Mennonite refugees arrive in Waterloo

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A moment from yesterday

February 10, 2016 | Viewpoints | Volume 20 Issue 4
Laureen Harder-Gissing, Mennonite Archives of Ontario

A camera captures the moment on July 19, 1924, when Mennonite immigrants from Russia met their “Swiss” Mennonite cousins in Ontario. The so-called Swiss Mennonites were the first Mennonites to immigrate to Canada, beginning in the late 1700s. They were followed by the Amish, who arrived directly from Europe, beginning in the 1820s. The Russian Mennonites who arrived in 1924 were the first from Russia to settle permanently in Ontario. These early groups were billeted briefly in Swiss Mennonite homes. Some of the Swiss and Russian families formed lasting friendships; others experienced a clash of cultures. In the ensuing decades, the groups would learn much from each other.

For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see archives.mhsc.ca.

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