Mennonite Heritage Village

What’s On Your Fridge?

November 2, 2023

By Gary Dyck

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

-Maya Angelou

It is fascinating how the exterior of a fridge often becomes a personal gallery and museum. Like a museum or gallery, they display the distant places we have travelled to – my fridge has magnets from several tourist destinations, the wisdom we have learned – I have a magnet that says, “Cleaning the house when kids are growing is like shovelling snow when it’s still snowing,” and are places of commemoration, like a child’s report card. Fridges are also a place to catalogue the ongoing collections of the institution – such as the week’s shopping list. Like all great galleries, you can look around the corner of the fridge and see a new set of great works – splattered tomato sauce. Like Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), when you are hungry, there is great food to eat in the middle of it all!

Recently, I came across a note from a 13-year-old in our community. The teacher had given the class an excellent assignment: “Why do you think it is important to study history? In the space below, explain what you think are the three most important reasons to study history. Was there a person whose words really connected with you?”

This was the 13-year-old’s response:

I think it is important to study history because there is so much to learn from the past and then we won’t make the same mistakes we made before. Also because history helps make us more connected with our past and who we used to be. It helps us understand how we got where we are today. If we have learnt history we also know the good things that happened and we can be more grateful of the people who went before us and what they suffered to help us have the good life we have now. We can also learn that we have a responsibility to make good choices for the next generation. Maya Angelou’s words really connected with me because if we can stand up for what is right there will be less pain in the world from our mistakes. I think we all have something to learn from history.

I wish more of us had this level of understanding and appreciation for history. We were so happy to read this at my house that we promptly put it on our fridge for all to read. After all, I am the proud father of this 13-year-old. May we all keep teaching our history and heritage to the next generations! This winter, bring your kids and grandkids to MHV’s galleries to learn and to be inspired together.

Upcoming Events:

“Keeping Time: The Art and Heritage of Mennonite Clocks” exhibit is being presented at the Manitoba Museum. Visit the exhibit from Oct. 27-Feb. 25. This is an exhibition developed by Kroeger Clocks Heritage Foundation in partnership with Mennonite Heritage Village.

Main gallery and Russländer exhibit, open Tuesday to Saturday, 9-5pm. Visit MHV’s two galleries, including the award-winning Russländer exhibit, about the Mennonites who immigrated from Russia to Canada in the 1920s.

Christmas Market, November 11, 1-6pm. Our Christmas Market will feature local vendors, children’s crafts, and hot lunch! Admission is a Tin for the Bin, new toys, or a cash donation to Southeast Helping Hands.  

Local Authors Night, November 15, 7pm. Join us for a night of local authors, celebrating the books written in and about Southeast Manitoba. Includes live music and refreshments.