Road of Remembrance
One of the Society’s major projects has been the Road of Remembrance, which includes five monuments. One commemorates Mennonite pioneer settlers who began arriving in the Winkler area in 1876. Two more cairns, commemorating Winkler’s Jewish pioneers and the city’s pioneers of Germanic descent found their home on the green space which has been designated Bethel Heritage Park. The Veteran’s cairn and a cairn honouring Winkler and area young men who chose to become Conscientious Objectors during the Second World War have also been placed in the park.
The WHS dream to establish a Heritage Park adjacent to the Winkler Centennial Library, on the site of the former Bethel Hospital, received assent from Winkler City Council in 2007. The $1.2 million project is a joint venture with the City and citizens of Winkler, and celebrated the heritage of the founding peoples of the community in various ways. The Grand Opening of the Bethel Heritage Park took place Sunday June 12, 2011.
The Winkler Heritage Society opened their archives in the Winkler Centennial Library in 2007, as well. Archive committee members are busy cataloguing archive material which has been donated to the Society by residents and former residents of Winkler.
Stones and Stories Project
In 2010 Arnie Neufeld and Bruce Wiebe began to gather obituaries and stories of people buried in the Winkler Cemeteries. When Arnie suddenly passed away, a new person was needed to take over this work. Don Dyck took over the work for a time. Now Randy Rietze has begun to work with material he has on hand. He needs input from the public to help him continue with the job, such as obituaries and life histories of loved ones who are buried in the Winkler Cemetery and Westridge Memorial Gardens.
- Chair – Randy Rietze