by Guilermo Wrege
My father, Heinrich ALBERT Herrmann Wrege, came to South America in 1869 when he was 2 years old. I do not know where he landed but know he arrived in Brazil when he was around 4 or 5 years old, probably entering from Argentina.
He was a farmer, a person of good temperamant, methodical and careful in what he did and a wonderful father, rearing eleven children with the sweat of his brow. He knew no lazyness and I recall when I was a child around 1914/16, at the beginning of World War 1, I followed him as he plowed.
He was an exemplary person and I think his children and grandchildren inherited his good behavior. Father was a leader, e.g. always chairman at meetings, and advisor of the church and for a long time President of the School Society before the schools were government supported. He was always a member of the government party, then the ≥Zeca Nets.≤ I do not know how much schooling he had but his penmanship and math were good. With money loans he could calculate interest rapidly. The maximum then (1912) allowed was 5%.
I am proud to call my father a hero. My mother was quite big hearted and a home maker and housekeeper beyond description. Father was well respected and loved by everyone, especially children. He was a singer and an excellent whistler. His musical talent passed on to several of his children, notably Bernard, Emilo and Mario.
Daddy had no vices. He neither drank, smoked nor gambled on horses or cards. His chief amusement was as an enthusiastic member of a Singing Society. It met about 10 km away twice a month for rehearsals which he never missed. He traveled to it on horseback, leaving at 6:00 in the evening and returning around 2:00 am. He sang tenor and later shifted to bass and served as assistant conductor.
He also belonged to the William Tell Shooting Club at Pedro Bachini, 12 km away, which met monthly on a Saturday afternoon. Daddy shot a 22 Winchester in competition with 40 to 50 shooters for the best score with 5 shots. The winner was named First Ritter, ≥the gentleman.≤ The next 4 finishers were ranked as Ritters. In the evening following the shoot there was a grand ball in honor of the Ritters. The first dance, a waltz, was danced by Ritter number 1, ≥the gentleman.≤ Father won this honor twice. The second dance, a mazurka, was danced by the other 4 Ritters. Then the floor was open to all and the dance continued until dawn. Early Sunday everyone started for home, some by horseback, both boys and girls, and some in 4 wheel wagons drawn by two horses. I remember this quite well. This was around 1918/22 when I was 12/14 years old. I was not permitted to drive our wagon because it was too crowded with my parents, my three sisters and me.
This is about enough for today. Best wishes to you and your family. May God always look after you.
(June 24, 1981)