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Sawatzky, Aron G. (1871–1935)

Proper Title

Aron G. Sawatzky fonds

Dates of Creation

1933, 1935, 1947, 1979, 1998

Physical Description

1 folder of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Aron Gerhard Sawatzky was born on May 24, 1871, in Andreasfeld, near the Chortitza Colony, south Russia, to Gerhard J. Sawatzky and his second wife, daughter of Elder Aron Lepp. At the early age of twelve, Aron was baptised and joined the Andreasfeld Mennonite Brethren Church on May 26, 1883. On September 19, 1891, he married Elisabeth Niessen, who was born on September 3, 1874, to Wilhelm W. Niessen and Anna Martens.

Aron and Elisabeth were blessed with twelve children. At an early age he became interested in music and by the age of twenty two he was elected choir conductor at the church. This choir participated in the May 29, 1894, Saengerfest in Rueckenau. With the success of his choir, the church sent him to a conductors seminar in Zyrardow, Russian Poland in 1895. Upon his return he began to conduct other choirs and wrote articles about singing, which were published in various Mennonite periodicals.

In 1903, the family immigrated to Canada and settled in Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. Despite the hard work on the homestead, he continued his musical interests. Two years after his arrival he began a study of church music. He did some travelling as his expertise was in demand.

Aron did some publishing of helps for choirs and conductors. He was the editor of Saenger-Bote from 1911–1922. He also composed many hymns. In 1915, a collection of hymns was published, entitled Saenger-Bote, almost half of which were written by Sawatzky. His service to the church grew in 1912, when he was asked to preach. He continued in this capacity until his death on November 18, 1935, at the age of 64.

Custodial History

The custodial history of the material in this collection is unclear. The biography by Helmut Huebert was donated by the author. The rest of the material has come to the Centre at an unknown time.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists of a piece of music written by Sawatzky, autobiography, biography, and obituaries. Some of the material is in German.


  • Volume 1049.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz December 9, 1999.
  • No restrictions.

File List

Volume 1049

  1. A.G. Sawatzky, Mein Heim, July 11, 1935.
  2. A.G. Sawatzky, My Autobiography, Milton, California, March 1, 1933.
  3. H.T. Huebert, “Aron Gerhard Sawatzky [1871–1935]: Conductor of the Andreasfeld Choir,” October 28, 1998.
  4. Copies of obituaries of A.G. Sawatzky. -- 1935.
  5. Letter to Mrs. Peter Unruh (Martha Sawatzky) from Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, California, July 24, 1979.
  6. Mrs. J.M. Dick, Love For Others, Herbert G. Tovey, 1947.
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