Siegfried Bartel (background) celebrated his 100th birthday alongside his brother Hans Bartel who is 103 years old.

Former Agassiz farmer celebrates 100th birthday amongst family and friends

On January 6, 2015, Siegfried Bartel smiled with content surrounded by his family and friends who celebrated his 100th Birthday.

On January 6, 2015, Siegfried Bartel smiled with content surrounded by his family and friends who celebrated his 100th Birthday.

Born in a time when the US House of Representatives was denying women the vote, neon tubes were patented and the first coast-to-coast long distance call was made, Siegfried has lived through the incredible and rapid changes of the 20th and 21st centuries. World War 1 had just begun to rage across Europe when Siegfried’s mother prayed a prayer of blessing upon her unborn child.

Growing up in Prussia (Poland) in a Mennonite community, Siegfried enjoyed a privileged life earned by the hard labour of his farming family. As a young boy, he watched his father extend grace to a man whose drunken negligence caused a train accident that took the lives of his mother and oldest brother.

It was natural for a man of German descent to enlist in the German Army and Siegfried did so in 1937 before the second world war. When the war erupted in September of 1939, he found himself in an army that eventually brought horrors to others and convinced Siegfried that pacifism was the only sane response to killing and war.

During the war, Siegfried married Erna and started a family. Seven boys were born into his family as Siegfried went back to farming to earn a living. In 1951, he received refugee help through Mennonite Central Committee to re-establish his life in Canada becoming a dairy farmer in Agassiz, BC. Siegfried became an active participant in the community as well as serving in leadership with MCC from 1972 – 1987, grateful for how he had received refugee help in his time of need.

Siegfried’s birthday celebration was a vibrant afternoon party with friends and residents from Menno Home joining in the festivities. Five sons, six daughter-in-laws, one grandson and one great-granddaughter and the staff of Menno Place celebrated as well. Siegfried’s older brother, Hans, age 103 came over from Primrose Gardens Apartments with his wife to celebrate his brother’s life and enjoy a delicious piece of home-made cake and some German music. Ingrid Schultz, chaplain, shared highlights of Siegfried’s life of faith and a prayer of blessing upon his life and the lives of those who love him.

Siegfried is the author of two books, Living with Conviction and Journey to Pacifism. In these books, he shares his life’s story and resulting convictions about pacifism and dedication to others in need.

Just Posted

Harrison to replace final incandescent street lights with LEDs

The $186,000 project is the second-phase of a replacement plan for the village

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

Wonder Pup book series by Chilliwack author teaches kids self-regulation skills

Author Angela Murphy and illustrator Davis Graham release first book Speak Up, Wonder Pup

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read