Fifty Years of Living in Canada

Erfle, Alfred. "Fifty Years of living in Canada." Mitteilungsblatt, September 2010, 24.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English is provided by Alex Herzog, Boulder, CO. 

Hulda Erfle, highly advanced in years, at the family gathering in Canada.

For fifty years now my mother, Hulda Erfle, who was born in Teplitz [in Bessarabia] on December 17, 1908, has been living in Ladysmith/Quebec, Canada. That town was established during the early Nineteenth Century by German people from Pomerania and Silesia. Other German immigrants also arrived there, and even today up to eighty percent of last names there are of German origin.

Our mother, though highly advance in years, still lives by herself at the edge of town, and she still manages her everyday life. Since the death of our father some thirty-five years ago she has become quite used to living alone and deciding things for herself. Still, my sister and my brother, who live in the same town, see to it that she is OK and that she has what she needs. Every day she still takes care of her flowers and her vegetable garden, she reads a lot in German and in English, and she keeps her knitting hobby going. A special matter of the heart for her is knitting wool caps for needy children. Even Canadian Television, during a one-hour show, showed her doing crafts in her living room, and it demonstrated genuine admiration for her selfless assistance and support of others despite her advanced age.

During June, 2010, she would be getting company from Germany. My wife, I, one of our daughters, her husband, and their little son (at eleven months old, he is Hulda’s youngest great–grandchild) flew to Canada. Among other events there was a grand family gathering of all family members living in Canada – today a goodly number of forty people. We started Sunday, July 4, with a church service, during which our daughter, with her husband playing the organ in accompaniment, sang two special songs, and at the end of the service my daughter and I performed a German-language rendition of the Irish folksong “Amazing Grace,” with its beautiful final verse, “And whatever fate might bring for us, we are left with the memory of a very fine time.” At the very end all attendees sand this song in English, as printed right there in the Canadian hymnal It was a truly unforgettable experience for all, and especially for our mother, Oma, and Great-Oma of nearly 102 years of age.

Only a few days after our family reunion, our vacation had to come to an end, and a tearful departure was unavoidable. Still, we are left with the memory of a very fine time.

Alfred Erfle, Lichtenwald

 Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller