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Museum Blog

Ann Korver (Barthel)
Haarlem, Netherlands

Nicolaas and Ann Korver on their wedding day 1963

Image: Nicolaas and Ann Korver on their wedding day, November 8, 1963 in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Antje (Ann) Barthel was born in May 1944. Twice, her family tried to immigrate to Canada and were delayed.

In April 1948, their immigration was sponsored by a farmer. All her family needed was an immigration officer’s signature. The officer demanded a bribe. Her father reported him; the officer was charged and found guilty.

Ann and family in Netherlands

Image: Barthel family in Haarlem, Netherlands. This was the last family photo taken in Holland prior to the family immigrating to Canada.  Ann is sitting on her father’s lap.

In 1949, they were ready to immigrate when Ann became sick with typhoid fever. After three negative tests, the family was allowed to depart.

They left from Rotterdam on June 13, 1950. Ann’s father rented a bus so relatives could see them off. On June 23, the S.S. Volendam arrived in Quebec City.

Barthel family home in Magrath AB

Image: The two room shack that the Barthel family moved into when first arriving in Macgrath, AB, 1951.

From Quebec, they travelled to Macgrath, Alberta. In Lethbridge, they met their sponsor. For two years, they were indentured labour; thinning and weeding sugar beet fields. At harvest, they pulled the beets and trimmed the greens. Ann laid them to be picked up.
The farmer supplied a two room shack to live in; originally they thought it was a chicken coop. He also anglicised their names; Antje became Ann. After being indentured, they then rented a farm on the Coutts Highway for five years. Later, they bought a farm in Coalhurst.
Ann’s family attended church in Lethbridge. At a youth social, she met Nicolaas Korver. They started dating in 1961. With her father’s permission, they were married in 1963.

Ann and Nicolaas moved their family to Red Deer in 1966. Nicolaas became the third employee of Parkland Industries, while Ann was involved with Meals on Wheels and the Christian Reformed Church.

Ann and Nick with their grandchildren

Image: Ann and Nick with their grandchildren.

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