Lethbridge – Hutterites

Growing up in Lethbridge you quickly become acquainted with the Hutterites.  As a kid and teenager I had “closer than usual” relationship with the Hutterites because my grandfather and some of the elder Hutterites were quite close.  I would often travel to the colony on a weekend to share a meal, grab some poultry or produce, swap some win and generally hang out.  Every trip my grandfather threatened to sell me to the colony for “stud fees” (something I didn’t really understand for the longest time – but now regret as a missed money-making opportunity) or I would get into little pissing matches with the Hutterite boys who liked to pick fights with me but would always run when I approached them.

My brother’s relationship with the Hutterites was far more checkered.  He never went to the colony and enjoyed stirring them up like a stick to a hornet’s nest.  In Lethbridge (for whatever reason) it seemed like the Hutterites only frequented one of the two malls in the downtown area.  One afternoon my brother picked a fight with a Hutterite teenager and punched him out.  Before he could take off, several other Hutterites saw what had happened and started to chase him.  As my brother tells it – he began to run the 4 blocks to the “other mall” and along the way the posse of Hutterite grew from a couple a guy to a couple dozen.  Yet, mysterious, when he entered the other mall the entire lynch squad stopped and refused to enter…almost like they vampires and the mall was doused with Holy Water.  He never assaulted a Hutterite again.

My cousin though has the best Hutterite story ever!!  Just a couple years ago she was out with her two children (about 3 & 5 at the time) for a walk a couple dozen Hutterites from the US were in town picking apples to make pies, sauces, etc.  The kids were so enamoured by the sight of dozens of Hutterites scaling trees in their traditional clothing (which, is an amazing sight that I took in yearly when they came to clean out our own apple tree) that they asked if they could help.  My cousin – being the good sport – allowed it and they joined the Hutterites for one hour picking apples.

Once it hit time to go she gathered the kids and encouraged them to leave by saying, “Come on guys.  I’ll let you play on the trampoline when we get home.”  Well, a Hutterite heard this comment and not only asked my cousin if they had a trampoline but also if they could come jump on it.  Trying to be polite my cousin off-handedly said sure…sometime and proceeded to buckle the kids and leave.  Within seconds about 15 Hutterites jumped into their travel bus and started following her.

She zigzagged through the city trying to lose them but she couldn’t shake them.  They followed her home and piled out of their bus, through her house and into her backyard – creating a circus-like atmosphere for the neighbours watching attentively from their front windows.

The Hutterite, ranging in age from 15-20, jumped on her trampoline for about 2 hours and rather than leave once they started to get tired they asked if they could stay over for a picnic and use her BBQ.  She just couldn’t say no and the Hutterites took out several coolers of beverage and two large pork loins and started cutting up pork chops for cooking.

The Hutterites ended up staying for about 4 hours and then quietly left – leaving my cousin a standing invitation to visit their colony anytime they’re in Montana.

This is amazing and completely true!!  Only in Lethbridge ?

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