50+14 Beaverbrae Ship Reunion in Kitchener

This is a picture taken by a friend of my Father and he thinks it was in Quebec Canada July 1st 1954, That is my dad standing next to the car

When I started this Personal Blog one of the first pictures I uploaded to it was a picture of my Father standing beside a Ship called the Beaverbrae. It was June 22nd 1954 that my 23 year old dad left Bremen Germany to immigrate to Canada Aboard the Beaverbrae, Canadian Pacific which owned the ship,  worked with the International Refugee Organization and the Canadian Christian Council for the Relief of Refugees to bring people from Germany to start new lives here in Canada.

My dad came ashore in Quebec July 1st 1954 alone and then was transported to Orangeville, Ontario before settling in Milton. My Mother and 1 year old Sister came over on another ship 3 months later after my Father got situated.

By digging into that did I start? When I looked closely at the photo I saw the Ships name Beaverbrae and decided to google it and I found plenty of websites that talked about the ships history and some of its passengers. I printed off some of the pages and showed them to my Father as he is a bit of a history buff and I thought it would be of interest to him.

And interested he was, he had never thought of looking up the ship himself. My dad does use a computer to look up stock prices and some surfing but it is a very slow process as he is still on dial-up internet, which he says is fine for someone retired since he has all day to watch pages load as fast as Lava flows in Hawaii. But to make this story even more interesting less than a week later, My father is reading the local German Newspaper Deutche Presse from September 22 2010 and low and behold on page 5 there is a story about the Beaverbrae

Note… as with all of my blog photos you can click on them with your mouse and view the picture full size

I should note that I found an error in the above article saying that the ship was scrapped in the 1970’s which is not true, it was seaworthy til 1997 when after a fire in the control room passengers were evacuated and the ship towed to port and partially scrapped in 1999 My Father asked me if I would go with him to the reunion,and I thought that it would be very interesting to go to so I agreed.

The reunion was held at the Bethel Church listed in the article above. Today’s event was from 1pm to 5 pm and we arrived at 3 pm.

It was a 2 day event Saturday & Sunday.

My father signing in at the reunion

Below are some various pictures I took from the Beaverbrae Memorabilia Tables.

There was nothing from my fathers trip but we did find it interesting.

Again if there are any pictures here that you want to see bigger just click on it with your mouse.

Here are some photos of the people that attended the event today, the basement of the church was packed and standing room only. Although my father was not a fan they had some singalongs going on for most of the time we were their. My dad would of rather had some one on ones with some of the other guests but the music and singing made that difficult. So we only stayed maybe an hour.

Though not what my father expected or would of liked but he told me he was glad to have attended.

Here are some interesting facts about the Beaverbrae Ship

The Beaverbrae was built as the Huascaran for the Hamburg America Line by Blohm and Voss, Hamburg in 1938. She was built as a 10,480 gross ton ship with a length of 487.5 foot by beam, 60.3 foot, one funnel, one mast single screw and a speed of 17 knots. There was accommodation for 32 passengers.

Purchased by Canadian Pacific on September 2, 1947, she was renamed Beaverbrae and rebuilt to 9,034 gross tons, one funnel, two masts and with cabin accommodation for 74 passengers and dormitory accommodation for a further 699.

The Beaverbrae made her last voyage when she left Bremen on July 28, 1954. which meant that My fathers voyage was the second last trip made by the Beaverbrae.

Interesting as well that when the Ship sailed west to Canada it carried immigrants  and refugees but when traveling east to Germany it carried only Cargo.

A one way trip took 8 days.

Ships Names….

  • Huascaran 1938
  • Beaverbrae 1948
  • Aurelia 1954
  • Romanza 1970
  • Romantica 1991-99

Here are some of the best photos I found of the Beaverbrae online, including some when she was burnt out in 1997 when she was called the Romantica.

If after all of that your still interested in this, here are a couple of links that I found to Websites that go into much more detail abut the ship and her voyages.

THE NEW ZEALAND MARITIME RECORD

Our Immigration to Canada on the ship ‘BEAVERBRAE’

(written by someone that we do not know, not my family)



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59 responses to this post.

  1. I am afraid to ask how my family got here (-: My aunt said we probably were descended from someone sent over on the prison ship. LOL

    Reply

  2. Posted by gerda sedtke on March 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I immigrated to canada on the berverbrae in 1954. i would be interested to hear from other passengers.

    Reply

    • What was the date of your voyage?, you may of been on the same ship as my father

      Reply

    • I immigrated from Bremerhaven to Canada in June of 1954 and would enjoy connecting with others who were on the Beaverbrae as well. I remember being stopped for a few hours not far off Quebec because of icebergs. I also remember heavy seas and much seasickness about halfway to Canada. I would love to hear from others who crossed at that time.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Joseph Schankula, Niagara Falls On on March 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

    My Parents and I left Bremerhafen on the Beaverbrea Mach 8,1952. we arrived in St John New Brunswick March 19.1952, I ws 19 at the Time. I befriendet several Poeple ,but was anable sofsr to find anyone, we were 700 of us. I would be happy to hear from som of them. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Posted by M. Graham on March 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Do you know any of the names of the passengers.. I have family that came in 1952 last name Stettner. Not sure of the exact date but it was in 1952
      Thank You

      Reply

  4. Posted by Helma Marcoux (Pfahl) on May 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I came with my parents and siblings with the Beaverbrae in 1951.I believe we left Bremerhafen on the 28th of Sept and landed in Quebec on the 8th of October. From there we were transported to Winnipeg by train. I was happy to fall onto your site and see the article about the ship Beaverbrae. It is too bad I did not see it before your reunion,it would not have missed it.I thank you for the information.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Christel Lewis (Muller) on September 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    How does one go about getting a passenger list for the Beaverbrae. I believe I travelled to Canada from Germany with my grandfather, landing in Halifax in September of 1952. I need this information to apply for my old age security. My parents have passed away and I can’t find this information among any of their papers.

    Reply

    • Posted by Eva Mueller on September 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Christel, go to http://www.pier21.ca and contact them. there is quite the museum at Pier 21 and they have lots of records on file. Hope this helps.

      Reply

    • Posted by Lucy Patrzalek (Ilowski) on October 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      Try contacting the Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21 in Halifax Nova Scotia. They have a website. If they don’t have the list, they will know where to find it.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Sylvia Ryan on December 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    We just came across this site and were sorry that we missed this reunion, if you should have another please let us know (sylvia@guitargrip.com).

    My parents came over December of 1951. If anyone read this and came over on the same ship and time. Please contact me. My mother would love to touch base with them. Thank you.

    Sylvia

    Reply

    • Posted by Walter steffen on November 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Hi Sylvia, l just read this post, and l came over to Canada on the Beaverbrea on Dec/16th 1951.. Landed in St. John on Dec/23 1951… l was 15 at the time, Came over with my parents, and went by train to Vancouver. Have been in BC ever since. My e-mail address is lw steffy@telus.net. sincerely Walter Steffen.

      Reply

      • Posted by Karin on February 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

        Hi Sylvia and Walter, I also came to Canada on the Beaverbrae landing in St. John on December 1951. By chance do you have any information or pictures on the ship?

        Thanks,
        Karin

  7. Posted by Ed Lehmann on March 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    We came over on the Beaverbrae in March 1949,landed at Pier 21 in Halifax,then on by train to Winnipeg.We celebrated our 63rd year in Canada. I would be interested to hear from anyone that came over on the same crossing from Bremerhafen.

    Ed.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Helmut Klassen on April 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I came across to Canada on the Beaverbrae on Septtember 22 1952 but landed at Quebec. I also need this for Canada pension. Could you advise where to get the records of the ships landing and passenger list???

    Reply

    • Posted by Liane McKeachnie on May 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Hello,
      I also came to Canada on the Beaverbrae to Quebec City in April of 1954. I remember it quite well. I also need details for my Pension. Have you been able to find passenger lists? If so, please let me know.
      Thank you, Liane

      Reply

  9. I enjoyed reading your blog and thought I’d share.

    My father has always said his trip to Canada was on the Beaverbrae’s final voyage from Bremerhaven to Montreal. It mst have been July 28, 1954, based on your information about the Beaverbrae. He was just 21, single, and left his entire native German family for forever that day. In Montreal he boarded a train to Winnipeg. I have never been clear on if he just did what he was told as it happened or if he knew before the voyage that he’d end up in Manitoba. Interestingly, his then 10 year old sister now recalls as they waved good-bye from the harbour, she assumed he was going on a trip and never considered he wouldn’t be back one day! It took her many years to connect their mother’s tears to losing a son to Canada…and eventually my mother – a Canadian. He moved to Brantford, Ontario in the early ’60s, after enduring farm labour in all of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This May (2012), my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary!

    Reply

    • Within days of writing the above, I checked with my soon to be 80 year old dad on some of the details which were sketchy to me, as I heard the story as a child some 40 years ago. I am glad for your blog as it inspired me to ask …and to be corrected! I had always believed my dad worked on the Beaverbrae to pay for his passage. Not true. He has a letter from CP sent to his former home in Germany – similar to the one in your pictures above – showing the price of his schiffkarte and the price for his train passage to Manitoba – approximately $200. So it was all pre-arranged for him to travel from Quebec City (not Montreal!) to that farming community where he started his life in Canada.
      Thanks for being here and for your assistance in keeping the stories alive!

      Reply

  10. Posted by Harry Dickau on April 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    My father Otto Dickau (previously spelled Dykau) came to Canada on the Breaverbrae in March of 1951. Born in Poland in 1919, drafted around 1938, he had been a prisoner of the Russians for quite a while, even after the war. He settled in Edmonton, met and married my mother (she had a similar born in Poland German Baptist background) in 1952. An interesting coincidence,…in 1974 when I was between grade 11 and 12 our family vacationed in BC, including camping out at Long Beach on Vancouver Island. Next to us was a younger hippy-type family. The husband overheard my parents speaking German. It turns out that at 9 years old he had been on the same sailing as my father.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Eleanor Affeldt on June 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Hello, l came over from Germany on the Beaverbrae with my aunt July 1953.
    i live in Kitchener Ontario, if anyone has pictures of that time l would be happy to hear from you my email is eaffeldt@hotmail.com.
    Thank you, Ellie

    Reply

  12. Posted by Helmut Buerger on August 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Hi, my parents left Germany in 1951 on the Beaverbrae and entered Canada June 1951. Mabe someone can help me find the passengerlist.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Posted by Ian Korman-Clingan on February 17, 2014 at 12:44 am

      Hello,
      My father in-law was on the same trip from Germany to Canada at the same time. My wife and I are looking for the same list. He was single turning 21, his name was Anton Kormann.
      Ian

      Reply

  13. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism
    or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique
    content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

    Reply

  14. Posted by John Kibbee on November 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    My mother and 2 brothers and I left Bremerhaven on October 17, 1948. We landed at Quebec City on October 28th and then came to Ottawa by train.

    Reply

    • Posted by Therese Litt (nee Bachusz) on July 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      My parents,my older brother and I came to Quebec City on Oct. 28,1948 aboard the Beaverbrae. We left from Bremerhaven. We were likely on the same boat at the same time. ltlitt

      Reply

      • Posted by Helmut A. Schmidt on March 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm

        Our family, Dad, Mom and three children sailed from Bremerhaven on Oct 18, 1948 and also landed in Quebec City on the 28th, after a ten (10) day voyage.
        That was late in the afternoon or early evening. From there it was via Immigration train of four days to get to Luseland, SK where I still live. I might mention that before being cleared to leave Germany we spent a few weeks at Mühlenberg Camp outside of Hannover. Do you remember the former Prisoner of War Camp? Right now I am trying to locate the exact pier or dock where the Beaverbrae docked on that day, since I am planning a trip to the east, with a stop-over in Quebec City. God’s blessing to you all.

  15. Posted by Margaret Wolfram on January 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    How do I get a passenger list from the Beaverbrae that sailed from Bremerhaven to St. John’s, N.B. about December 1953?

    Reply

  16. My father, mother(pregnant with me) and older sister sailed to Canada on the Beaverbrae in 1954. I will have to ask my mother which month they came over. However it was sponsorship from my fathers’ uncle in Summerland that allowed them to immigrate. Thank you for sharing the photographs, I like to think that it is things like the Beaverbrae and those that initiated the transport of so many immigrants that makes Canada such a great place to live. My father was a master stone mason, a true perfectionist(so very German).

    Bob Huth
    BC

    Reply

  17. Posted by Trudy Weitzmann on February 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    My husband and I came to Canada on the Beaverbrae in 1953 . It was end of June start of July.
    Men and Women had seperate rooms. All the women and children in Bunkbeds with one large corner of the room stacked our belongings. Anyone having arrived in Quebec at this time – I would love to hear from you !!!!

    Reply

  18. Posted by Peter Spadzinski on June 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Our family, the Spadzinski family, arrived in Canada on June 12, 1953, on the Beaver Brae, having sailed from Bremer Haffen I was 8 years old and well remember the very rough crossing and the landing in Quebec City. Thank you for posting the above. My email is pspad@hotmail.com.

    Reply

  19. Posted by Gerry Kubke on July 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Under the heading “ships names” is a group of photos. While looking at the last photo in the second row, I was amazed to find the two young men are my Father and Uncle! They landed at Quebec City on May 27, 1952. Please let me know if any other photos of that crossing exist, or a list of passengers on that crossing. Thank you.

    Reply

  20. Posted by Ute Veneziano nee Gunther on July 26, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I also came to Canada on the Beaverbrae from Bremerhaven in 1951. I remember it was a very rough trip as my father and my sister were in the ship hospital for a while.We landed at St.Johns and took a train to Saskatoon. I cannot remember, but we spent either Christmas or New Years on the ship. After a couple of years of moving around Canada, we also ended up in Kitchener where we met up with another family that my parents befriended on the voyage.

    Reply

  21. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to give one thing back and help others such as you helped me.

    Reply

  22. Posted by Andrew Sileika on November 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    My father, mother, and one year old brother came to Canada as war refugees on the Beaverbrae in April 1948, landing in Quebec City. I was four and a half years old. We then went by train to Fort William (now Thunder Bay) where my father had a cousin that had immigrated prior to the war. I would be interested in hearing from anyone that was on that sailing.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kari Wutzke on June 2, 2015 at 12:52 am

      Interesting, I am pretty sure my father in law came over on the April 1948 trip. Is it possible to get a passenger list? According to the original Emigration papers, it suggests that they are listed on a specific page and line number. Would be interesting to find the cross reference.

      Reply

  23. I arrived with my mother and older brother, in St. John, on January 1, 1953, to join my dad. Had my 2nd birthday aboard ship! Thanks for all the great pictures and information.

    Reply

    • Posted by Rosemarie Kolish-Wagner on April 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      I have just found my mothers Landed Immigrant Paper dated January 3/1953. I believe her family consisting of my grandparents, her sister & 2 stepsisters & a stepbrother .. Surname Ratfelder & step family name Rescke ..

      Reply

  24. Posted by Angie Felgendreher on December 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    My father came to Canada on the Beaverbrae. He arrived in Quebec City on September 3rd, 1951. He worked in Tavistock or Tillsonburg, on a tobacco farm for one year as that was how he could stay in Canada. He left after a year and finally settled in Toronto.

    Reply

  25. Posted by Case Balk on March 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    The Balks, Gerrard,Cornelia (nee Slingerland), and children, Mary, Anne, Elleke, and Cornelis (Case), landed Halifax spring 1950.
    Then on to southern Ontario by train.

    Reply

  26. Posted by T. Froelich on May 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    We got here the same time Ellie Feldt did ( July 20 1953) but could not contact her. Got some pictures she might be interested in.

    Reply

  27. Posted by Gudrun Fitz-Gerald (Sarfeld) on May 26, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I also just came across this site…I travelled on the Beaverbrae at 8 months of age, with my mom and dad…August 1949 we arrived at Pier 21 and off to Quebec City…train to Windsor ON….now living in Waterdown ON…certainly interested in the next reunion….Gudrun

    Reply

  28. Posted by Eleanor Affeldt on July 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Hi, l also would like the passenger list for and pictures any one would like to share. My aunt and l landed in Quebec on July 20 1953 from Germany. Please email me at eaffeldt@hotmail,com Thank you Ellie

    Reply

    • Posted by Regina Wiegand on July 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Greetings,

      I, too, along with my family sailed on the Beaverbrae on June 22, 1954. I was almost 15 years of age. Am not sure why I thought that we sailed from Bremerhaven but it could have been Bremen. From what I have been able to research, that was Beaverbrae’s last ‘immigrant’ trip. We encountered floating ice bergs off Newfoundland. I do remember landing in Quebec where we boarded a train and made our way across the provinces to Medicine Hat, Alberta.

      Thank you for posting this. I really did not think I’d ever hear from anyone else who sailed on that ship. I have many memories.

      If anyone can forward to me a passenger list and/or pictures I would be grateful.

      Regina (Schoen) Wiegand

      Reply

      • Posted by Ivy Heenan on June 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm

        My grandparents Johannes Tarnaske and his 2nd wife Berta (Schmidt) and 4 children, Else, William, Fredrich and Sid came across on the Beaverbrae in Oct/48…settling in Medicine Hat, AB. My uncles Fred and Sid are still alive and living there. They would be in their early 70 to mid 70’s.

  29. Posted by Johanna Penz on November 16, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    I too came from Germany on the Beaverbrae in 1949 when I had just turned 6 years of age. This is the first that I heard about a reunion. I’m wondering if there’s going to be another one.

    Reply

  30. Posted by ebelina on November 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Hi everyone, I’m doing a research about the Beaverbrae and would like to know more about the people, especially those working aboard like the captain… does anyone have a name? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Posted by Johanna Penz on November 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Hi, When I came on the Beaverbrae we left port on July 30, 1949. The ship had been held up by a strike and we had to wait for it in a camp at for a while. The food on board the ship had gone bad by the time we departed. I was only six, but I remember there was a lot of vomiting happening while we were on our journey to Canada. The name of the Captain was Captain Kennedy. There is a film clip of him talking about the strike on the internet that you can google. We were on board that first shipload after the strike was resolved. I hope that helps.
      Johanna

      Reply

  31. Posted by Cecilia Garrett on December 4, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Hello everyone I am doing an autobiography for my mother and I believe she and her family were on the Beaverbrae. They left from their home town of Rashtadt Russia in 1943, they traveled into Poland and on into Germany eventually making their way to Bremen to get on a ship to come to Canada the year was 1948. It took them five long years to get there. They landed in Quebec on Oct.28, 1948.My mom’s name was Katharina Gelsinger. She was 13 years old and was traveling with her mother, uncle, brother, and her three sisters. Does anyone recall a pretty young girl and her family? Her Brother and sisters are quite a bit younger than her and the youngest one was a baby in arms.

    Hopeful
    Cecilia Garret

    Reply

    • Posted by Ivy Heenan on June 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Hello Cecilia
      Your family’s story is very similar to my moms. My mom and her parents and siblings fled Besserabia, Romania in October 1940 and went to Austria, then Poland then Germany to immigrate to Canada. They left Germany on the Beaverbrae approximately Oct 18/48. My mom was 16. Her 3 brothers were 4-12 years younger than her. My moms mother died young and her father remarried, thus the age gap. Only my moms 2 youngest brothers are still alive. They would be in their early to mid 70’s. My moms maiden name was Else Tarnaske. Her surviving brothers are Fredrich and Sid Tarnasky and they live inMedicine hat, AB.

      Reply

  32. Posted by Trudy Hand ( Gertrude Arnholz on January 29, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Hi! we came to Canada in 1950, on the Beaverbrae.I was only eight at the time. I am trying to find the passenger list. My mom’s & Dad’s name was Meta and Emil Arnholz.Can anyone add more to this. We landed in Montreal, quebec.

    Reply

  33. Posted by Bridgette Dixon on March 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    My grandparents Stefan and Maria Alzner came to Canada in 1953 aboard the Beaverbrae with their two young daughters, Mary and Susanna. They were from Botch, Romania originally…
    Ending up in Worgl, Tirol Austria during WW2 and once released from being a POW of war (many years after the war ended) Stefan brought his family to Canada.
    They went to Alberta to work the sugar beet farms to pay for their passage, around Taber…(Lethbridge area, I believe)
    Eventually they made their way back east and settled in Hamilton Ontario.
    My grandparents are long gone… My mother Susanna (Susie Dixon) has recently passed, being widowed for the last 26 years. My aunt Mary Ambrosi still resides in Lethbridge Alberta, age 75, widowed for 5 years.
    Hoping to make a connection with someone who may have same background as my grandparents once they came to Canada or prior! Thanks

    Reply

  34. My parents came on the Beaverbrae in July, 1953. Looking forward to the October 3rd, 2015 reunion in Winnipeg. More details, please!

    Reply

  35. Posted by Emil Fischer on September 27, 2015 at 2:38 am

    My family (my father Eduard Fischer, mother Elise Fischer, sister Monika, sister Lina and son Emil) and my aunt (my mother’s sister Maria Abermit) came to Canada on the Beaverbrae in 1952. The boat left Bremerhaven on August 9, 1952 and arrived on the evening of August 16, 1952 in Quebec. A train took a week to transport us to Oliver, BC.
    In 1956 the family moved to Abbotsford, BC where they ran a small dairy and chicken farm. We loved our life in Canada.
    I attended and graduated from the Abbotsford Senior Secondary School. Then attended the University of BC in Vancouver where I trained to be a teacher. I taught in the Campbell River school district on Vancouver Island from 1964 to 1995. Since 1995 I have been in retirement enjoying my hobbies of fishing, playing cards and doing a lot of travelling with my wife. Emil Fischer

    Reply

  36. Posted by Andrea on November 16, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Hello, thank you for posting this! I will show my father Edmund Klann who came over from Bremen to Port of Quebec in 1951 and eventually settled in BC. I’m sure he will be so interested to read the comments and memories of people who posted here.

    Reply

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