New Resource: Volendam Letters

16 November 2011 by Wes Bredenhof

One of the hats I’m wearing as of late is that of a church history instructor at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers College.  I’m teaching a course on North American Church History.  One of the resources I’ve come across is a translation of a chain letter that circulated among Dutch immigrants to Canada in the early 1950s.  These immigrants were some of the founding fathers of the Canadian Reformed Churches.  The document is named after the ship on which these immigrants travelled, the Volendam.  It’s the same ship that both my paternal and maternal grandparents travelled on as well — but I don’t think they were part of this group — this group immigrated in 1950 and my grandparents came in 1951.  This chain letter is an important primary source about the immigration experience.  Undoubtedly some of the readers of this blog will recognize the names on these letters.