STEINBACH / TREATY 1 — When the Mayor of Steinbach thinks about generosity, he thinks about cucumbers.
As a boy, his father would ask him and his siblings to organize gurkjen they harvested from their garden according to size; they kept the short lumpy ones for themselves, while the straightest, longest and ripest ones were set aside for neighbours unable to garden for themselves.
“That was a lesson I got taught, to give your best away,” says Earl Funk, who runs a family butcher shop when not attending to mayoral duties. “I think that’s a part of Mennonite culture, you know?”
Although he doesn’t currently attend a Mennonite church, Funk was — like many Steinbachers — raised in a Mennonite home, speaking Low German or Plautdietsch. He says the spirit of generosity is deeply rooted in the community of 18,000 and connections to its Mennonit
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