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Walter Bourquin Papers

Walther Bourquin Papers

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Walter Bourquin Papers




2012



Profile Description

Creation: 28.03.2012
Language: English

Title: Walther Bourquin Papers
Dates: 1886-1973
Quantity: 2 flipboxes + loose photo album
Identification: PP BW
Location: 152C
Language: German

This collection contains his childhood diaries (1885- 1889), private diaries (1913- 1973), a record of the sea voyage on the Deutsche Reich und Hamburg-Amerika Linie, photo albums of missions in South Africa, photo albums of his family, and CD-roms of Bourquin's photo albums, his autobiography translated to English and illustrated, and his diaries.


Walther Bourquin was born in Nain, Labrador on February 3, 1879 to parents Johannes Heinrich Theodor and Marie Caroline Bourquin; his father was a missionary with the Moravian Church. Bourquin initially lived with and received schooling from his parents in the arctic; however, he was sent to Europe to receive a formal education at the Moravian Institute in Saxony, Germany at age seven. Bourquin was later sent to study theology at Niesky, Germany at age ten. Prior to graduation Bourquin chose to leave his studies and Niesky, because he believed himself too young to undertake the study of theology. After leaving school, Bourquin gained employment as a cabin boy on German ships destined primarily to South America. In 1899, he chose to return to his studies and matriculated at Moravian Theological Seminary in Gnadenfeld, Germany. While a student, he served as a seaman on the Hamburg-American line during the summers. After three and half years of study, Bourquin graduated from school and was conscripted into the Imperial Navy. Upon completion of his service, he taught for four years at the Moravian School for Foreigners in Neuwied-on-Rhine. In 1907, Bourquin volunteered for missionary work and was assigned to South Africa in March of that year. In preparation for his work, he studied African languages and culture at the Oriental Seminary in Berlin for one year. During this period, Bourquin married Martha Luise Regina Wüstemann on April 22, 1908 and was ordained as a deacon on March 29, 1908. He departed for Africa on April 29 and arrived in Shiloh on June 2, 1908. The Bourquins served as missionaries in South Africa-East from 1908- 1924 (Shiloh 1908-13, Goshen 1913-24, Tinana, ca. 1924). On May 22, 1921, Bishop van Calker ordained Bourquin in Shiloh as a Presbyter. He became Praeses of the South-Africa-Eastern mission province in 1925. The following year Bourquin was appointed superintendent of the Moravian Mission's Eastern Province and moved to Mvenyane to complete this work until 1934. He also served at the General Missionary Conference in Pretoria. Bourquin was honored by the Prussian Academy of Sciences with the Leibniz Medal in silver in 1933. In 1934, Bourquin and his family returned to Germany; however, he later returned to Mvenyane to continue his work until 1949. Upon retirement in 1949, he moved to Durban. He and his wife were outlived by two sons, Gernot and Sighart and two daughters, Gerlint and Armgart, and a third son, Wilfried, died in infancy. In his 96th year, Walther Bourquin died in Durban, South Africa on April 24, 1974.


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