Spring 1989 · Vol. 18 No. 1 · pp. 91–92 

Historical Endnotes

Paul Toews and Ken Reddig


Dr. Peter Penner, Professor of History at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, has spent the winter researching the seven couples and five single missionaries who went from Russia to Hyderbad state between 1890 and 1920. He has discovered some of their children, living on this continent, now septuagenarians and octogenarians, who have wondered why no one came much earlier to interview or correspond with them.

Dr. Penner’s research has uncovered a great human interest story, quite apart from the official “missions” viewpoint which has been given until now. The saddening tragedies, the disturbing traumas, the all too human misunderstandings and mistakes, as well as the relieving humorous incidents, must be placed alongside the countless rejoicings over the successes resulting from missionary work. That this mission was successful can be seen in the many baptisms and conversions among Telegu-speaking people and their formation into Christian congregations in villages dominated by Hindus and Muslims. Within the next few years Dr. Penner plans to publish the results of his research.

Paul Toews


In February the entire Mennonite film archives of Dueck Film Productions was donated to the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Winnipeg. The archives includes thousands of feet of original film and sound track shot for such films as “And When They Shall Ask,” “Heimat Fuer Heimatlose,” and “Menno’s Reins,” to name but a few.

In making the donation David Dueck has given permission to other film makers, with the proper equipment, to make use {92} of the many reels of interviews, scenic shots and dramatic scenes without charge.

The donation is unique and a first for the Centre. Its historic value is in the fact that it includes thousands of feet of film illustrating various aspects of Mennonite life. An example is the film used in the production of the story of the Fernheim Colony in Paraguay. Only a small portion of the entire footage was used for the actual film. In years to come the film not used, i.e., the “outtakes,” will become increasingly valuable since it represents one of the few times that a film maker has done extensive shooting of everyday life in that colony.

The Centre expresses its appreciation to David Dueck and his wife Toni for this generous donation. Anyone interested in making use of this film donation should contact Ken Reddig at the Centre.

Ken Reddig