Arthur Kroeger is a direct descendant of the Krooger family. In the new country of Canada, Arthur was able to revive the tradition, collecting and restoring watches, storing and restoring family histories. Today, the Kroeger Clock Heritage Foundation is working on the restoration of watches, and the collection features watches made at the clock factory located in the Mennonite Colony Rosenthal, now Upper Hortica.
Arthur grew up in Rosenthal's gain. He often saw his father and uncle while working at a factory near his home. One day, Arthur asked Uncle Johann, "Why are you creating watches?" Uncle replied, "This is for our children."
In 1949, Arthur began a new life in Canada. Despite parting with his family, Arthur's interest in watches has never died. In his 60s, his life was filled with an ambition to learn more about the historic Mennonite clocks. Arthur met with experts and owners of watches, collected and restored watches of the Kroeger plant. In 1990, a watch came into Arthur's hands. When he checked the internal mechanism, he found himself in the mint with his father's initials, who was probably about 16 when he was working on that clock.
The photo shows a factory building and a central boys' school located in the center of the village. It housed a single public watch and was also manufactured at the Kroeger plant.
These beautiful yet simple watches have survived many decades of use and global migration thanks to their portability and robust design, which are stored in our homes, private collections and museums today. Each of them recounts their story and tells about the difficult and best moments of life for whole families.