Oriole A. Vane Veldhuis, Winnipeg, Manitoba, grew up on a farm near the mouth of the Souris River. Her education: Stockton, Grade XII, Brandon College, Normal School, Winnipeg. Teaching opened doors to adventures in classrooms and beyond. Interspersed between her years teaching in classrooms in Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Ontario, Oriole studied at MacDonald Institute, Guelph, Ontario, and at the Centre for Christian Studies, Toronto for Diaconal ministry. She served with her husband Art, in United Church congregations: God’s Lake Narrows, Fisher River, Holland, Winnipeg, and Elmira, Ontario. Their four children fitted into her busy life of working part-time and studies: B. Ed., Post Baccalaureate in Education and M. Div. Oriole’s roles changed as needed from a one-room school ‘marm’ to minister, full-time Mom, activity director, teacher-librarian/computer-lab facilitator, and just before retirement, she enjoyed a solo ministry on a three-point pastoral charge in the Interlake. Once retired, Oriole faced the daunting challenge of keeping a promise to her father to find out more about his grandmother. Her discoveries were too intriguing to hoard on her shelve and came forth at last as For Elise: Unveiling the Forgotten Woman on the Criddle Homestead.
Creative non-fiction like no other, For Elise, now with an index, is in its 4rd printing and has sold almost 3300 copies since its launch August, 2012. Winner of the 2012, Margaret Williams Award from the Manitoba Historical Society, it was also one of three titles shortlisted for the Whistler Independent Book Award in 2016.
2022, First Prize, “A Greenhorn Teacher“, in Canadian Stories. See my blog.
Oriole has also published, Pastoral Care for Children
Measured Words, edited by Barbara J. Becker, Oriole has short memoirs, Pink Popcorn, Bittersweet Excellence, Christmas Dinner, and Mother’s Bees: Our Family Affair. She has more short stories of her own life and is encouraging others to tell their own stories for their grandchildren. We were young once and life was good: Our Mother’s Day Gift, Time Travel, and Summer Lessons.
April 2015, Leslie Corbay on behalf of Manitoba Library Services asked Oriole to donate For Elise for blind patrons to obtain it through their local library (NNELS — National Network for Equitable Library Service). More information about the service is available on its webpage https://nnels.ca/
It is available through your library as a a PDF, ePub, and audio MP3.
Marla Olinyk read For Elise for the library. Thankful for her work Oriole, has used the same files to produce an MP3 audio book available for everyone @ $20.00. Also an audio CD book to play on older CD players with 16 discs for $60.00. See contact for information.