Mennonite Historical Society of Canada

Mennonite Heritage Centre
Winnipeg , Manitoba
Saturday, 6 December 2003, 8:30 a.m.  

Present: Royden Loewen (President; Hanover Steinbach Historical Society),
Sam Steiner (Vice-President; Mennonite Church Eastern Canada),
Victor Wiebe (Secretary; Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan),
Laureen Harder-Gissing (Treasurer; Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario),
Marlene Epp (Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario)
Ted Regehr (Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta),
Leonard Doell (Mennonite Central Committee Canada),
Richard Thiessen (Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia),
Abe Dueck (Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches),
Alf Redekopp ( Mennonite Church Canada),
Walter Franz (Mennonite Central Committee)
Heinrich Loewen (Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission)
Bert Friesen ( Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society),
Jake Peters ( Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society),
Ted Friesen ( Mennonite Church Canada),
Judy Rempel (Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta)
David Giesbrecht (Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia)

Guests: Conrad Stoesz
Peter Penner  

1. Welcome:
Alf Redekopp opened with prayer. Roy Loewen welcomed the Board members and gave a brief outline of the proceedings

2. Minutes:
Victor Wiebe reviewed the minutes of the Board meeting of 6 December 2003. Moved/Seconded/ Carried (M/S/C) (V. Wiebe/T. Friesen) – to approve the minutes of 6 December 2003)

Laureen Harder-Giessing clarified the need to set up separate funds. This is an addition to the meeting’s agenda under Budget.

3. Business Arising from Minutes :
Roy Loewen reviewed some features of the “Pendulum” idea for meetings. This proposed arrangement is similar to other national historical societies which meet at a variety of locations yet have a point of centre. The “Pendulum” idea also will save on travel costs. Ontario has a historic place for it was the first Mennonite Historical location.

4. Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved as circulated.

5. President's Report and Board Report
Roy Loewen gave a brief update on Global Mennonite History Project conference for October 2004 which included $5,000.00 set aside to host a conference. Roy discussed with John Lapp a meeting for 30 September – 1 October 2004; tentatively set for the University of Winnipeg and hosted by the Chair of Mennonite Studies with the theme “State of the art of North American Mennonite History.”

Volume I: Africa was brought by Ted to the meeting.

6. Constitutional Revisions Motions
Ted Regehr and Victor Wiebe will report. The modifications from Industry Canada seem minor but any member could still considered the changes as major. In this case the report is to be considered a notice of motion for approval at next year’s AGM.

7. Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (CMEO) Report
Bert Friesen is to report

1. On the possibility of CMEO setting up its own site with its own domain name.
2. Fund raising possibilities – fund raising for our web site and using an existing non-profit service to help raise online funds from the web site.
3. CMEO may consider commercial sponsorship if our site is to generate revenue.
4. Request for funding of $5,000.00 for this coming year.

Roy suggested as a fifth item the setting up a Web site may foster cooperation or interaction with USA people and possibly even wider cooperation. This would be the start of a global project but for now we can envision only English language work. We do not have the skill sets to handle other languages.

Considerable discussion followed on the CMEO, its growth, budgeting, and the nature of its domain.

8. Divergent Voices of Canadian Mennonites (DVCM) Report [Attachment 1]
Ken Reddig, the Chair's of DVCM, is not expected to be present with a written report. Walter Franz circulated his MCC report.

The project proposed by Leonard Doell never got off the ground and there will be no follow up to this item. Women, aboriginal, History of the Kanadieren; Mennonites and refugees in late 20 th century, boat people; all these have major conference plans or publications. For example a conference will be held in 2005 on the Boat People. Marlene Epp is to update her report on the Women’s Project, “History of Canadian Mennonite Women.”

Roy asked the question: what should DVCM do at the end of its mandate? We are entering budget year five of six.

9. MIC: "Mennonites in Canada"
(a) Ted Regehr will report on the "overarching volume" [Attachment 2]
(b) Conrad would like to give a report on Conscientious Objectors in WWII conference for Winnipeg in 2006, which highlights the lack of awareness in the general population and the need for both Mennonites and all Canadians to learn of this story.

The CBC video featuring Ted Friesen and his brother was noted and that both the National Film Board and MCC Resource Centre have copies.

This issue of CO’s and the promotion of information on CO’s and what they stood for generated considerable discussion. It was suggested that MHSC sponsor a conference on this topic.

(c) Jake Peters informed the Board about the planning in Winnipeg by the Asper family to have national Canada Human Rights Museum build in Winnipeg. This issue, because of its national scope, hopes to receive the support from a broad grouping of Canadian societies. The hope is also that through their boards many different organizations will speak to Canadians in general about the need to promote human rights.

10. Budget 2003/2004
Laureen Harder-Gissing reviewed the budget and will report. Most societies have responded positively to the request for increased contributions to MHSC. B.C and Alberta will each contribute $1,000 in 2003 and Saskatchewan $750.00.

Ted Friesen will report on fundraising efforts.

11. Nominations Committee report
We have a committee and Leonard Doell will bring its report.

12. New Business
Nothing new was brought to the Board.

12. Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 am.


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