Stories of Our Founders (2017) celebrates the 80th anniversary of the United Mennonite Church in Black Creek.

Courtenay Museum presentation regarding history of Comox Valley Mennonite community

Who were the Mennonites?

Why did they come to Canada?

Why did they come to Black Creek?

Join speakers Terrance James and John Falk as they present the saga of Mennonites from Russia to Black Creek and the early development of this community at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 28 in the Courtenay and District Museum.

Terrance James is the editor of Stories of Our Founders (2017), a book written to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the United Mennonite Church in Black Creek. John Falk’s Memoirs and More (2016) chronicles the history of the Falk family and the Mennonite Brethren Church in Black Creek.

The first Mennonite family arrived in Black Creek in 1932. The two churches formed the heart of the new community. The newcomers endured the Great Depression, the Sayward fire, and conscientious objection hardships in the Second World War.

In recent years you may know of their refugee sponsorship, Ten Thousand Villages (formerly the Global Handshake), MCC relief fairs, and Mennonite contributions to Valley-wide music programs. Mennonites founded the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, popularized the theory and practice of restorative justice, and modeled co-operative and mutual aid programs.

Terrance James, PhD, is a former special educator and school district administrator. He is author/editor of nine books, including books of local historical interest: Writers & Books: Comox Valley 1865-2015 (with Christine Dickinson), and A History of Aboriginal Education in the Comox Valley.

John Falk, BRE, BA, was raised, and has lived most of his life, in Black Creek. He spent 31 years as a teacher in School District 71 and served as pastor of the Mennonite Brethren Church for four years. His second book centred in Black Creek, Crooked Creek Then and Now, is scheduled to be printed in December.

Admission to the evening is $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for non-members (plus GST). Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased by phone: 250-334-0686 ext. 5.

Copies of the books will be available for purchase on a cash-only basis. Memoirs and More $20; Stories of Our Founders $15.

The Courtenay Museum is located at 207 Fourth Street in downtown Courtenay.

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