Meditations on a Place & a Way of Life

Description

128 pages
Contains Illustrations
$11.95
ISBN 0-920534-19-8

Publisher

Year

1982

Contributor

Edited by Margaret Loewen Reimer
Photos by Ken Loewen

Winifred M. O'Rourke was a writer and journalist in Saskatoon.

Review

This book consists primarily of photographs by Ken Loewen, a professional artist, living “close to his roots” in southern Manitoba. The book is accompanied by a text compiled by Margaret Loewen Reimer, sister of Loewen. Photographs and text tell the story of German Mennonite families who were emigrants from south Russia to southern Manitoba in the 1870s.

The Mennonites were encouraged by the Canadian government, eager to have people settle in the prairies. The promises of religious freedom, exemption from military service, and the right to educate their children in the ways of their own faith were added inducements to take the long journey to Canada.

The book is indeed “meditations on a place and way of life” as it is titled. The excellent black-and-white photographs do not carry individual captions; the message is in the pictures themselves. It is not a pioneer story as generally understood, although historical information is contained in the text. It is a story of Mennonites who as rural people believed in their land as they believed in God. “Working [the land] was a sacred trust. He gave it his lifelong devotion and unceasing toil and through his commitment to God’s bountiful gift he found his meaning here on earth” (Introduction, p. 1 1).

The format of the book and the variation in typography contribute a bonus to this very beautiful book. It will appeal to many who live outside of the Mennonite culture.

Citation

“Meditations on a Place & a Way of Life,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38775.