The establishment of the St. Boniface Parish and much help from the Pallottine Fathers was instrumental in enabling the newly immigrated Kolping members from Germany, to form the Kolping Society of Edmonton in November 1960.
Now 50 years later, we are looking back at our beginnings and growth, realizing that we are an independent organization, yet a part of St. Boniface Parish.
In 1961 we became affiliated with the International Kolping Society and were the fifth Kolping Society in Canada. At the early beginnings our primary aim was to help new immigrants to establish themselves, to provide fellowship, help them gain access to (MSI) Group medical insurance and to give temporary accommodation to transients looking for employment. After the flood of immigrants from Germany subsided, we could more closely concentrate on the Kolping Principles, namely to become a better Christian, Worker, Parent and Citizen. Our meetings aimed to provide for religious formation, discussions of marriage, health, family and child matters. The common projects, of fundraising for charity and building of a Kolping Cottage at Lake Isle, bonded our individual Praeses and the members into a close-knit group. With our first successful attempt to take youngsters from our Parish on a camping trip to Lake O’Hara and hike up to Abbots Pass in 1976, we started the tradition of our annual Father’s-day Kolping outing to the mountains.
Wile holding the Canadian National office for 11 years we established very close contact with Kolping groups in developing countries. Concentrating on helping just one needy group we started a partnership with Kolping in Tanzania, Africa. In 1995 we were able to deliver several boxes of carpentry hand tools to a Carpentry Training Center near Bukoba on Lake Victoria. With help from the Knights of Columbus and the Edmonton Catholic community we acquired two vehicles and collected relief goods (hospital-equipment, bicycles, computers, tools, non perishable food, and household goods) and shipped them in two overseas-containers to Africa.
The highlights for our organization were the beatification of our founder Adolph Kolping, in Rom in October 1991, where several parishioners and Kolping members took part and again on the tenth anniversary in 2001, where Pope John Paul ll praised Kolping for their engagement world wide and thanked the representatives of the National Kolping Societies with a handshake.
We, the Edmonton Kolping members, are proud and very grateful of our long time association with the St. Boniface Parish, and want to thank the German catholic community for accepting and supporting us, and for providing us with a place for our Kolping meetings.