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With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Mennonites of Western Canada began the organization of provincial relief committees. In January 1940 meetings were held in Altona, Manitoba, Coaldale, Alberta, and Yarrow, British Columbia. These meetings appointed provincial committees, each of which delegated two representatives to a meeting on 15 March 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which in turn formed a central executive committee known as the Mennonite Central Relief Committee. Officers from the beginning to 1957 were B. B. Janz, chairman, J. J. Thiessen vice-chairman, C. A. DeFehr treasurer. Up to about 1954 all the committee funds were sent to the Mennonite Central Committee. After that most of the contributions were sent directly to committee-supported projects in Paraguay. The committee appointed a regular member to the MCC.

In 1959, the Mennonite Central Relief Committee merged with the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization to form the Canadian Mennonite Relief and Immigration Council. This new Council was one of nine inter-Mennonite organizations which formed Mennonite Central Committee (Canada) in December of 1963.



Epp, Esther Ruth. "The Origins of Mennonite Central Committee (Canada)." M.A. thesis, University of Manitoba, 1980: 219.

Additional Information

Executive Officers of the Mennonite Central Relief Committee

Chairperson Vice-Chairperson Secretary-Treasurer
David Toews (1940-1946) Benjamin B. Janz (1940-1946) C. F. Klassen (1940-1946)
Benjamin B. Janz (1946-1959) Jacob J. Thiessen (1946-1960) Cornelius A. DeFehr (1946-1960)
Cornelius A. DeFehr (1959-1960)    

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published September 2011

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Mennonite Central Relief Committee of Western Canada." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2011. Web. 29 Jun 2017.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (September 2011). Mennonite Central Relief Committee of Western Canada. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 June 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 609. All rights reserved.

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