Academic journal article Alberta History

The Remarkable Chester Ronning, Proud Son of China

Academic journal article Alberta History

The Remarkable Chester Ronning, Proud Son of China

Article excerpt

The Remarkable Chester Ronning, Proud Son of China

by Brian Evans. Edmonton: University of Alberta

Press, 336 pp., illus., soft cover, $34.95.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Chester Ronning was indeed remarkable. Born in China of missionary parents, he came to Alberta with them in 1899, settling in the Norwegian community of Bardo. His father, for whom no challenge was too great, took his family over the old Edson trail to establish the Norwegian community of Valhalla, in the Peace River district.

After getting a teacher's certificate, he returned to China in 1921 to become the principal of the mission school in Fracheng, his birthplace. The next few years were chaotic ones that saw missionaries assaulted, wounded, and even killed but Ronning, known for his pro-revolutionary views, and was left alone. Finally, however, in 1927 he was forced to join the exodus of foreigners who fled China.

On his return to Alberta, Ronning became principal of Camrose Lutheran College where he remained for the next fifteen years. …

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