I’ve loved all the interesting stories about Steinbach reported by the CBC journalists who set up a studio at the Clearspring Centre this past month. I’ve learned so many new things about my hometown.
When I was growing up in Steinbach I often heard people say we had ‘a church on every corner.’ So, I was interested to hear that another faith community has been added to the large number already meeting in the city.
Steinbach’s growing Muslim population is renting space in the Pat Porter Active Living Centre for prayers and gatherings. Up to 60 people have attended. They hope to have a mosque of their own one day.
I loved the story about the Filipino basketball league in Steinbach which has more than twenty teams. Recently they decided to open their league to non-Filipino teams as well. They draw crowds for tournaments and provide a way for high school players from the area to continue enjoying the game once they graduate without having to drive to Winnipeg to compete.
Commuting to play basketball was something my husband did for decades when we lived in Steinbach. He and a group of fellow players drove to Winnipeg every week during the 1980s and 1990s to play basketball in a league there. If they lived in Steinbach now that wouldn’t be necessary, thanks to the city’s growing Filipino community and their love of the sport of basketball.
I was delighted to see that stories about the charitable spirit of Steinbach people featured four women who at one time were part of the congregation at Grace Mennonite Church, which was my faith community during the nearly forty years I lived in Steinbach.
Madeleine Thiessen is a client advocate at Steinbach Community Outreach which helps homeless people transition into housing by providing them with all kinds of support. Run by a board of local people, plans are in the works for the organization to construct a twenty-four-unit housing complex for low-income families.
During their CBC interview, Simone Penner and Lindsay Banman represented the board of The Chrysalis Fund an endowment that provides an opportunity for women in the community to pool their money in order to give grants to charitable programs benefiting children, youth, and families.
Since 2009 the generosity of the women who are a part of the fund has benefitted pre-schools, women’s shelters, a family resource centre, a creative arts group for children and many other local initiatives. Simone Penner said it was a way for women to pull their purse strings and heartstrings together.
Joy Neufeld heads up Soup’s On an organization based at Grace Mennonite Church that provides meals and school lunches to those in the community who need that kind of support.
In her CBC interview, Joy said the program is the busiest it’s ever been but she never has to worry about enough money to buy supplies or whether she will have the forty-five to fifty volunteers she needs each week to run the program because as she put it the community has simply ‘wrapped its arms’ around Soup’s On.
When I was growing up in Steinbach the only kind of ethnic food available in restaurants was the Chinese food offered at Jimmy’s Grill. Now Steinbach has restaurants serving food from many different countries including a Caribbean cafe.
I heard all about it in the CBC interview with Neville Hamilton, who owns the Di Reggae Grill. I also learned that Steinbach hosts a Caribbean, Reggae, Afro and Latin American music festival.
It was terrific to listen to all these remarkable stories about my hometown broadcast for the CBC audience. I appreciate how their media coverage helps bring our nation together by showcasing all the great things going on in communities across the country- communities like Steinbach.
An Alphabet for Steinbach -My Home Town
The House on the Highway- My First Home in Steinbach