display of artefacts, clothes, art, pictures, books, crafts and musical instruments. Some came dressed in their traditional costume, lending a vibrant and festive air to this special day.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share our Hutterite way of life with people stopping by our booth. “It’s just great that you’re here!” Someone told me. “It’s important for people to understand your unique culture.”

Walking among the booths I heard conversations in various languages including: the Ukraine, First Nations, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria and the Philippines. And English united us all. Not as miraculous as Pentecost, where everybody heard their own tongue when the apostles were speaking, nevertheless mingling and sharing with different cultures resonates ‘peace on earth’ at least in our little corner. This must be how God wants the whole world to live.

Mary Lynn Moffat, Coordinator of Portage Community Revitalization Corporation (PCRC) was pleased with the turn out: “It is wonderful to showcase the different cultures and learn about the traditions, customs and values they all bring to our community.”

We had the rare opportunity to feast on a variety of delicious dishes, while watching lively performances: choirs, duets, jigs and a powwow. One of the selections our High School Choir sang was ‘Points of Light’:

…One by one, from the mountain to the sea,
Points of light are calling out to you and me.
If you see what’s wrong and you try to make it right,
You will be a point of light.

As I sat down with a mountain of ethnic foods, my taste buds were doing a celebratory jig of their own. There were perogies from the Ukraine, biryani from Pakistan, arroz con pollo from Panama, spiced lamb, rice, pork, bannock, tacos, Jamaican sweet potato pudding and lots more. Our contribution was Zucker Honkelich (sugar pie), Schuttn Honkelich (cottage cheese pie) and fresh buns with jam.

This experience caused me to reflect on how the Hutterites fit into this cultural collage. With our rich history, unique language and community of goods lifestyle, we’re a distinctive addition, blending with and contributing to the whole. Furthermore, we have a lot to be thankful for. As Hutterites we enjoy freedom of religion, serve on various committees, obtain invitations to perform at events such as Citizenship Ceremonies and have our work published in newspapers. We are indeed reaping the benefits of what our forefathers fought for – a people serving God as taught in the New Testament.

(I wrote this last year after ‘Share our World’. We just took part in the same event this year – to see pictures, go to Portage Online.)

 

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Showing 8 comments

Sarah said:reply
On: 14th May, 2012 at 19:14

I am so glad you have started this blog, as it gives an insight into the strengths of your culture, belief and community. I have always had an interest in the various traditional anabaptist communities, but living in another continent had no contact or communication with any individuals from within those communities. Reading your contributors’ personal reports, messages and reflections gives an outsider a chance to understand your community from within. Thank you for opening the door and adding to our understanding of the diversity of the worlds’ peoples!

David Lewin said:reply
On: 27th Mar, 2015 at 06:59

The Search & Unite Team
People searchers
wherever they have scattered
Restoration of Nazi-era Looted art in Austria
and property claims in the CZECH REPUBLIC
Tel: +44 208 446 0404
E-mail: davidlewin@btinternet.com Web Page: http://remember.org/unite
David Lewin, 156 Totteridge Lane, London N20 8JJ England

Hello from London – can you possibly guide – or help – me?

I am searching for information on the life and death of a couple with a very rare family name – KLUCKAUF.

Dr Walter Zdenek KLUCKAUF ( born 1902 in Hamburg ) and his wife Josephine nee HULKA or HORSHOWSKA (born 1903 in Slovakia ) both Drs o Law and a further economics related PhD from Columbia University

I have learned that In January 1950 he visited Lethbridge, Alberta, as an official representative of the Mexican Department of Agriculture to meet with Hutterites who were considering relocating to Mexico. He was to accompany Hutterite leaders on a tour of Mexico.

Dr KLUCKAUF died in the fall of 1969, but I do not know whether he was in Mexico or Canada.

Can you please tell me what is still remembered of Walter and Josephine in your community?

Can you possibly guide me to anyone in the Hutterite Community of Alberta who may have access to this history?

How can I find any record of the lives and deaths of this couple please?

Thank you and be well

David Lewin

    Lindamaendel said:reply
    On: 27th Mar, 2015 at 13:04

    I’ve never heard of this couple, David. But will ask around, perhaps others have. Also, Hutterites have never lived in Mexico, so plans of relocating there doesn’t seem right. Are you perhaps confused with Mennonites?

      David Lewin - Search and Unite said:reply
      On: 18th Sep, 2015 at 05:57

      By chance I have come across your question again – did I ever respond to you? I am still searching….
      The fact is that In January 1950 Dr. Walter KLUCKAUF visited Lethbridge, Alberta, as an official representative of the Mexican Department of Agriculture to meet with Hutterites who were considering relocating to Mexico. He was to accompany Hutterite leaders on a tour of Mexico.

        Lindamaendel said:reply
        On: 18th Sep, 2015 at 16:48

        Thanks, David. I’d be very interested in learning more about this, once you find out more yourself.

      Ian said:reply
      On: 19th Sep, 2015 at 12:56

      Actually, Linda, David is correct. The Alberta Hutterites did investigate moving to Mexico. They did tour quite a few areas in Mexico but ultimately decided not to relocate there. I am currently not at home. I will try to locate any reference to Dr. Kluckauf.

        David Lewin said:reply
        On: 16th May, 2016 at 06:23

        Months have passed and I heard no more – may I revive this??

          Lindamaendel said:
          On: 16th May, 2016 at 17:10

          Sure, David. Did I not put you in contact with someone who could maybe help you? If he’s not able to help you, than I don’t know what else to suggest.