Was that Loewen-Friesen or Friesen-Loewen

How long is too long?     

Photo Credit: nastya_geep (Pixabay.com)


On April 1st 1950  Jacob Loewen-Friesen married Elizabeth Schellenberg-Janzen.

Their first child, a male child, was named  Herbert Schellenberg-Janzen-Loewen-Friesen.

Herbert gew up to be a fine young man and on April 2nd, 1971 he was married to Margaret Gerbrandt-Giesbrecht-Toews-Petkau.

A year later Margaret gave birth to their first child, a 9 pound 7 ounce boy.

Herbert and Margaret named their first son Alexander Gerbrandt-Giesbrecht-Toews-Petkau-Schellenberg-Janzen-Loewen-Friesen.

Alexander grew up and fell madly in love with Frances Dueck-Wiebe-Klassen-Voth-Kehler-Ginter-Dyck-Hiebert.

Alexander and Frances quickly realized that the Mennonite tradition of hyphenated surnames would result in their children having the surname:

Dueck-Wiebe Klassen-Voth -Kehler-Ginter-Dyck-Hiebert-Gerbrandt-Giesbrecht-Toews-Petkau-Shellenber-Janzen-Loween-Friesen. 

Not wishing to burden their children with such a bothersome moniker Alexander and Frances  decided to abandon Mennonite tradition and legally changed their names to Smith.

The extended hyphenated surname was becoming too much like a Mennonite alphabet, noted the Smiths.

Vinkla not Vankler

Vinkla, MB

The following is a news release issued by the City of Vinkla subsequent to an erroneous report in the Daily Bonnet that Winkler had changed its name to Vankler


Press Release

For immediate release

Winkler changes name to Vinkla not Vankler

A recent report in the Daily Bonnet erroneously reported that Winkler had changed it’s name to Vankler.

We are appalled that the Daily Bonnet, who had a representative present at the council meeting where the issue was discussed was not able to file a factual report.

Although the name Vankler was brought up during our discussions is was quickly dismissed as several council members felt that Vankler could very easily be mispronounced by non Plautdietsch speaking people as Wankler or even worse Wanker which has very  negative and derogatory connotations. For that reason the more traditional, “Vinkla” was agreed upon.

The same article also suggested that council was petitioning the City of Winnipeg to change its name to Vanapag.  Although there have been informal discussions with the City of Winnipeg  our suggestion was that  they consider changing their name to Febräaakjestaut in keeping with their designation as a high crime city.

Council does not impune negative motives to the Daily Bonnet.  It may well just be another example of how people from jantsied who employee a different pronunciation of some Plautdietsch words simply got it wrong,  again.

In keeping with Mennonite tradition, we forgive them.

No good reason to not vote for Friesen



HASKETT Mb – After several unsuccessful attempts area  farmer Albert Friesen was elected as Councillor for the south ward in the Rural Municipality of Stantly.

Friesen had stood for election four times previously without success.

In a recent interview with Spottschreft, Friesen indicated that in his past attempts he had tried to convince voters he was the right choice by outlining his accomplishments and stressing his leadership abilities.  According to Friesen, none of that seemed to matter to voters.

When asked what he had done differently  during the most  recent election campaign Friesen indicated that he had tried to pattern his campaign on the approach taken by Donald Trump, the US President elect.  When pressed for specifics Friesen stated:   “I came up with a really catchy slogan and apart from the slogan I just talked about generalities”.

The slogan that propelled Friesen info office was, “No good reason to not vote for Friesen”.

Friesen who garnered 27 votes outdistanced his opponent,  Wilf Penner, by 11 votes.

Penner was not available for comment but his agent Gord Warkentin expressed  some concerns:  “Our exit polls indicated that there were an awful lot of Friesens voting in this election.”


Giroux farmer pardons turkeys


Inspired by the US president’s annual ceremonial pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey, Giroux area farmer Ralph Peters decided to take it one step further.

“My turkeys are pretty smelly and I get complaints from people in the area all the time,” said Peters.

Peters went on to say that he understand the turkeys are not at fault, they are… well, just being turkeys, that’s what they do.

This realization prompted Peters to absolve his turkeys of wrongdoing.  All the turkeys were gathered in a large barn, where a mass pardoning took place last Wednesday.

Mennonites finally settle the “Jantsied” question

Altona residents going to visit relatives on jantsied


Photo Credit: Winnipeg Free Press

Schanzenfeld – After years of raging debate the Jantsied question has finally been settled.

For over a century Mennonites on the west and east side of the Red River have disputed which side was ditsied and which was jantsied.  Both sides claimed that settlements on the other side of the Red River were on jantsied.

Sensing that this ongoing dispute was causing disruption in the Mennonite community church elders from both ditsied and jantsied met this week in Schanzenfeld to resolve the issue once and for all under the guidance of John Smith an independent arbitrator.

Henry Blatz, speaking on behalf of Mennonites east of the Red River, spoke eloquently about the absurdity of the argument pointing out that if you were in Steinbach then clearly towns and cities like Altona and Winkler were on jantsied.

Peter Dyck speaking on behalf of the Mennonites on the west side of the Red River made the argument  that seeing as Altona and Winkler were clearly on ditsied then Steinbach was obviously on jantsied.

The arbitrator summed up the discussion by observing that this was clearly a matter of perspective and ruled that the issue would be settled by a coin flip.  Smith called on Peter Dyck to make the call.  Dyck chose ‘heads” and won the flip.  As the winner Dyck declared that from this day forward  the settlements west of the Red  would be known as ditsied and those on the  east of the Red River would be known as jantsied.

In an exclusive post meeting interview with Spottschreft, Blatz indicated that as far as he was concerned the ruling was open to challenge as the issue was much too important to be settled by a flip of a coin and by a non-Mennonite arbitrator, a process that he characterized as un-Mennonite.


For those having difficulty with the Plautdietsch (low German) words in this post please consult the the “Translation” Page



Area farmer to revert to horse power


Friedensruh-   After listening to a recent sermon on the evils of modernization delivered by Elder Frank Wiebe of the Reinlander Church, area farmer Issac Fehr has decided to revert back to using horses in his farming operation.

Apart from religious motivations Fehr indicated that he has become increasingly disenchanted with the smell of diesel fumes emitted by tractors and also that he really missed the “sweet aroma” of horse manure.  Fehr also indicated that he has always been  uneasy about the move from horses to tractors noting; “that very issue caused many Mennonites to move from Canada to Mexico in 1927″.

Fehr estimates that he will need at least 60 horses to replace his three tractors. Fehr admits that the cost of feeding and housing the horses will add an additional expense to his operation but argued that it would also create additional jobs.

When asked where these additional workers might come from Fehr stated: ” there may well be some Mennonites from Mexico returning to Canada following the Trump win which will effectively bar them from entry into the United States”.

Fehr indicated that he has not yet decided if he will be replacing his Chevy Suburban with a horse and buggy.  “The missus may have something to say about that”.



Right to bare arms not supported by all

A recent post by the Daily Bonnet which depicted a young woman with bare arms, claimed that American Mennonites who dress in that manner are simply exercising their right under the 2nd Amendment.

However not all Mennonites are in agreement.

Elder Peter Siemens, head of the Sommerfelder Church in Bolivia was quick to react.  “I think it is shameful, bare arms, no head covering and smiling yet even,” said Siemens.

When asked if he felt that the photo in the Daily Bonnet could have a  potential  negative influence on his congregation in Bolivia Siemens indicated that was unlikely, “We don’t have the Internet here and we are not planning on getting it either so the chances of anyone down here seeing that are remote”.

When asked about his understanding of how the Internet worked Siemens said, “I saw it once when I was in Asuncion, Paraguay  and it was not good, not good.”

Siemens went on to say that he will do whatever he can to protect his congregation from the Internet and other similar modern evil influences.  He concluded with, “We did not leave Canada to go to Mexico, and then on to Paraguay and finally to Bolivia only to let that happen to us.”

The interview with Siemens was conducted via cell phone.

Poll predicts Trump win



WINKLER – Spottschreft  recently conducted a poll in the southern Manitoba city of Winkler.  Respondents were asked who they would vote for in the upcoming US election if they had a vote.  Here are the responses:

Peter Elias, who farms in Osterwick, and who was in Winkler to pick up supplies, indicated that he would vote for Clinton.  Elias said that after he heard about the Lincoln bedroom in the White House being rented out by the night during the first Clinton administration he has had a yearning to spend the night there.  He stated: “Trump already has so many hotels that I doubt he would consider turning the White House into a bed and breakfast but based on past performance, Clinton might”.

Lena Schmidt, an agent at Home Town Insurance  came out firmly on the side of Clinton. “I think it’s high time that a woman was put in charge,” said Schmidt.  When reminded of Ephesians 5:22-23 which says, “Wives submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord,  For the husband is the head of the wife,” she quickly acknowledged that Hillary as president and Bill as the first husband playing second fiddle to her would not be biblical. She consoled herself with the fact that Trump who has had several wives is well versed at being in charge.

Armin Gerbrandt who described himself as a self employed contractor came down firmly on the side of Trump.  Gerbrandt reasoned that seeing as Trump plans to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to keep America safe, it won’t be long until he realizes that a wall is also required on America’s northern border to protect the US from negative Canadian influences. Gerbrandt felt the building of a wall might well generate considerable work for Canadian contractors such as himself.

As only three Winkler residents agreed to participate in the poll it is not a truly representative poll with an accuracy rating to 21.3% three times out of 10.

Despite the small sample size,  it is anticipated this poll could have a major impact on the election results.

Local man may hold balance of power in 2016 US election

Kleefeld – Peter Dueck, a mechanic at Jake’s Garage in Kleefeld recently revealed to close friends that he may well have a dramatic effect on the US election next Tuesday.

“I may hold the balance of power,” Dueck is quoted as saying.

In a recent interview with Spottschreft Dueck elaborated on the unique position he holds.

Apparently Dueck’s niece Helen (nee Friesen) is married to an English and they live in Pennsylvania. Helen is now an American citizen and is eligible to vote in the upcoming election. Dueck has been in contact with her over the past several months and has counselled her on the merits of voting for either the Republicans or the Democrats.

“I think I may have had some influence in terms of who she will vote for,” said Dueck.

In terms of his claim that he may hold the balance of power Dueck says, “It’s a democracy and you only need to win by one vote so if I was able to influence her vote that one vote could determine the outcome”.

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