Bethel Girls' Home (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
The Bethel Girls' Home located in Vancouver, British Columbia was founded in the 1930s by young Mennonite women who came to the city to work in domestic service. The women paid the rent, supported the matron, financed an addition to the house and purchased the adjacent lot. In 1931, the Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches assumed control. The need for such a home was felt particularly by Mennonite families who needed to pay the travel debt to the Canadian Pacific Railway for their journey from Russia in the 1920s. Large numbers of young Mennonite women traveled from parts of British Columbia, Alberta. Saskatchewan and Manitoba into the city in search of employment.
At first about 50 girls visited the home regularly. The numbers increased during a new wave of immigration in the later 1940s. During the home’s peak in 1956, minutes of meetings record that 350 young Mennonite women were matched with 1,700 employers. Matrons provided the girls with physical support, spiritual care and moral guidance. On Thursdays, when the girls had a half-day off, they gathered in the home, shared bag lunches and tea, exchanged their experiences, and received additional religious instruction from ministers of the City Missions Committee of the Mennonite Brethren Conference. The Bethel Girls' Home of Vancouver met a great need for the young Mennonite domestic workers.
The home was originally located at 6363 Windsor Street, but due to the size and age of the house, the home was moved to 595 East 49th Avenue in 1943.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 309. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Rempel, John G. and Ruth Derksen Siemens. "Bethel Girls' Home (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2012. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B48625.html.
APA style: Rempel, John G. and Ruth Derksen Siemens. (October 2012). Bethel Girls' Home (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B48625.html.