Central Mennonite Immigration Committee
Central Mennonite Immigration Committee (CMIC) or Das Zentrale Mennonitische Immigrantenkomitee (ZMIK) was founded in 1923 among the newly arrived Mennonite immigrants in Canada to serve in an advisory capacity to the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization. At a meeting in Eigenheim, Saskatchewan, 12 members were elected. In 1925 the immigrants of other provinces joined and the committee was reorganized, consisting of five members.
In a meeting in Reinland, Manitoba in 1927 the organization of the Committee was completed and a constitution adopted. The following year provincial committees were elected and all immigrants became members of the organization. Some of the duties of the CMIC (ZMIK) were to advise the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization in helping the immigrants to establish new homes and to build Mennonite communities. The committee helped in distributing aid and loans coming from the Mennonites in the United States, in presenting to the Soviet government lists of relatives requesting permission to leave Russia, and in finding large tracts of land on which to settle the ever-increasing number of immigrants. They also assisted in collecting the debt to the railroads which had financed the passage of the immigrants, in obtaining German books for homes and schools, and in aiding orphans in getting refunds of the loans given by their parents to the German government during the occupation of the Ukraine.
In spite of all the efforts of the CMIC, the depression made it impossible for the committee to purchase large tracts of land such as were made available by the Old Colony Mennonites of Manitoba, Swift Current and Hague, Saskatchewan. The greatest accomplishment of the committee lay without question in obtaining German and religious books for the immigrants and thus establishing a cultural basis for the future. During the years 1923-44 over 121,000 books were distributed. The sum of $6,531 was returned to the Mennonites who had loaned money to the German government during the occupation of the Ukraine.
The provincial committees were gradually strengthened and the CMIC, which had accomplished as much as it could, lost its significance. At a meeting of the committee held at Rosthern on 30-31 May 1934, it was decided to merge it completely with the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization. The board approved this at a meeting in Saskatoon on 26 July 1934. The work of the CMIC was continued in a number of subcommittees of the board.
Epp, D. H. "Das Zentrale Mennonitische Immigrantenkomiitee." Der Bote 25 (21 & 28 July 1948).
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Central Mennonite Immigration Committee." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Central_Mennonite_Immigration_Committee&oldid=143043.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1953). Central Mennonite Immigration Committee. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Central_Mennonite_Immigration_Committee&oldid=143043.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 542-543. All rights reserved.
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