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Connecting Our Communities

Heritage Day


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Sunday, September 22nd  was the 42nd  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 Doug and Sandra Zinger who were one of 3 couples celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary this year.  Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors and Readers were all members of the Society.   During Mass two Latin hymns and at Offertory the “Heritage Hymn” written by Helen Moyer were sung.

Following Mass, everyone met at the grotto on the Rectory lawn with past president Tom Schell giving a summary.  This is the first year that the grotto was included in the tour.  The cars were then led by  Jim Zettel and Rob Kennedy  for the cavalcade.  Jim in his  green 1928 model A Ford pick up and Rob driving his red 1928 Model A Tudor car  proceeded 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 (Allgeier) Rich in 1832 and prayers were said at this stone by Father Thomas Runggaldier.    In 1997 a special stone was erected at the end of the land which is the home now of Fred Drexler.  Father Runggaldier is here from Vienna visiting his brother who lives in the village of Maryhill.

Next stop was the Klein cross just outside of Maryhill which was erected in 1844 by Andrew Klein and his brothers. In 2017  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 years ago to the now Ken Seiling 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.  Tim Vegh gave the history at this site.

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.  Tom Schell gave information on 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 again supplied by the St. Boniface Catholic Women’s League consisting of ham, scalloped potatoes, mixed vegetables, coleslaw, relishes and all the fixings along with desserts, coffee, tea, and water.

Honoured this year were Dave & Carolyn Carnahan, Bob & Linda Zettel and Doug & Sandra Zinger who are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversaries this year.  Also honoured were the 80 year old birthdays and the youngest and oldest attending the celebrations.

Also honoured this year for the Community Award was George & Tara Kanellis and daughters Maria and Athena who own the Maryhill Market.

Visitors attending were from Kitchener, Waterloo, London,  Walkerton, Michigan.  

It is always a pleasure to welcome Ward 3 Councillor Murray Martin to our celebration.

There was a silent auction consisting of many items, raffle,  several door and table prizes, and of course the main draw.  1st prize Jean Batte – Waterloo ($200); 2nd prize Fred Buehner – Waterford ($200); 3rd prize Julie Nafziger – Waterloo ($100); 4th prize Gerald & Helen Kieffer – Shelburne ($100); 5th prize Brian Lorentz – Maryhill ($50 EB Games gift card); 6th prize Marg Reinhart – Kitchener ($50 EB Games gift card).

This is the Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill Community’s main fundraiser and  thank you to all those who donated towards this day.  Thank you to those made our Heritage Sunday a very enjoyable day by taken  part in the procession to the shrines and all those that attended the meal.

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