Oct 042014

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Rev. John A. Cormie Fonds


509/2 Superintendents of Home Missions Excerpt 1: General Files

Indian Residential Schools

Title: Rev. John A. Cormie Fonds

Dates: 1916- 1943

Extent: .5m textual records

Repository: The United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference

Retrieval Numbers: Accession: Ex-90; I.D.: 3080; Location: PP6, PP7, PP8

Rev. John Cormie

Rev. Dr. John Cormie, n.d. UCCArchivesWpg Album 2 059

Historical Note

Rev. Dr. John Alexander Cormie (1877-1947) served the Presbyterian and United Churches of Canada for over forty-five years. Cormie was born in Fergus, Ontario on March 12, 1877. After his graduation from Fergus High School, Cormie entered University of Toronto, completing his Honours degree in Arts in 1901. Cormie then travelled west to Winnipeg and studied theology at Manitoba College, Winnipeg (Presbyterian). As a student, he served the Ukrainian community of Ethelbert, Manitoba. He also supervised the erection of the first schools within the Ukrainian and galecian districts around Dauphin, Manitoba.
Cormie was officially ordained a Presbyterian (Church in Canada) minister on January 7, 1902, in Birtle, Manitoba. He served Birtle until 1905, and subsequent ministered to Oak Lake, The Pas, Dauphin, Swan River, and beyond. In 1914, Rev. Cormie was responsible for the founding of the first Presbyterian Church in Manitoba located north of Swan River.

Cormie became the Superintendent of Home Missions for the Synod of Manitoba of the Presbyterian Church in 1920, and held that post for both the Presbyterian and United Churches (Manitoba Conference after 1925) until 1946. He also acted as Moderator of the Synod of Manitoba in 1923, President of Manitoba Conference in 1927, treasurer of Vita hospital, editor of Ranok, the magazine compiled by the United Church for Ukrainian congregants and communities, and was an active representative on the Board of Evangelism and Social Service.

Rev. Cormie became an authority on the dynamics of immigration, population, and the survival of rural churches. His work was published in the daily press, religious journals and various periodicals. He was honoured by Manitoba College with a Doctorate of Divinity in 1923. Following his retirement in 1946, Rev. Cormie temporarily remained on the Board of United College, and continued to serve as an editor of Ranok.

Rev. Cormie was married to Catherine McLeod Campbell and was the father to two sons: John M. Cormie and Captain Archie M. Cormie. Rev. Cormie spent his retirement in the Winnipeg community of Norwood. He passed away on February 26, 1947.

Scope and Content

The surviving records of Rev. John A. Cormie include: Articles, pertaining to liquor, rural life, and immigration, dating from 1917 to 1936 (also some dates unknown); Maps, of Manitoba municipalities, labelled by ethnic makeup, dating from 1920 to 1921; Lectures, research, reports and minutes, pertaining to rural and urban issues, Ukrainians and immigration, 1929-1933 (also some dates unknown); Scrapbooks and notebooks, containing clippings and articles pertaining to rural issues, the Church, the development of northern Manitoba, labour, farming, education, immigration, Ukrainians, and temperance, dating from 1916 to 1943; Correspondence, pertaining to Church union and property matters in Manitoba (concerning Birtle, Teulon, Melita, Carberry, Elva, Forest, Fort William, Hartney, Holmfield, Brandon, Portage, Rossburn, Minnedosa, Morden, Neepawa, Ninga, Roland, Selkirk, Stonewall, Vista, Wellwood, Winnipeg, Kildonan, , Indian Springs, Oberon, Boissevain, Lenore, Elphinstone), dating from 1921 to 1930; Minutes of the Church Union Committee and the Laymen’s Committee of Church Union, dating from 1925; Literature and reports pertaining to Church Union; and Anti-Union Literature.

Related Material in this Repository

UCA, Winnipeg biographical file; ‘Dr. Cormie, Mission Builder, Retiring’ Winnipeg Tribune June 22, 1946

Custodial History

The records of Rev. John A. Cormie came to the archives of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario as part of a transfer of records around 1970.

Documentation Digitization

Relevant items in this fonds related to Indian Residential Schools are included in The United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference 2014 Index of IRS Related Records and were digitized for submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Contact the Keeper of the Archives for more information.

Language : The records are in English.

Restriction on Access: No restrictions apply.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.