Traditions, collections and reliving memories - it's that time of year.
People around the world collect things related to Christmas – fragile glass ornaments, sets of electric lights, Nativity scenes, and greeting cards. And everyone collects memories, perhaps of a special gift given or received, or a favourite family gathering. These photographs, from a private collection, are one person's collecting passion – photographs of Christmas printed on postcards. The original postcards, dating from about 1900 to 1930, are each 3 ½ by 5 ½ inches.
The photographs were taken mostly by amateurs in Canada, the United States and Europe – think of the postcards as the Instagram message of their day. They were printed in home darkrooms or as a special request when film was developed.
Unlike commercially-printed postcards, which could number in the hundreds of thousands, most amateur photographers printed fewer than ten postcards from their negatives – to save in a photo album, or to send to family and close friends. Each of these images is truly a special memory of a Christmas past.
Want to know more about the traditions of Christmas? Ask your local library to borrow:
Christmas in Canada: Heartwarming Legends, Tales, and Traditions, edited by Jill Foran, published by Altitude Publishing in 2004.
Or, if you’d like to see a collection of Christmas photographs from Germany, ask your local library to borrow:
Deutsche Weihnacht: Ein Familienalbum 1900-1945, published in 1996.
The Niagara Area Lutheran Choir, as the name suggests, is made up of Lutheran singers from 7 different Lutheran churches across the Niagara Area of southern Ontario. So as not to take members from their own churches on Sunday mornings, they do not sing for Sunday morning Worship, but do take part in many special afternoon or evening Services, such as anniversaries, installations, Advent Services, Ascension Services or others as requested.
They are primarily a concert choir, and go wherever they are invited to sing. They do not charge for their concerts, but often a congregation will use them as a fundraiser and take up an offering for a project of their choice. In addition to church concerts they sing regularly at several Retirement/Nursing Homes in the area. Although they used to travel further afield, most of the concerts now are within a 2 hour drive from Niagara, but all invitations are considered and appreciated.
The choir was started by Doug Wachs and Heinz Holder over 50 years ago and Carole Pink is only the 2nd director. She took over from Heinz in 1999. Doug’s son Paul Wachs is the choir manager as well as a singer and the current accompanist is Louann Waugh from Beamsville.
In addition to choral anthems that are designed to fit into those special Worship Services, they have a varied concert repertoire of general pieces as well as many for Easter and Christmas concerts.
Although gradually reducing in size due to age and health issues, they still love to sing and serve The Lord in this way.