A Currency Better than Rubles

Although Mary Hulda Kroeger, née Kroeker (born 1918 in Winkler), married Ernest (Ernie) Abraham Kroeger (1919–2013), a grandson of the clockmaker David Kroeger (1860–1920), her Kroeger clock came to her from her mother’s side.

In 1902 Mary’s maternal grandfather Peter Nickel, originally from Nieder-Chortitza, Russia (now Ukraine), decided to pull up stakes and immigrate to Canada with his family, but not before selling his property. According to Mary, Peter received, among other things, five Kroeger clocks in payment for his property. Did Peter consider the clocks a better currency than rubles, especially in the new country he was headed for?

And so, on the 10th of May 1902, Peter, his family and five Kroeger clocks arrived on the S.S. Montfort in Quebec City, Canada. Mary tells of how her mother, Elizabeth Nickel, who had made the sea passage to Canada with her father at the age of seven, would carefully attend to the clock as Mary was growing up, cleaning it with a feather and regularly polishing the brass weights and pendulum. To this day it is in perfect condition and working order.