Classification scheme: 

Title: Albert and Annie Drudge fonds

Dates of creation: 1941-1942, 1946-1999; 1970-1990 predominant

Physical description: 55 cm of textual records ; ca. 400 photographs (col. slides predominant)

Biographical sketch: Albert Drudge (1918-1994) married Annie Burkholder (1915-2002) in 1943. The couple operated a dairy farm in the Markham, Ontario area. A trip to Africa and India in 1965 inspired them to dispose of their herd and sign up as Mennonite Central Committee volunteers. In 1970, they spent eight months in Akron, Pennsylvania. After a brief period in Nairobi, they were assigned to work on school and hospital construction.  While there, Albert was also able to obtain permission to build several water systems in the Belgian Congo (Zaire) from 1971-1977. From November 1977-1980 they worked on a hospital building project in Tanzania. They spent four months in India at the end of 1980, building two experimental water wheels for demonstration purposes. After their return to the Markham area, they retired but took many trips including several overseas.  They maintained extensive contact by letter and visits with former workers and colleagues and built a vacation cottage in the Bancroft area. 

Custodial history:  Ken Drudge (son of Albert and Annie Drudge) sorted the correspondence into three categories: 1) Mennonite Central Committee correspondence; 2) Letters from people associated with Albert and Annie Drudge because of their interest in overseas activities; 3) Letters received from Markham relatives and friends (including those no longer living in Markham).  Letters in category 3) have been donated to the Markham Museum. Letters in categories 1) and 2) were donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Ken Drudge in 2015. Alternative Service photograph album received from Ken Drudge in 2024.

Scope and content:  The fonds consists largely of personal correspondence received by Albert and Annie Drudge from family, friends, and other voluntary service workers and missionaries. Some correspondence from Mennonite Central Committee is also included.

Original archival description created 2015 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

Series 1: Mennonite Central Committee correspondence

undated, 1969-1996

Series 2: Overseas activities correspondence

Note: Greeting cards, sympathy cards and thank you cards containing only signatures or perfunctory notes were withdrawn during archival processing.

1946-1970, 1972-1999, undated

Series 3: Markham correspondence

Scope and content: This series contains copies of some files located in the Markham Museum. The files were chosen for copying by the Mennonite Archives of Ontario because of the broader involvement of the correspondents with the Mennonite church or Mennonite overseas service.

  1. Robert and Jill Burkholder
  2. Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church
  3. Lorne Grove
  4. J. M. (Joe) and Elsie Nighswander
  5. George and Anna Reesor
  6. Fred and Ada Nighswander and family
  7. Elsie and Emerson McDowell

Series 4: Index prepared by Ken Drudge

Scope and content: In 2015, Ken Drudge prepared an index to correspondence in Series 2 and 3. The index is available in electronic form at the Archives.

Series 5: Book fragments

Scope and content: Fragments of two books possibly belonging to Albert E. Drudge. Both are in German; one appears to be a catechism, the other a version of the story of Jan Harmsen, the poor orphan boy of Holland.

Series 6: Photographs

  1. Photograph albums
    Scope and content: Two photograph albums of Albert and Annie Drudge's trip to Haiti, 18-26 Jan 1986. Includes photographs of: Jean Claude Duvalier Airport, Arlo and Leontina Raid (Voluntary Service workers from Denmark, Iowa), Sylvan Witmer, Junior and Emma Martin (from Indiana) and family, Jack and Anne Wall, views of Port au Prince and rural Haiti, Sonlight Mission buildings and people, views of rural Haiti and Jacmel. One photograph album of Albert Drudge's time as a conscientious objector at the Montreal River Alternative Service Work Camp (Group 4), November 1941-March 1942.
  2. Loose photographs, miscellaneous
  3. Slides
    Nyanga, Zaire, 1970-1976; Zaire water projects, 1970-1976; Swaziland, 1970-1976; Kikwit, Zaire, 1970-1976; Nyanga water projects, 1970-1976; Nairobi, Kenya, 1977-1980; Mugumu, Tanzania, 1977-1980; Mukadi, Zaire, 1970-1976; Kampala roads, 1970-1976; Zaire, 1970-1076; Africa and Zaire, 1970-1976; Nyanga school building, 1970-1976; MCC Akron, 1970; Airplane, Zaire, 1970-1976


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238