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Nocolai J. & Anna Heide

Nocolai J. Heide was born in the Horndean district in April 1896. He married Anna Goertzen of Morden in 1919 in the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church.  Nocolai had left his farm home in 1916 to begin a teaching career. In those days it was possible to obtain a position as teacher with only a Grade VIII standing. He taught in the Heabert School for two years, then in the St. Peters School for two years. He was noted for having 34 good discipline in school. After teaching in Steinfeld for several months in the 1920-1921 school term, Nocolai was asked to change schools with Mrs. A. H. Wiebe who was teaching at Kronsweide at that time. It was felt that a man of his standards would qualify to teach the 21 students in the Kronsweide private school. N. J. and Anna Heide.

The school situation was quite unsettled in Kronsweide at that time. There were actually two separate school buildings in the district; the private school where German was the main language taught, and the public school. It was only when the government school officials became very insistent that the parents would send their children to the public school. As soon as the pressure eased somewhat the children would again attend the private school. In the spring term of 1921 the situation was such that the children changed back and forth frequently between the public and private schools. In the summer of 1921 the Heides took up residence in Lowe Farm and Nocolai began his career as postmaster as an apprentice of A. A. Giesbrecht who was the official postmaster at that time. In May of 1924, he was appointed as official postmaster and served in this capacity until September, 1958.

Nocolai took an active part in many community activities including the programs held every other Sunday in school, originally sponsored by a Literary Society which later became known as the “Christlicher Jugend Verein zu Lowe Farm.”

A memorable experience for Nocolai was in 1959, when he spent one month visiting his daughter Louella in Toronto. The Queen and Prince Philip were visiting Ottawa at that time and Nocolai, whose son Henry had been killed while on active duty, was invited as an honorary witness to laying of the wreath for the victims of the war.

He was also interested in wood work and made a good deal of his furniture from scraps. He enjoyed reading and putting together Jig-saw puzzles. Nocolai died in September, 1983. Nocolai and Anna were the parents of 10 children. Henry, who served in the Air Force, was killed in action; Louella, John, Annie (Sagert), Nick, Eleanor (Schlick), and Frank, all live in Winnipeg; Sara (Derewianchuk) lives in Morris; Jacob lives in The Pas and George is deceased.

Heides’ former home in Lowe Farm is the only building in the business section remaining of the buildings dating back to the early 1920’s with the exception of Derksens’ Store (which has since been rebuilt and renovated).

Submitted by Justina Funk