Classification scheme: 

Title: Joseph Vale fonds

Dates of creation: 1941-1997

Physical description: 1 cm of textual records; ca. 200 photographs

Biographical sketch: Joseph George Vale (1918-1998) was born a Lutheran of English heritage in Kitchener but joined the Mennonite community when his family moved to the Arthur area. From August 6 to December 6 1941, he was part of the third group of Alternative Service workers (conscientious objectors) serving at the Montreal River Alternative Service Work Camp. From February to March 1947, he was a "seagoing cowboy" on the ship Plymouth Victory, sailing to Athens, Greece. The "cowboys" were men who volunteered to serve aboard cattle boats carrying livestock to war-torn parts of the world after the Second World War.

The cowboys of the Plymouth Victory held several reunions beginning in 1947. Vale and his wife Sarah (Bauman) attended many together. The couple, married in 1953, lived in Bloomingdale, Ontario and had seven children.

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives in 2012 by daughter Ruth Vale.

Scope and content: See file list, below. Most of the photographs have been catalogued individually in the Mennonite Archival Image Database.

Notes: Original archival description created 2015 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

  1. Correspondence from Ruth Vale to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, 2012
  2. Montreal River Alternative Service Work Camp, 1941, 1943
    Scope and content: Lists and addresses of groups 1-3,1941; List of Montreal River camp "trainees", January 1943; Montreal River camp song lyrics.
  3. Plymouth Victory Cattle Boat Reunions
    Scope and content: Notes kept by Sarah Vale. Lists reunions from 1947-1993. The years 1974-1993 include additional notes of attendees, menus, and events.
  4. Voyage of the Plymouth Victory: 1947
    Scope and content: Directories and updates of reunion attendees, 1975, 1984/1985, 1997
  5. Plymouth Victory Cattle Boat Reunion photograph album, 1974-1997
  6. Photographs of Montreal River Alternative Service Work Camp, 1941 (ca. 85 photographs)
  7. Photographs of Monetville, Ontario, 1953 (ca. 17 photographs)
    Note: This file may also include photographs of Montreal River
  8. Photographs of voyage of the Plymouth Victory to Athens, 1947


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
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Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

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