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Yarrow, British Columbia

Edited by
Esther Epp Harder, Edwin Lenzmann, and Elmer Wiens

Yarrow's Settlers: 1936-1945

Clothing, Fashions   |   Clothing Design   |   Yarrow's Band   |   Yarrow's Business   |   Jacob Wittenberg
  Yarrow's Tenth Anniversary   |   Chilliwack Progress News   |   WW II: Yarrow's Soldiers  |   Heaven's Complex Roots

Reflections on Life in Yarrow
by Esther Epp Harder

Clothing, Fashions and Styles

Agatha Klassen writes, "The early years of the Yarrow settlement were times of great thriftiness. No one could afford to buy new clothes at first. The discovery of a Goodwill Store ... known as "Die Alte Kirche" (The Old Church) in Vancouver near Hastings and Main Streets gave many Yarrow people the opportunity to dress fairly well and very cheaply. Few items were more than fifty cents. What didn't fit was altered or made over. Though most people knew where their neighbours' new clothes came from, it was a 'secret' that they carefully guarded from each other."

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow ladies in nice coats and hats ...

It wasn't only the ladies that went shopping to the Alte Kirche in Vancouver .... the men went too. They bought three-piece suits ... and they wore them all the time. On Sunday afternoons in the park, even climbing on old tree stumps ... picking hops (some of the English people couldn't believe how the Mennonites dressed for picking hops).

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
On the stump in park at the end of Eckert Road:
L-R Ike, George & Tina Epp, Henry Dahl, Agnes Martens and Abe Friesen.
Hop Picking Weigh-UP Time
Picking Hops: Rev JB Harder (Greendale) weighs the hops of Rev. Jacob Epp (right) while the checker, Rev Petrus Martens (2nd from right), punches the ticket with the weight.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45 Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
... and one day he couldn't get a ride ... so he rode his bike all the way to Vancouver to see his girlfriend ... but in the end she said "no" ... Walking with your best girl in downtown Vancouver ...

Dress Making & Design

Esther Epp Harder writes, "My Mom and her sisters took dress making lessons from their aunt in Winkler MB when they first came to Canada. One of the first things their family bought was a sewing machine ... so they could mend their old clothes and alter or make over for the children, the second-hand clothes they were given by their by wealthy employers or that they bought in the thrift stores.

Mom would bury the clothes from the "Alte Kirche" for 3 days, then she would dig them up, wash and dry them before she let us wear them. The woollen coats were washed outside in gas on a windy day. She was very careful not to breathe the fumes when she did that. I didn't find out that not everyone did this until Mom had passed away, so I never found out why she did this.

My mother made almost all our clothes."

Mrs. Quapp realized that some of Yarrow's young ladies wanted to learn how to sew their dresses that wouldn't look like "home-made" dresses. The folloowing images are scans of some of her designs which could also be used when altering clothers.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45e

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow ladies in nice dresses with lace collars and trim.

Yarrow's Brass Band

1939 — A group of Yarrow men went to the Alte Kirche ... and found a whole set of brass horns for sale ... cheap!!! They remembered the bands they played in the "Forstei" (Alternative Forestry Service) in Russia. So they decided to buy the whole set. Don't they look smart sitting for their photograph ... and ... they did learn to play them well under the direction of Henry P. Neufeldt.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
1940 — Yarrow Brass Band: L-R Pete Ewert, Walter Martens, Peter Epp, Isaak Ewert, John Derksen, Peter Teichrob, George Epp, Aaron Ewert, Jake Epp,
Missing from Photo is Conductor Henry P. Neufeldt, and Isaak Epp

Yarrow's Business Sector
by Esther Epp Harder

By the late 1930's, Yarrow had fifteen places of business: three general stores, two woodworking and cabinet building shops, six gas stations, a butcher shop, a shoe repair shop, watch repair and jewelry store, a blacksmith establishment, machine, general electric and farm implement premises.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Johann Derksen's General Store was the first store in the Village of Yarrow;
he also had the first gas pump.
Anna Dahl with Mary, Martha and Annie Derksen.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
David Derksen, son of Johann Derksen, was sent to Los Angeles to study radio repair.
After this he founded a hardware store, and Derksen's Radio & Electric.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow Bicycle Shop on Central Road

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Jacob A. Frose built Yarrow's first Meat Market
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Jacob A. Froese started selling meat from his small truck in 1934

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
George Reimer's Machine Shed on Stewart Road. That's George standing beside his truck.
Note the steel wheels on the tractor.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Heny Sukkau took an Electrician's Course before coming to Yarrow in 1932. When the BC Electric installed a powerline to Yarrow in 1932, he began to wire houses for electricity. This was his first small shop on the corner of First (now Community Street) & Central Roads.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Yarrow Electric with Dave Epp
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Mr. Heinrich Enns, Stewart Road, in his woodworking shop.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Margaretha & Heinrich Enns came to Yarrow with their eight children February 20th, 1929. Mrs. Enns trained as a mid-wife in Russia. Until the 1940's Mrs. Enns delivered many of Yarrow's babies. She was well known to Chilliwack doctors and they often asked her to continue the care of a patient.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Jacob G. Derksen came to Yarrow in 1930. After several back-breaking, low-paying jobs, Jake asked his uncle John Derksen to lend him enough money to buy a truck because trucks were needed in Yarrow. The photo shows Jake driving his brand new Ford truck that he bought for $1500, (at 5% interest), at his father's Texaco Gas station on Central Road. During the first week, he learned to drive the dtruck, and during the second week, he got a contract to haul hay from farmer's fields to the barns.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Gerhard Derksen Home on Central Road with a garage for son Jake's truck and their Texaco gas station.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
De-Lux Transportion:
Jacob G. Derksen's Truck at the Gerhard Derksen Place on Central Road.
People wanting to go to Vancouver.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
The Nickolai Reimer family arrived in Yarrow in February 1928. In 1938, after eight years of almost fruitless labor, Nickolai Reimer decied to try nursery work, a dream he had had while growing up in Russia.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Home of Nickolai Reimer family on Dyke Road. They always had a beautiful front yard with roses along the walk to the front door with ornamental shrubs and fruit trees in the yard. Roses were also grown in large fields behind the home and on other property in Yarrow.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Reimers Nurseries are still in the wholesale nursery business and are being run by the descendants of Nickolai Reimer.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
John Martens & Henry Neufeldt both had trucks and jobs ... so they formed a partnership and their firm was called "Martens & Neufeldt," Yarrow BC. The photo shows three Martens & Neufeldt trucks.
Rudy Boschmann is the driver of the first truck.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
The Henry P. Neufeldt family home on Central Road.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
J.J. Wittenberg had his Jewellery & Watch repair shop in his home on Central Road.
Later his wife Julia turned the front room into Yarrow's Library. The Fraser Valley
Library Bookmobile would stop here regularly and exchange the books for new ones.

Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Note the "Home Gas" Pumps
Photographs Courtesy of Dennis Martens
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Martens' Motor Service on Central Road owned by Herb and Dave Martens.
Herb and Dave were brothers-in-law, since Herb married Dave's sister.
Yarrow Settlers: 1936-45
Dave Martens' family home on Central Road looking onto Vedder Mountain

—   —   —     The Chilliwack Progress, Wednesday, February 23, 1938     —   —   —

Thankful Mennonites Mark Anniversary of Settlement

In 1928 one lone farm building stood like a gaunt sentinel over the area. Sunday a large number of two thousand people who have contributed to a transformation probably without parallel in recent Canadian agricultural history marked a tenth anniversary with prayer and song and hymns of thankfulness and tales of trials and tribulations preceding and making possible that transformation.

In the spring of 1928 ten men came. They brought their families, their possessions from the prairies and settled on the old farm, then known as the Lumsden place and later as the Crain-Eckert property.

More families came until now, where the old farm building stood, there is a thriving center with a population of almost two thousand. Neat houses and gardens and capacious buildings are the basis of this compact, bustling, growing community on the southern tip of Sumas Prairie known as Yarrow. Its citizens are known as Mennonites — for the most part a conscientious, active, thrifty, hardworking and law-abiding people with a deep religious sense.

They own an estimated two hundred head of cattle. They shipped 7500 crates of rhubarb this year, 1000 crates of strawberries, 3000 crates of

raspberries, and twenty-five tons of jam berries. Large quantities of hay, honey, fruit, eggs and vegetables are produced.

The district's first school opened with an enrolment of fourteen pupils. It was soon expanded to two rooms. Now a new, modern six-room building is causing municipal school trustees considerable worry, for it will soon be inadequate for the district's needs. So are the children of the community learning to speak and act like Canadians. Nearly two hundred have taken out naturalization papers.

There are fifteen places of business now. Three general stores, two woodworking and cabinet building shops, six gas stations, a butcher shop, a shoe repair shop, watch repair and jewelry store, a blacksmith establishment, machine, general electric and farm implement premises.

The one church and Bible school, cornerstone of the community and center of local activity, is shortly to be replaced by a larger and more up-to-date building.

And these people, who have created new problems in education, politics, labor and administrations in the Chilliwack Valley are gradually taking their place in the general picture.

By the late 1930's, Yarrow was substantial community, with good prospects:

Yarrow Settlers by Streets: 1937-1940.

—   —   —     The Chilliwack Progress, Wednesday, March 9, 1938     —   —   —

Yarrow's News

First Yarrow Owner Sells Out
John J. Derksen has sold his general store business to Yarrow Co-operative company. Mr. Derksen with his family came to Yarrow in 1929 and opened the first place of business in the new Mennonite settlement.
He has not disclosed his plans for the future.

Mrs. Robert Brown Entertains Friends at Tea Thursday
Mrs. Robert Brown was a tea hostess Thursday afternoon when she entertained a few friends in honor of Mrs. J. J. Martin

Spending the weekend at Yarrow were Miss Louise Levy, Tom Levy, and Art Siddall.

Mrs. Porter was a recent visitor to Vancouver.

Mr. Maitland, Miss Margaret Maitland, and F. Carlaw motored to Vancouver Sunday. Returning with them was Mrs. Maitland, who has been spending the week visiting with her daughter, Miss Evelyn Maitland.

The Chilliwack Progress - Wednesday, October 26, 1938
Jacob Wittenberg's Chilliwack Rotary Club Speech

Jacob Wittenberg


Yarrow News From The Chilliwack Progress For 1940
The Chilliwack Progress - October 2, 1940 page 6

Sunday Fruit Sale Realizes $100 at Yarrow
Village Blacksmith Dies Suddenly From Heart Attack on Birthday

About $100 was the sum realized from the annual Thanksgiving sale held in the First Mennonite Church Sunday September 22, 1940.

Funeral services were held in the Mennonite Brethren church Friday afternoon for the late Henry Riesen whose death occurred suddenly Tuesday afternoon. He was stricken with a heart attack. Mr. Riesen had had a blacksmith shop on Main Street for several years. His death occurred on his birthday. Much sympathy is felt for wife and mother who survive him.

Sonny Manuel is visiting at the home of his sister Mrs. Nick Wasylenchuk.

Mr. & Mrs. William Marshal, Shirley, Jim McKay and Arthur Siddall, Vancouver spent Sunday at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Siddall.

Mr. & Mrs. P.H. Neufeld left by motor Thursday to spend the winter with their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Barkman, Steinbach, Manitoba.

Mrs. D. Hildebrandt is expected home this week after a month's visit with friends in Winnipeg.

WW II: Yarrow's Soldiers

Click for a list of Yarrow's Soldiers WWII

University of the Fraser Valley: Split Loyalties:
Fraser Valley Mennonite Service in the Second World War by Michael Schmidt, 2011

Pte. Douglas Milton Rexford

 Douglas Milton Rexford Pte. Douglas Milton Rexford, second son of Roy E. & Daisy Rexford who was killed in England December 15, 1941 according to cable received by his family, was one of the first Chilliwack men to arrive overseas with Canadian army troops.

Douglas Milton Rexford was born May 14, 1923 in Mission, B.C. to Roy & Daisy Rexford, and the fifth child of their seven children. The family returned to the family farm on Vedder Mountain Road in Sardis in 1932 when Doug was 9.

Douglas attended school in school in Sardis where he was well-liked by his school mates and remembered for his red hair and outgoing personality. He had been described by his friends as friendly, easy-going, fearless, a rascal, a dare devil, a tease, not afraid of anything and young man who wanted to experience everything.

He is particularly remembered by his friend and neighbour, Leslie McDaniel who shared many adventures with Doug. The two boys played lacrosse on the Sardis team under the coaching of then school principal, Wilf Graham.

Doug, who liked to hunt and fish was becoming an accomplished outdoorsman, thanks to the training of his father Roy who had grown up in the Vedder River-Chilliwack Lake area and operated a trap line of his own.

Completing Grade 8 at Sardis, Doug, like many of the country's young people felt his education was sufficient and elected not to attend high school where he would have to board in Chilliwack.

Doug went to work at Eddie's Nurseries at the foot of Sumas Mountain where he had worked the previous summers. Part of his salary was paid to him in plum trees which his father planted around the farm. Some of these trees, now old and gnarled, can still be seen there on the corner of Vedder Mountain and Lumsden Roads.

September 1939 brought war and Doug, always eager for adventure and action enlisted in the Edmonton Regiment while visiting his sister in Edmonton in October 1939 and served two months in the Edmonton Regiment. He was however, as his father informed the army, only 16 years old and was discharged in December 1939.

 Douglas Milton Rexford But Doug had decided to become a soldier and on March 11, 1940; he enlisted with the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders of Canada at Vancouver. While still under the legal age limit,

his determination won his father over and this time he remained silent. One of the first local men to sail for England, he landed there on June 28th, 1940 where he served with the 8th Reconnaissance Batt. C.A.O. whose duties were to watch the English Channel for German activities.

Doug was a dispatch driver at the time of his death. During a dark night blackout, his motorcycle collided with a truck. He lost both his legs and died in hospital of loss of blood and shock.

The report of his death brought official total number of Canadian Army dead or missing since the start of the war to 509. He is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey England.

 Douglas Milton Rexford
 Douglas Milton Rexford

Abe Wittenberg

Abe Wwittenberg Abe Wittenberg was born August 1, 1919 in Gnadenheim Slavgorod, Siberia to Abram & Katharina Wittenberg. The family came to Canada in 1925 and settled in Drake Saskatchewan where Abe went to school. In 1928, the family relocated to Winnipeg and Abe attended Lord Kitchener School until the Wittenberg family came to Yarrow in 1935. They settled in a home on Central Road close to Boundary Road.

Abe found work in the hopyards near Yarrow and other seasonal work. Though the work required long hours, he still found time to play softball and was a formidable pitcher. In 1942 Abe, his brother Jacob and their friend Jacob Wiebe were employed by McKenzie Barge & Derrick in Vancouver.

Abe Wwittenberg His brother Jake can't remember the reason, but perhaps it was a desire for adventure, they decided to join the Canadian army and the three of them went to the Little Mountain Army Recruiting offices and enlisted in February 1943.

Abe Wwittenberg Most of the Mennonite boys joined the Medical Corps, but the Abe, Jake and Jacob decided to join the infantry. Abe trained at Vernon and then at the Currie Barracks in Calgary for more advanced infantry training.

Abe was posted overseas to England, sailing on the Queen Mary in August 1943.

In September 1943, he was sent to "Africa" (which seems to have been a code name for the invasion of Italy) and served with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, 1st Division. He was wounded and recovered, served in Sicily and then on to Italy where he was fatally wounded. Abe was killed in action near the Navagolian Canal in Italy on December 13, 1944 and was buried at the Canadian War Cemetery Ravenna, Italy.

For further infomation on the life of Abe Wittenberg and the other war dead from Yarrow, see "Yarrow's War Dead" by Harold Dyck in Village of Unsettled Yearnings, edited by Leonard N. Neufeldt.

Norville Carl "Bud" Nowell

Norville Carl "Bud" Nowell, who was with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, was killed in action on December 11, 1943 in Italy. His parents Mr. & Mrs. Norman Nowell received this word on Boxing Day 1943.

Norman and his brother Pte Rueben Nowell joined the Forestry Corps in 1940 at the beginning of the war and both were on active service in Scotland in 1941.

In 1942 Norville transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders and was in action all through the battle of Sicily and Italy until the time of his death.

He was born in Chilliwack in 1920 to Norman & Maud Nowell. He was one of three brothers and one sister serving with the armed services. His sister, Cpl. Geraldine Nowell, RCAF (WD) is stationed at Vancouver and a third brother, Signalman George Nowell is stationed at an Ontario training Center.

"Bud" was the grandson of Reuben Nowell, a pioneer here, the property on which the Chilliwack High School now stands and Maple Avenue was formerly his farm.

"Do not ask us if he miss him, for there's such a vacant place.
Oft we think we hear his footsteps or see his smiling face.
For he left us broken hearted, friends may think the wound is healed.
But they little know the sorrow that is in our hearts concealed.
Ever remembered by Mother, Dad, Brothers and Sisters."

Norville Nowell

Rudy Goetz

Rudy Goetz Private Rudolf Goetz - March 8, 1945

11th Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Service Number K/1553.

Original Unit of Service - A Squadron 9th Armoured Regiment, 5th Motorcycle Regiment, British Columbia Dragoons.

Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Netherlands. Age 23.

Son of Gerhard and Anna Goetz, Yarrow, B.C.

Rudy Goetz was the only child of Gerhard & Anna Goetz. He was born March 10, 1921 in Russia.

In 1924 the Goetz family moved from the Ukraine to Dalmeny, Saskatchewan and later to Eckert Road, Yarrow where Gerhard Goetz practised veterinary medicine.

Rudy attended Yarrow Elementary school until age 15. Later, he attended Yarrow Bible School and graduated in 1941.

He maintained an interest in animals and loved boxing. He and his father built a boxing and wrestling ring in their small barn. Rudy could be beaten in wrestling but in boxing he always won, even over much bigger and stronger opponents.

The Goetz family were Mennonites, and although many Mennonites retained pacifist views, about 4500 Mennonites joined the armed forces.

Rudy Goetz Rudy enlisted with the Royal Canadian army Medical Corps on December 12, 1943 as part of a Mennonite rush between December 1943 and January 1944 of Mennonite men to join the Medical Corps. He received his basic training in Trenton, Ontario. He was transferred to Camp Borden for his medical training.

In May 1944, he was given a furlough, which he spent with his parents in Yarrow. He departed for Britain on June 25th.

Rudy Goetz served with the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance which was serving with various regiments in France and Rudy joined them as a stretcher bearer. He served at the front for only three days when he was killed in action, March 8, 1945, evacuating the wounded. There was intense fighting. "Exactly how Rudy died can only be imagined" (Harold Dyck p329 Village of Unsettled Yearnings).

Rudy Goetz is buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Climb duo take Goetz: Chilliwack Progress, August 22, 1984

This is one in a continuing series of stories of Chilliwack area mountain climbs. The mountain peaks and lakes are named in memory of Canadian Armed Forces' Second World War Veterans from the Upper Fraser Valley who were killed in action, are being climbed by a team led by Neil Grainger to honor those war dead.

By Neil Grainger: Chilliwack Progress, August 22, 1984

Goetz Peak was named for Rudy Goetz of Yarrow.

Goetz Peak, elevation, 6,600 ft., is pronounced "Getz". It is located about a mile north of Williams Peak. It is easily seen from Foley Lake looking northeast. You will see a connecting ridge to Williams Peak, a pyramidal peak to the south of Goetz. Williams is easily seen from the Chilliwack Lake Road., about five miles west of the lake.

For access, go past Foley Lake about two miles, take the logging road up Goetz as far as it will go and choose your own route to the top.

Another route is to take the Williams Peak Trail. That starts from the Chilliwack Lake Road near Centre Creek Camp. Go up the trail to the base of Williams Peak, then traverse the west side of the connecting ridge and then along the ridge to Goetz Peak.

This is a day-long trip. This trip was done by Neil Baker and Reinhardt Fabische of the Chilliwack Outdoors Club on June 19, 1984, the day after they had climbed Mt. Mc Donald. Their report follows:

We chose to climb to the peak by a route never done before, starting from Lindeman, Lake. This pristine little lake is about 20 minutes hike from the Chilliwack Lake Road at Post Creek.

It is a very popular spot; you can even find orchids growing there in early June. At the north end of the lake we ascended a 2,000 ft. gully. The angle was a bit dicey, but very direct. The only trace of life was a chipmunk and pieces of mountain goat wool snagged on treed ledges. The gully leads to an elegant ridge at about 5,000 feet, which is very rewarding to climb along.

This ridge will be snow-free in mid-summer but there were a lot of cornices along the ridge that we avoided as much as possible.

It also offered us a unique challenge of exposed rock climbing intermittent with walking amongst the heather. The view from this high exposed ridge is spectacular, with Chilliwack Lake dominating the scene.

Our ascent took less than five hours on this beautiful day in June. We placed the cross on the warm summit, took pictures and admired the view once again. Our descent took about four hours. I would like to stress that the route described above is not the usual one and should be used only by experienced mountain climbers.

Julius Derksen

Julius Derksen

Henry Wiens

Julius Derksen

Yarrow News From The Chilliwack Progress For 1944
The Chilliwack Progress - November 1, 1944

Yarrow Soldier Tells Condition of European Kiddies - Henry Ratzlaff

Henry Ratzlaff
Henry Ratzlaff Henry Ratzlaff
Henry Ratzlaff

Yarrow News From The Chilliwack Progress For 1945
The Chilliwack Progress January 3, 1945


Total proceeds from the Junior Red Cross sale held in the school Tuesday afternoons were $53.

Preceding the sale a program heralding the Christmas spirit was given in which all the grades too part. "When Pa puts up the Tree" was presented in choral speaking by grade 4. Grade 6 girls sang carols, "The First Noel", "While Shepherds Watched", and "As With Gladness". A song by Betty Anne Nikkel and Mary Reimer. "Christmas Angel Pantomime and Tableau" by grade 5 was well depicted while the representing carols were sung behind scenes. Miss Joyce Watson accompanied the singing.

The sale was the work of grades 5 and 6 and the creditable articles were soon seized by eager buyers. Tea was served by grade 4.

H.G. Sukkau

H.G. Sukkau has completed a new addition to his electrical and plumbing store on Main Street.

H.G. Sukkau

Other News

John Bargen has built a modern carpenter shop on his property facing Main Street and reports a busy season.

Tpr. John Letkemann, another Yarrow boy serving with the forces in Italy, has been officially reported to his parents as slightly wounded and confined to hospital.

Henry Froese, RCAF, is spending Christmas furlough with his parents, Mr. & Mrs. J.A. Froese and family.

Pte. John Harder is also on furlough for the Christmas season.

Clarence Lamb, who is with the forces stationed at Niagara Falls is spending a short furlough with his wife previous to the Christmas vacation.

John J. Isaak, Arnaud, Mann., is visiting at the home of Mr. & Mrs. C.J. Isaak.

The Chilliwack Progress March, 1945

March 21, 1945 page 4

Three Days at Front
Rudolph Goetz Killed In Action

Many hearts were saddened with the news that reached Mr. & Mrs. George Goetz that their only son, Rudolph had been killed in action.
Rudolph enlisted with the Medical Corps and was serving with the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance. According to the message he had been in the front lines for only three days. He has been overseas for a year.

At a recent meeting of the young matrons' sewing group which meets Monday evenings in various homes under the presidency of Mrs. George Sawatsky, Wilson Road, Mrs. H.G. Bartsch gave an interesting talk on Africa. Rev. and Mrs. Bartsch were missionaries in Africa for several years and were returned to America shortly after the outbreak of war.
There are 17 members in the group and they are making articles for a sale later on. The group is also sewing for the Red Cross. Mrs. Herbert Guenther is assisting with Red Cross collections.

Though March came in like a lamb, the lion is struggling for supremacy in the district. Winds and rain Friday were mixed with snowflakes which melted before reaching the ground. Farm work has been held up considerably during the month so far.

Mrs. Henry Giesbrecht is spending the month with her husband and other members of the family who are stationed with services in Regina.

The Bible school has closed for the season and the pupils have dispersed to their homes.

Pete Nickle have moved to Frank Brusick's farm which has rented for a time. Mr. Brusick has gone to Vancouver.

The Chilliwack Progress April 18, 1945 page 3

What! Silk Boby Sox

Hosiery and Socks Knit from Yarn Produced by Silk Worms Cultured Here

At least one family will not have to worry over silk hosiery this year. Mrs. Peter Giesbrecht, Yarrow has supplied her family with silk sox and stockings from the silk worms that she cultured on her own place.
Mrs. Giesbrecht spins the floss on her own spinning wheel and from the yarn knits the articles to be worn. Some she has used in the natural color and for the everyday sox for the men she had died in colors mostly navy blue. Particularly nice are the white bobby sox for her daughters. Silk sox are soft and easy wearing, so they report. For general wear they outlast several pairs of wool sox.

Ben Horch arrived at Yarrow on Monday from Winnipeg to conduct the choirs of the Mennonite Brethren Church through a two week course of special musical training. Mr. Horch is the conductor of symphony orchestras in Winnipeg and Winkler. He has had eight years of instruction in music in Los Angeles.

Cpl. Henry Froese has been spending a week's furlough at his home in Yarrow. Clarice Carlson was also a visitor at the home of Mr. & Mrs. J.A. Froese during the week.

Gertrude Giesbrecht has returned home after attending the Three Hills Bible School for the past term.

Anne Ratzlaff and Frieda Schellenberg have returned to their homes from Vancouver to spend the summer months.

The Chilliwack Progress September 5, 1945

Lemons, Oranges, Figs Grown by Yarrow Woman

The gardens of Yarrow are producing what is probably the most diversified variety of horticultural products in Canada. Adjunctive to her patch of fine watermelon and cantaloupe, Mrs. D.J. Rempel has an excellent specimen of citrus fruit. Every year Mrs. Rempel grows lemons of huge proportions. A lemon weighing 15 ounces with a circumference of 13 inches was given to the postmaster from this year's garnering. The juice is more acrid than that of fruit which is grown in southern climates. In her collection, Mrs. Rempel has orange and fig trees also producing fruit.

Mrs. Freishelm and daughter Mary Lee, Miss Jerry Siddall and Jim O'Mally, Tacoma, Wash., were guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Siddall for Labor Day.

Frank Peters is spending a holiday in Winnipeg and other prairie towns.

Peter Janzen has returned from a holiday trip to Loon Lake.

Pte. And Mrs. Rustige were guests of Mr. and Mrs. Nick Wasylenchuk during Pte. Rustige's leave. Mrs. Rustige was the former Shirley Manuell and is a sister of Mrs. Wasylenchuk.

The Chilliwack Progress September 26, 1945

Civil Defence Guild Formed at Yarrow

A Yarrow civil defence guild is being organized. Henry Sukkau, head of the ARP, is being retained as chief. To date there are 10 members. The guild, which is the fourth arm of defence services and will keep the ARP property and act in cases such as disaster and when local defence is required.

Henry Faust has bought the shoe repair business recently operated by J.H. Epp.

Mrs. W.H. Siddall, district representative, Canadian Postmasters' association, is in Victoria this week attending the postmasters' convention.

P. Andres and family are new residents, coming from Saskatoon. Mr. Andres resigned his position as a teacher in Saskatoon to accept a similar one in the new educational institute which opened Monday.

Art Siddal, Vancouver, spent the weekend with his parents here.

Pete Letkeman has returned from five years in the service overseas. Peter was with the Forestry Corps serving in Scotland and later in Holland and Germany. Pte. Letkeman spoke in praise of the parcels he received while overseas. He declares those who sent parcels cannot possibly realize what it meant to the boys to receive them and know they were remembered by the home folk.

Mrs. H. Guenther received a message that her husband has arrived in Montreal from overseas and is en route home.

Mrs. Elizabeth Wiens, Eckert Street, also has received work that her two sons are on their way home. Mrs. Wiens' sons were in the Italian theatre of war.

Mr. & Mrs. Knox entertained a number of young folks at a farewell party for some of the berry pickers who are returning to home in the prairies. The evening was spent in dancing and games.

The Chilliwack Progress October 31, 1945

Heavy Rains Flood Yarrow Farm Homes

A good many farmers in this district and on Sumas Prairie were inconvenienced by water which surrounded their buildings and flooded their barns during the recent heavy rainfall. In some places livestock had to be removed to higher ground but little damage was reported.

A washout caused by clogged culverts on the Mountain Road near the old schoolhouse held up the milk truck hauling from west of that point for a couple of days.

John Bargen, Jr. has opened a new store under the name of Evangelical Book Shop. The building is built on Yarrow Central Road in front of the Bargen home.

Gnr. Gordon Cameron is in the military hospital, Chilliwack, suffering from an accident Wednesday afternoon through which he sustained a broken nose and other minor injuries. Cameron was returning from Vancouver with a friend whose car skidded on the slippery pavement between Abbotsford and the canal bridge, throwing both occupants into the ditch. The owner of the car was taken to Abbotsford hospital.

The municipal bulldozer is working on the construction of a new road on Majuba Hill. The new road will connect the Mountain road with Eckert Road at the Yarrow Growers' Co-op plant and will shorten the distance for hauling a mile and a half.

One hundred and fifty pupils are now attending Yarrow Educational Institute which includes high school training.

Vancouver ships a carload of wood a week to Yarrow. Seems like sending coal to Newcastle.

Mrs. Rachel Morris and two daughters have taken up residence at Yarrow and are living in one of Mr. Siddall's cottages.

Mr. Stoyva is here from Wells, B.C. visiting his family.

Mrs. Ben Loewen returned to her home at Rosedale Station, Alta. Monday after spending the summer months at Yarrow and Sardis.

Peter Isaak, who returned recently from overseas service, is spending his leave at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Isaak, pending his discharge from the army.

Mr. and Mrs. Amel Anderson, Matsqui were visitors of Mrs. Ray Morris Thursday.

Mrs. E.H. Siddall returned Wednesday from a holiday in Seattle.

Mr. and Mrs. Jake Harder, Wilson road, made a hurried trip to Reedley and Fresno, California by motor visiting relatives whom that had not seen for many years.

J.G. Neufeld is on a trip to the Prairies combining business with pleasure.

The Chilliwack Progress November 7, 1945

For Starving Europe
Yarrow Area Cans 4,600 Quarts of Meat

The people of Yarrow have gone out in a large way to aid the food situation in hungry Europe.

Every week four cattle are being butchered, 27 to date all told, for the purpose of canning. The beef is donated by those having cattle and a collection of $2200 was taken up to defray the expense of jars and other food supplies. Already 4600 quarts are completed and packed for shipment.

The work is done entirely by men at the Yarrow Growers' berry plant. The meat is put in glass quart jars and inspected by the government inspector. A label is attached to each jar bearing the words: "Food for Relief, in the Name of Christ. The contents of this container was derived from animals or poultry which were owned, fed, slaughtered by me and I hereby certify that they are wholesome and fit for human food and donated for relief purposes. These contents are not for sale." The donors name and address is signed.

A kitchen or boiler room has been specially constructed for the purpose of cooking the meat. There is a brick furnace built with two shallow vats completely covering the top. These vats are deep enough to hold the jars in the boiling water and large enough to hold 21 dozen at one boiling.

Besides meat, there are hundred of pounds of dried beans, dried fruits, jam and bales of clothing.

The Chilliwack Progress November 21, 1945

Shipment Overseas
Near 3 Tons of Clothes Collected by Yarrow

This past week has seen continued activity at the Yarrow Growers plant where both men and women sorted and packed 2 tons of clothing for scantily clothed Europeans in liberated countries.

The shipment contained 43 new wool-filled quilts made by women's societies of the churches who also contributed large amounts of children's clothing.

All other articles were good-wearing garments of new material, made over or repaired items of clothing.

Less than a month ago over a ton of clothing was sent from Yarrow from which operates a central committee to collect and consign the shipments.

They who have felt the pangs of hunger and the pinch of cold through Russian winters during the last war, are continuing to give of their best, through sympathy and understanding to the people of war-ridden countries. More quilts are in the making and sewing is being done for relief purposes.

Another new store has been added to Yarrow's business district. Mrs. Erna Ewert opened a dress shop Thursday on Central Road.

Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Krause are visiting friends in California.

John Kroeker is on a holiday trip to California.

Mrs. Wiensz, Reedly, Cal is a guest at the home of her nephew, Jake Harder and Mrs. Harder, Wilson Road.

Mrs. P.P. Wiebe has gone to the prairies to spend the winter months with relatives. While she is absent Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jantzen Jr. are occupying her home.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reimer were visitors to Vancouver during the week.

Gnr. Gordon Cameron has returned to his post at Prince George after a lengthy leave at home.

Mrs. Ray Morris had as guests recently Mrs. R. Morris and Mrs. Alex Tite, Vancouver.

The Chilliwack Progress December 5, 1945

'Human Nature Same at Yarrow As Elsewhere'

"We get a great deal of credit for co-operation that is not coming to us," stated P.G. Schellenberg, Yarrow, during an interview with the township council Saturday. "We are just ordinary people. Human nature there (Yarrow) is the same as elsewhere. We have the same degree of self-interest to contend with as do other groups," he declared.

Mr. Schellenberg was presenting a number of matters requiring attention in the Yarrow area, when it was suggested that he get a group together to solve one of the problems as perhaps the easiest solution.

Road grading and drainage comprised the petitioner's agenda.

The Chilliwack Progress December 19, 1945

New Stores Open in Yarrow

Another new store has been open on Main street adjoining Froese's meat market. The store is operated by C.C. Funk who carries a line of foodstuffs.

Two printing establishments are preparing to publish newspapers in the new year. Already job printing is being done.

The streets of Yarrow are bright with festive lighting and people hurrying back and forth with gaily decorated parcels. School children are excited for there are many entertainments planned for them this week.

Mrs. C.B. Haley will spend Christmas with her sons in Vancouver.

Mrs. Ray Morris and two daughters will leave Saturday to spend Christmas with relatives in Bellingham.

G.P. Derksen is on a holiday trip to California.

Mrs. Wasylenchuk sr. is recuperating in St. Paul's hospital, Vancouver, following a recent surgical treatment. She is expected to be with her family for Christmas.

Three university boys will spend Christmas at their homes here. Dave Nightengale, who was discharged after overseas service last summer, is now taking a course at UBC and is spending his vacation with Rev. and Mrs. A. Nightengale. John Bahnman, who is in his last year of chemical engineering, will be with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Bahnman, Prairie Avenue. Arthur Siddall, recently discharged from RCNVR, and now in first year applied science, is expected home Saturday to spend the holiday week.


Heaven's Complex Roots

The prism of the galaxy casts heaven's grace
selectively onto Earth: the Spirit of Justice departed,
the Europeans arrived and the native nations'
golden age ended, streams and rivers stripped
of salmon, hunting grounds logged and defaced,
the naked earth exposed to the sun and winds
ploughed and cultivated by hungry, cold Mennonite
farmers who crossed the Rockies like starlings
to take up Eckert's offer of virgin lake-bottom land,
obsessed with their leaders' vision of a pious, Russian
Mennonite colony between the mountain and the river,
preaching their evangelical, Anabaptist message of peace.

As Yarrow's population grew, the public school principal
and his helpers anglicized young minds — speak English,
God save the King, the British Empire, scientific theories
of evolution, citizenship, and democratic government —
enthusiasms three-hundred and fifty years of sequestration
countered with German and Bible schools and
a church-sponsored, religious High School, passive
conscientious resistance and responsible communal activism.

Minds inured to the old faith, lads hardened to labour
departed for European battle grounds and bivouacs
where English girls run mad, and then returned
to raise red raspberries and strawberries instead
of fields of poppies and graves, and to play softball,
taking on all comers for Yarrow's champion teams.

Blessed are they graced by the universe's complex roots.

© by Elmer Wiens



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