Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.237

Title: Fred and Erma Cressman fonds

Dates of creation: 1942-1943, 1988-1989

Physical description: 5 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Fred and Erma (Dedels) Cressman were married on 7 June 1941. Fred was a conscientious objector (CO), and served at the Langford, British Columbia alternative service camp from June 1942 to November 1943. During his absence, Erma worked in a factory and gave birth to their son David.

Custodial history: The notes were given to Laureen Harder-Gissing by Erma Cressman in 2006, and donated by Harder-Gissing to the Archives in 2009. The autograph book and photograph album were donated to the Archives by David and Anita Cressman and Diane Cressman in 2017.

Scope and content: File consists primarily of notes for a talk given by Fred and Erma at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church on 20 November 1988. The talk recounts their wartime experiences. An autograph book from Fred's time in Alternative Service holds signatures and paintings from fellow COs. A photograph album documents his train trip to British Columbia, Green Timbers Forestry Station, Goldstream Alternative Service Work Camp (Langford, B.C.) and surrounding area, postcards of Victoria, B.C, and an interior view of the Lake Cowichan dining hall.

Notes: Original archival description created 7 July 2009 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

  1. "Thinking things through 'about being a C.O.'" / Rev. A. R. Shelly, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, [1942?], 14 pp.
  2. "Our peacemaking roots: commitment and struggle." Fred and Erma Cressman, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, 20 Nov 1988 (draft and final)
  3. "My experiences as a Conscientious Objector's Wife." Erma Cressman, 20 Nov 1988 (draft and final)
  4. Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church bulletins, 30 Nov 1988, 11 June 1989, 21 July 2017 (funeral bulletin for Erma Cressman)
  5. Autograph book kept by Fred Cressman, 1942-1943
    Note: Includes two miniature watercolour paintings by E. Lewis, probably fellow CO Ed Lewis.
  6. Photograph album, 1942-1943


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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