Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Dyck, Franz "Frank" (1903-1980) G#427394
Written and presented by Dave Dyck to the MHSA-sponsored "Celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Russian Mennonites coming to Coaldale, Alberta (1926-2006)"
In 1923 both of my parents emigrated from Ukraine to Canada. In 1927 they were married in Manitoba, and then moved to a farm known as the Wilson farm at Harris, Saskatchewan. In April of 1929 my parents left Saskatchewan and moved to Coaldale. My Dad built a house on the Lepp farm south of the gaol farm in the Lethbridge area, where we then lived for a number of years.
The Coaldale Mennonite Church was established in 1928. Frank, having been ordained as a minister in Saskatchewan, was accepted into the lay ministry in 1931 alongside Jacob Gerbrandt who had been serving the church since 1929.
Few people owned cars so Frank would walk the seven miles to the church in Coaldale. In the beginning Sunday church services were held in the school on eighteenth street which is now part of the United Church.
More ministers were added during the years. I, as a youngster, thought the services were long. Occasionally when I managed to escape my mother’s arms, I would immediately run onto the ministers’ platform to my Dad, who would calmly pick me up and go to the front pew and sit down.
A typical Sunday morning service had two speakers. I believe the first speaker did the introduction. The second speaker would do the sermon and closing. This one Sunday the first speaker got up and started the introduction. The introduction lasted from 11 a.m. to five minutes before twelve. Frank then got up, went to the pulpit, and asked the congregation to rise for the closing prayer. After the closing, the first speaker somewhat aghast asked Frank “what is wrong?” Frank calmly pointed to the clock hanging on the wall.