Sunday, September 23rd was the 41st anniversary of the Maryhill Historical Society’s Heritage Day. The celebration began at 10 a.m. with Mass at St. Boniface church with Father Ron Voisin. Gift Bearers were the Rebelo family – Gabriel, Cameron and parents Karen & John . Cameron received the Historical Society Award in June and was a guest at this celebration. Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors and Readers were all members of the Society.
Following Mass, Linda Kennedy and dad John Zettel led the car cavalcade in his green 1928 model A Ford driving to where the first Mass was said. In the early days of New Germany Mass was celebrated in the settlers homes. The first Mass was said at the home of Christian & Barbara (Alllgeier) Rich in 1832. In 1997 a special stone was erected at the end of the land which is the home now of Fred Drexler. At each of the locations Historical Society past president Tom Schell introduced each site. Theresa (Drexler) Hodgkinson gave the history at this site.
Next stop was the Klein cross just outside of Maryhill which was erected in 1844 by Andrew Klein and his brothers. Last year a new cross had been erected. Thank you to Carl Zettel who had donated the wood from a hydro pole for the new cross and to Doug Keller who worked on the cross and varnished the wood and a special thank you to Ken Kurtz who donated the Corpus . The very first cross was made of peeled cedar and was about 14 feet high. Ken Kurtz gave the history of this cross which is on the farm where he grew up on.
The second cross was erected by Robert McNanny and his brothers who were of Irish descent and lived on this farm until 1860. It was thought they may have erected the cross in about 1832 again in gratitude for a safe arrival after a stormy Atlantic crossing. The original cross was also made of cedar and was about 15 feet high. The original cross was donated to Doon Heritage Village, now the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener, The Sebastian Drexler family purchased the farm in 1876 and took the responsibility for the care and maintenance of this cross for several generations. This new cross has been constructed as closely as possible to the original. In 2010 the cross was reconstructed and repaired with the wood from a hydro pole. Helen Peacock, a Drexler descendant gave the history at this site and Ron Schmuck also a descendant added several stories..
The third cross was erected by James Keleher in 1908 as a memorial to his parents in thanksgiving for the prosperity the family enjoyed in the new land. The farm was purchased in 1869. Sister Dora lead prayers at this cross.
All the plots of land that the crosses are located on are owned and cared for by the Maryhill Historical Society. Thank you to Doug Keller who had done grass cutting, trimming and maintenance and decorated the areas around the crosses as a reminder of our pioneers.
Pat Weiler, son Mark and granddaughter Hayden were dressed period costume to represent their ancestors. Pat portrayed Johann (Allgeier) Weiler with son Mark as son Conrad Weiler and little Hayden Weiler was granddaughter Magdalena Weiler. What a beautiful addition to the celebration.
This year’s lunch was supplied by the St. Boniface Catholic Women’s League consisting of ham, scalloped potatoes, mixed vegetables, coleslaw, relishes and all the fixings along with several varieties of pies, chocolate & white cake, coffee, tea, punch and water.
Honoured this year were Tom & Charlene Schell on their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Unable to attend were Diane & Gerry Brohman who also were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary and Peter and Julia Tillich who were celebrating their 60th anniversary.
Also honoured this year for the Community Award was Dr. John Schaman and the Cardiac Fitness Association. This is their 40th anniversary. His resume is lengthy and his accomplishments and service to the community and area is not only well known locally, but worldwide. He has seen over 50,000 patients in those 40 years in the area of Cardiac Assessment and Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. In the past 10 years, he introduced a Harmonica Exercise for Lung Program. He has invented and patented a special harmonica for this purpose and it is made in East Germany by world famous Seydel.
Visitors attending were from Waterloo, Mount Forest, New Hamburg, London, Toronto, Trout Creek, Calgary, and special recognized to George & Betty Van from the Netherlands who are visiting George’s sister Joanne Nederend.
It is always a pleasure to welcome Ward 3 Councillor Murray Martin and mayor Sandy Shantz to our celebration.
There was a silent auction consisting of many items, raffle, several door and table prizes, and of course the main draw.