Mennonite Burial Society (Virgil, Ontario, Canada)

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The Mennonite Burial Society was formed 1 January 2009 as a merger of the Vineland Burial Society and the Niagara Mutual Funeral Society (also known as the Virgil Burial Society). The Vineland Burial Society was begun in the 1930s. Early in the 1940s a group of Niagara-area Mennonites living to the East of the Welland Canal sought to establish their own, more local burial society. Hence, the Virgil Burial Society was created. Both societies flourished for many years.

A burial society provides a form of mutual aid through providing a funeral benefit to members who have paid an annual levy determined at the annual meeting of the society. In 2008 the funeral benefit was $5,686 for members covered at 100%.  The funeral benefit is normally based on a modest funeral, including the funeral director services, plot, basic casket, etc.

In 2003 members of both societies asked why the earlier split had occurred and whether a re-unification could take place. The reasons for the original separation, including distance, were no longer relevant in the 21st century. Over the next five years, the leadership of both societies worked through the merger options. On 10 May 2008 members present at a special joint meeting voted unanimously to merge the Vineland and Virgil Burial Societies into one society, the Mennonite Burial Society. Peter Janzen (Virgil) and Tim Siemens (Vineland) were presidents of the societies at the time of merger; Siemens served as the first chair of the new society. Barry Boese was the part-time staff person for the society.

Initial operations have indicated the merger to be a success. In late 2009 the Mennonite Burial Society had just over 12,000 members, not only from Ontario, but also across Canada and from the United States.

The merger of these two burial societies demonstrates that what was once divided could again be brought together.


Email communication with Tim Siemens, 27-29 December 2009

Additional Information

Address: P.O. Box 293, Virgil, Ontario L0S 1T0

Phone: 905-934-9649

Website: Mennonite Burial Society

Author(s) Sam Steiner
Date Published December 2009

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Sam. "Mennonite Burial Society (Virgil, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2009. Web. 20 Jul 2018.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=140235.

APA style

Steiner, Sam. (December 2009). Mennonite Burial Society (Virgil, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 July 2018, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=140235.

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