Report of the General Meeting of the Doukhobor Community held in Nadezhda Village, February 15, 1906

Manitoba Morning Free Press

During the first decades of the twentieth century, the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood was governed by general meetings that were held early each year to receive the annual report and financial statement prepared by the representative committee and to vote on various matters of policy and practice brought before them. These gatherings were typically attended by two delegates from each village, the administrators in charge of community affairs and the leader Peter “Lordly” Verigin. The following is a rare extant report of the general meeting of the Doukhobor Community held at Nadezhda village, Saskatchewan, on February 16, 1906, as published in the Manitoba Morning Free Press, Wednesday, April 25, 1906. The minutes provide extraordinary insight into the administrative matters of the day, including the role of women in the Community and their participation in general meetings, immigration assistance to the Yakutsk exiles, the leader’s interpretation of a Doukhobor psalm, the treatment of animals, need for a hospital, and capital expenditures. In addition, the general account leaves no doubt of the extent of the material achievements of the Community under Verigin’s leadership at this time.

The number of people attending from the 44 villages (two men delegates and one woman from each village) was 132.  Besides these there were present those in charge of various Doukhobor affairs: Nicholas Zibaroff, V. A. Potapoff, Ivan Podovinnikoff, Paul Planidin, Fedor Soukhocheff, Evan Verigin, Evan Konkin, English translator Simeon Reibin, and, as representative of the Doukhobor Social-Religious society, Peter Veigin. Total present, 141. The meeting started at 10 a.m.

  1. The meeting was opened by the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father,” by Anastasia V. Popova, delegate from Otradnoe village.
  2. Peter Vasiilivitch Verigin remarked that the meeting place (one of the village houses) was very small for so large a number of people as 141, and that the Doukhobors in the three years they lived in community should have been able to erect a larger building for meetings. All present agreed to this.
  3. Peter Verigin also expressed himself that the attendance of women at these meetings was very remarkable for our time; as all cultured people now commenced to feel that women must be equal partners with men in all their life, and probably the Doukhobors were the first to invite women to attend such a meeting, which reflected honor to the men. Peter Verigin then spoke in turn to the women, saying that women should with gratitude accept such invitation, and in future with full feeling of equal power, start on the same footing as men in our common life. The women were very satisfied and thankful.
  4. The community accounts for 1905 were then rendered, being read by Simeon Reibin. Explanations were made by those in charge of the buying of goods and implements: Nicholas Zibaroff and V.A. Potapoff, and questions having been asked by some delegates, the accounts were passed by the meeting as correct and very satisfactory.
  5. Evan E. Konkin gave an account of his expenditure while assisting the immigration of the Yakoutsk brethren. The rumour that Konkin had been spending money without keeping account during this journey was found incorrect, as he gave very particular account of income and expenditure regarding every man separately. His personal expenditure was not specially large. His account is included in the generally account for 1905.
  6. The general account having been accepted as satisfactory by the meeting, it was decided to proceed with the election of managers of community affairs for 1906. The meeting rendered its thanks to those in charge for the past year, and asked them to continue for another year, they being fully acquainted with all affairs. The following were elected for 1906.
    For purchasing goods and implements: Nicholas Zibaroff and V.A. Potapoff, re-elected and Vasil Sherstobitoff and Dimitry Gritchin in addition.
    To superintend village horses, and, if necessary to buy more: Paul Planidin and Fedor Sookhocheff, re-elected, and Simeon Negraeff and Peter Chernoff in addition. Simeon Reibin was re-elected as English correspondent and Evan Konkin was appointed assistant Russian correspondent.
  7. It was suggested to make an inventory of all property belonging to the community beyond the village outfits, viz., engines, separators, sawmills, etc., and this was then made and attached to the general accounts.
  8. Altogether, in three years’ time of community life the purchases amounted to six hundred thousand ($600,000) dollars (for 1905 about $240,000; 1904, $160,000; 1903, $200,000), and as all goods have been bought as far as possible at first hand from wholesale houses, there has been a saving of at least one hundred and fifty thousand ($150,000) dollars, for instance: Prices – enamelled saucepans costing in local towns $1 each, were bought from factory warehouses for 60c; binders, $165 for $115; cloth, 90c per yard, for 60c; Prints, 12c for 8c; Axes (Best) $1.25 for 85c; Denims, 25c for 18c; Black Drill 20c for 13c; Horses which cost were $150.00 each were bought in a large bunch of 300 heads in 1903 for $75.00 each. Deducting freight of goods and expenses of buyers there remains a net profit of 25 percent.
    At 6 p.m. the meeting was declared closed. At 1 p.m., there was an interval of 1, 1-2 hours for dinner and during the day the meeting adjourned twice to change the air of the house, singing hymns meanwhile.
  9. February 16th. All delegates met at 9 a.m., the meeting was opened with prayer of psalm, “Being born young youth from holy Clouds” . . .  Peter V. Verigin explained the meaning of this psalm for our life: “We the Doukhobors as young children accepted the Covenant from the holy Clouds, by which we should understand from holy, enlightened men who renewed the life of humanity from the time of Christ up to our own days. We must look back on the past with feelings of thankfulness as on the commencement of our life and in future more and more to strengthen and attain, passing from the age of youth to more consciously wide existence.” Referring to olden times, before Christ, Peter Verigin refused to examine or estimate the holiness of people in the sense of real truth and enlightenment, he took as an example from the Bible the life of Samson. Notwithstanding that Samson was very strong physically, once tearing the mouth of a lion, he was not ashamed to kill 30 men, whose clothing he brought as a payment to the parents of the girl he intended to marry. In conclusion Peter Verigin said that if they want examples there are sufficient holy enlightened men of newest time starting from Christ, and especially it is necessary for each man to be controlled in his life by his own conscience.
  10. The whole meeting expressed a desire that for future understanding, the meaning of community life should be more clearly defined as: – 1. Spiritual fellowship and meakness between men in which people are understanding great gentleness and (2) Material profit.
  11. The question was raised, How should we treat animals? It was decided by the whole meeting that as we are not killing animals for food we should treat them as well as possible; as for instance: especially cows, should have nice light, dry quarters, work horses should not draw too heavy loads and in winter should not be taken out of the stables for heavy work if it be colder than 20 degrees Reaumur (-13 Fah’t) and generally work should not be done with horses during very severe frosts.
  12. Sieves have been fitted all Community Flour Mills; and the meeting unanimously decided that notwithstanding the heavy crop of 1905 the sieves should be arranged to take out not more bran than 1 in 10, so not to waste the wheat uselessly. All wheat for grinding must be perfectly clean and dry.
  13. The question of building large roller flour mills was brought up. The whole meeting agreed that it was necessary to build such mills, as at present each village had, from the crop of 1905 far more wheat than was needed for one year and it would be most profitable to grind surplus wheat into flour and sell it in that form. There will be a large profit in such operation as it is possible to sell flour for more than wheat. For such purpose it will be necessary in time to build on railway lines warehouses for flour. The meeting decided to build a flour mill near the railway at Verigin Station. It will be necessary to build with flour mill an oatmeal mill as well. The whole meeting agreed that this would be very desirable, as oatmeal will be very valuable as a food, especially with milk for children.
  14. It was decided to build a warehouse for flour at Yorkton during the coming summer.
  15. Peter V. Verigin brought forward the question as to whether it would be desirable to build a hospital, as he had noticed very many Doukhobors were going to the doctors in the local towns. Our own hospital would be more useful and satisfactory in every way. At this time a letter was read from Russia from Ivan and Olga Vasileva who offered their services to the Community, one as a teacher and the other as a nurse. By the desire of the majority the question as to a hospital was left undecided, the meeting agreeing that the delegates should speak of the matter in their villages and decide definitely later.
  16. It was unanimously decided to buy about 100 teams of horses, which will be necessary for executing the railway contract. Delegate Michael Androsoff from Village Novoe remarked that it would be wise to buy young horses, 3 to 4 years old, and put same in the villages, while heavy, strong horses are sent from the villages to the railway. The latter will bear heavy work better and the young <indecipherable>. The whole meeting was in agreement with this.
  17. It was decided that for the same railway contract must be bought as soon as possible oats, and also all tools such as scrapers, wheelbarrows, shovels, etc.
  18. In conclusion the men of the meeting referred to the women delegates, asking them to tell all the women in the villages to be imbued with the sentiment of high duty as mothers of manhood; to commence in future to ennoble man; as by nature itself women are much softer in character than men. They, men in daily life are moving amid ruder surroundings, doing hard work, hauling timber, and suffering from winter colds, and there is no wonder that the character is much ruder than that of women. It is very desirable that when men will return from their outdoor work, women should give them solace and good comfort in their homes.

A psalm was then sung “Protect us Lord and have mercy upon us,” and with sincere wishes for every success from the Lord in their future life and with greetings from all to all brothers and sisters in every village, the meeting was declared ended at 7 p.m.

Glory to God.

An account of Income and Expenditures of The Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood in Canada, for 1905:

Income from Villages


Part 1.


Village –


1 –   Otradnoe                                                                                                   


2 –   Smirenie                                                                                                   


3 –   Nadeshda                                                                                                 


4 –   Prakuratovo                                                                                             


5 –   Spaskoe                                                                                                   


6 –   Lubovnoe                                                                                                 


7 –   Efremovo and Trushdenie                                                                         


8 –   Voskresenie                                                                                             


9 –   Trudolubivoe                                                                                            


10 – Tambovskoe                                                                                            


11 – Vossianie                                                                                                  


12 – Petrovo                                                                                                    


13 – Vernoe                                                                                                     


14 – Blagodarnoe                                                                                             


15 – Terpenie                                                                                                   


16 – Rodionovo                                                                                               


17 – Sovetnoe                                                                                                  


18 – Besednoe                                                                                                 


19 – Novoe                                                                                                      


20 – Blagoveshenie                                                                                           


21 – Slavnoe                                                                                                    


22 – Kapoostino                                                                                              


23 – Osvobojdenie                                                                                           


24 – Lebedeva                                                                                                 


25 – Lubomirnoe                                                                                              


26 – Klebodarnoe                                                                                            


27 – Pakrovskoe                                                                                              


28 – Vosnosenie                                                                                               


29 – Vera                                                                                                         


30 – Simeonova                                                                                               


31 – Tichomirnoe                                                                                             


32 – Kamenka                                                                                                 


33 – Michaelovo                                                                                              


34 – Troetskoe                                                                                                 


35 – Oospenie                                                                                                  


36 – Bogom-Dannoe                                                                                        


37 – Pavlovo                                                                                                    


38 – Blagosklonnoe                                                                                          


39 – Kolmikovo                                                                                               


40 – Ooteshenie                                                                                               


41 – Razbegaylovo                                                                                           


42 – Moesaevo                                                                                                


43 – Kirilovo                                                                                                    


44 – Goreloe                                                                                                    




Income Common


Part No 2 –


1 –   Loan from Bank B.N.A. Yorkton                                                           


2 –   To cash received from Prince Albert brothers towards


         payment for land near village Vernoe                                                         $5,000.00


3 –   To sale of 13,771 lbs of 1904 senega root at 55 cts. per lb                        


4 –   To sale of 14,060 lbs of 1905 senega root at 50 cts. per lb                       


5 –   Balance in hand from last acct.                                                                  


6 –   To cash from threshing grain from V. Salikin                                                 


7 –   To cash from threshing grain from A.F. Reibin                                              


8 –   To cash from villages (1904 debts)                                                               


9 –   To cash for sleigh, sand, etc. sold in Yorkton by Evan Podovinnikoff            


10 – To cash from V.A. Potapoff, being net profit from store sales by him            


11 – To cash for gristing from Blagoveshenie village                                              


12 – To cash from Alexaevka village for needle work                                             


13 – To cash from Yakutsk brothers:


                     M. Arishenkoff, Vosnesenie                                                              


                     M. Novokshonoff, Blagoveshenie                                                      


                     P. Kinakin, Klebodarnoe                                                                 


                     T. Markin, Oospenie                                                                          


                     N. N. Sookhocheff, Razbegaylovo                                                    


                     F. Arishenkoff, Kamenka                                                                 






Part 1, Land –


1 –  By entry fees for land, being balance due on 1,372 homesteads


      at $5.00 (except some Devil’s Lake townships)                                           


2 –  By third payment on land purchased near village Vernoe                           


3 –  By deposit on one section of land near Slavnoe                                           


4 –  By deposit on 160 acres of H.B. Co land near village Pokrovka                     


5 –  By deposit on 160 acres of land near Vossianie village                                   


6 –  By purchase of land with building, sand pit and machine for


      making cement blocks at Yorkton                                                               


7 –  By balance on house in Yorkton                                                                    


8 –  By purchase on land at Swan River, Man.                                                      


9 –  By deposit on land in Canora                                                                           




Part 2, Horses and Oxen –


1 –  By interest on purchase price of horses bought in 1903                                  


2 –  By purchase of one horse for village Slavnoe                                                  


3 –  By purchase of horse by Simeon Kabatoff, village Spaskoe                            


4 –  By purchase of oxen for village Razbegaylovo                                                


5 –  By expense of Paul Planidin and Fedor Sookocheff when


      buying horses                                                                                                 




Part 3, Implements and Machinery –


1 –   By purchase of one 25 h.p. traction engine with separator


       from Gaar, Scott & Co.                                                                             


2 –   By purchase of one 25 h.p. engine (traction) with separator


       from American Abell Co.                                                                           


3 –   By purchase of one separator from American Abell Co.                                


4 –   By purchase of 3, 25 h.p. plowing engines, Reeves & Co.,


       at $2,410 each                                                                                          


5 –   By purchase of one 25 h.p. engine (plowing) with separator,


       from Reeves & Co.                                                                                   


6 –   By purchase of one 20 h.p. plowing Reeves engine with


       separator for Devil’s Lake Colony                                                             


7 –   By purchase of one 25 h.p. plowing Reeves engine with


       Separator for Devil’s Lake Colony                                                             


8 –   By purchase of 38 binders at $115 each                                                    


9 –   By purchase of 52 mowers at $41 each                                                     


10 – By purchase 30,000 lbs of Manilla twine at $12.30 per 100 lbs                 


11 – By purchase 50 sickles at $3.75 each                                                           


12 – Balance for 1904 on binders and mowers                                                  


13 – Balance for 1904 on drills, wagons, disc harrows, etc.                               


14 – Balance for 1904 for engines                                                                     


15 – By purchase 25 wagons at $51.50 each                                                    


16 – By purchase 25 drills at $74.50 each                                                         


17 – By purchase 20 disc harrows at $35.25                                                       


18 – By purchase 60 plows at $18.00 each                                                       


19 – By purchase 30 wagons at $52.50 each                                                    


20 – By purchase 40 sleighs, 20 at $22.00 and 20 at $25.00                                


21 – By purchase 7 gang plows, 4 shares at $133.00 each                                   


22 – By purchase one hay press                                                                           


23 – By difference to Gaar Scott for exchanging 18 h.p. portable


       engine for new 20 h.p. traction, freight on same                                             


24 – By purchase of one wind stacker for separator                                             


25 – By purchase of ten bellows for blacksmithing                                                


26 – By purchase of 4 gang plows (2 shares) at $37.00 each                                


27 – By purchase of shares and the repairs from Massey Harris Co.                     


28 – By purchase of shares and repairs from Fairchild Co.                                   


29 – By purchase of one buggy                                                                            


30 – By purchase of one old sleigh and buggy for E. Podovinnikoff                         


31 – By purchase of one spring wagon                                                                 


32 – By purchase of one dray for hauling goods from railway to store                   


33 – By purchase of one wagon in Yorkton                                                            


34 – By purchase of 47 pumps                                                                            


35 – By purchase of one fanning mill                                                                      


36 – By expense of setting up machinery and certificates for engines                       




Part 4, Dry goods, etc.


1 –   By payment for dry goods, including last year debts (exclusive


       of 1905 fall purchases)                                                                             


2 –   By purchase of wheat (spring 1905) for some villages                                


3 –   By garden seed                                                                                            


4 –   By purchase of stove, tops and chimney covers                                          


5 –   By purchase of harness and shoe leather                                                    


6 –   By purchase of hardware, crockery and tools, including last


       year debts (except 1905 fall purchases)                                                    


7 –   By purchase of sugar, tea, salt and other groceries                                     


8 –   <indecipherable> grease and oil for implements                                          


9 –   By purchase of glass for windows                                                              


10 – By purchase of soap                                                                                 


11 – By purchase of footwear for winter                                                           


12 – By purchases of wool and expenses of shepherd                                          


13 – By purchase of butter and tubs for same                                                    


14 – By purchase of flour in spring 1905                                                              


15 – By purchase of cement and cement block sundries in Yorkton                      


16 – By minor purchase in Yorkton and Swan River by all villages                     




Part 5. Sundries –


1 –   By travelling expense of Yakutsk brothers                                                  


2 –   By purchase of three railway tickets from Winnipeg to


       Rosthern at $3.00 and one to Yorkton at $2.80 by Simeon


       Reibin, for Yakutsk brethren                                                                           


3 –   By payment Mr. Selchuk for transportation to California                                


4 –   By payment Mr. Vladimir Titilman for transportation                                       


5 –   By repairs for engines, separators and all implements                                  


6 –   By permits for wood and brickyard freight                                                 


7 –   By stationary and postage for general purposes                                               


8 –   By payment to H.P. Archer for his needs                                                        


9 –   By travelling expense of community officials                                                  


10 – By transportation for workmen not repaid                                                    


11 – By sundry purchase for flour mills and bridge on the North Colony             


12 – By freight on goods purchased in Winnipeg, etc.                                        


13 – By payment of loan to B.B.N.A. Yorkton, principal                                 


14 – By 4 per cent, interest on same                                                                 


15 – By school taxes at Devil’s Lake                                                                   


16 – By school taxes at Fort Pelly                                                                        


17 – By road taxes North Colony                                                                     


18 – By road taxes at South Colony                                                                  


19 – By purchase lumber, etc for building at Verigin Station                                  


20 – By expense of building in Yorkton                                                                


21 – By expenses for bags and commissions on selling seenga root


       to W. Flemming, Brandon                                                                             


22 – By exchanging on cheques and remittance                                                      


23 – By purchase of drugs in Winnipeg                                                                  


24 – By purchase of one set of stones for flour mill, North Colony                          


25 – By expenses of carpenters in Yorkton by Evan Podovinnikoff                       


26 – The expense of Evan Podovinnikoff on himself and visitors                            


27 – By school fees in Yorkton for three boys                                                        


28 – By telegrams                                                                                                  


29 – By surgical and other expenses for people with sore eyes                              






Income, Part 1                                                                                              


Income, Part 2                                                                                                


Total Income                                                                                                


Expenditure, Part 1                                                                                         


Expenditure, Part 2                                                                                           


Expenditure, Part 3                                                                                         


Expenditure, Part 4                                                                                         


Expenditure, Part 5                                                          






Grand total Expenditure                                                                                


Grand total Income                                                                                       


Adverse Balance                                                                                            


The Summary of Debts –


1 –   Hardware                                                                                                 


2 –   Glass                                                                                                           


3 –  Groceries                                                                                                   


4 –   Soap                                                                                                         


5 –   Coal oil, axle grease, etc.                                                                           


6 –   Dry goods (spring 1905)                                                                           


7 –   Leather                                                                                                     


8 –   Implements                                                                                             


9 –   Engines                                                                                                   


10 – Iron goods                                                                                                


11 – Pumps                                                                                                         


12 – Unpaid loan to B.B.N.A.                                                                          


13 – To government for homesteads                                                                 




We are paying 5 per cent per annum on all overdue accounts.


Inventory of property under direct control of Community Committee (exclusive of village outfits)


1903 – Engines


                      3 portable, two 18 h.p., one 16 h.p. of Gaar Scott Co.                


                      2 tractions, 20 h.p. one of them much damaged G.S. Co.            


                      1 traction 22 h.p. Gaar Scott & Co.                                            


1904 – Engines


                     One 25 h.p. with very bad damage, of Reeves Co.                       


1905 – Engines


                      5 traction engines, 25 h.p., Reeves Co.                                     


                      1 traction engine, 20 h.p., Reeves Co.                                         


                      1 traction engine, 28 h.p., American Abell Co.                            


                      1 traction engine, 26 h.p., Gaar Scott Co.                                   


Six separators, bought 1903                                                                             


Five separators, bought 1905                                                                            


Four saw mills                                                                                                  


One planning mill                                                                                                 


One hay press                                                                                                     


One brick machine                                                                                               


The buildings at saw mills                                                                                  


The buildings at Verigin Station                                                                         


Six grist mills                                                                                                     


The land, not including Prince Albert colony interest                                         


Outfit in Yorkton, 27 acres of land, one machine for making cement


Blocks, house for keeping cement, house for sick people. For all this


has been paid cash                                                                                            




On the remained owing                                                                                   


Interest 5 per cent, per annum                                                                           






Aforementioned inventory nearly covers all owing


An account of income and expenditure of the Evan E. Konkin, while assisting in the immigration of Yakutsk brethren:




To cash received from Simeon Reibin in Yorkton                                                 


To cash received from Simeon Reibin through bank at Moscow                            


To cash received from Peter V. Verigin through the Moscow bank


care of Mr. Doonaeff                                                                                      






Part 1 –


By purchase of ticket from Yorkton to London, England                                         


By ticket from London to Christchurch and return                                                     


By ticket from London to Moscow                                                                        


By ticket from Moscow to Yasnoe Polano and return                                               


By ticket from Moscow to St. Petersburg and return, with travelling




By ticket from Moscow to Irkutsk, Siberia, by railway                                           


By travelling expenses from Irkutsk till met brethren, and return


(on wagon)                                                                                                              


By ticket from Irkutsk to Moscow, by railway                                                        


By ticket and travelling expenses from Moscow to St. Petersburg


and return                                                                                                                


By tickets for myself and Vasily Verigin from Moscow to Libaw                             


By two tickets again with V.V. from Libaw to Mitaw, including


travelling expenses                                                                                                   


By two tickets with V.V. and travelling expenses from London to


Christchurch and return                                                                                          




Part 2 –


By purchase of 131 tickets at $11.00 each from Libaw to London on


the steamship                                                                                                    


By purchase of 143 tickets at $24.50 from London, Liverpool to


Quebec, Canada                                                                                              


By tickets for 16 children at $2.50 each                                                                  $40.00


By two tickets for A. Machortoff to Yorkton at $17.00                                         


By two tickets for L. Mackay to Yorkton                                                               


By deposit in Quebec for 31 sick people for their expenses                                  


By purchase of 123 tickets at $16.00 from Quebec to Winnipeg                        


By 31 tickets at $5.00 from Winnipeg to Rosthern                                                


By 78 tickets at $2.50 and $2.30 from Winnipeg to Verigin                                  


By nine tickets from Winnipeg to Canora and Buchanan, Sask                                




Part 3, by part payments to Yakutsk brethren on the way –




1 –   A. Reibin                                                                                                       


2 –   E. Zbitneff                                                                                                     


3 –   A. Moojelsky                                                                                                 


4 –   A. Moojelsky and E. Zbitneff (for burying two children)                                 


5 –   P. Svetlisheff                                                                                                  


6 –   F. Soukhocheff                                                                                                


7 –   Evan Oosacheff                                                                                              


8 –   A.S. Popoff                                                                                                     


9 –   F. Strukoff                                                                                                       


10 – L. Mackay                                                                                                    


11 – E. Verigin


12 – V. Shiloff


13 – E. Jmaeff                                                                                                         


14 – N. Shkuratoff                                                                                                  


15 – S. Oosacheff                                                                                                   


16 – N. Kazakoff                                                                                                    


17 – N. Sherbkoff                                                                                                   


18 – Samsonoff for wife                                                                                         


19 – P. Verigin


20 – E. Choudakoff                                                                                                 


21 – G. Posnikoff                                                                                                    


22 – E. Popoff                                                                                                       


23 – M. Popoff                                                                                                     


24 – N. Rilkoff


25 – F. Diachkoff                                                                                                    


26 – A. Verishagin                                                                                                   


27 – For renting house for party in Libaw                                                               




Part 4 –


By payment to V. Tchertkoff for his travelling expenses in connection


with the Yakutsk brothers’ transportation                                                               


By payment to Tchertkoff in account of Doukhobor transportation                        


By payment of V. Verigin debts in Siberia                                                              


<indecipherable> in Moscow                                                                               


By remittance to mother in Russia                                                                             


By telegrams on the way                                                                                          


By payments for hotels in Montreal, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk,


Libaw and Mitaw                                                                                                  


By expense on E. Konkin himself personally for four months                                   


By expense on Vasil Verigin                                                                                   


By purchase of two suits of cloth for Konkin and Vasil Verigin                                


By payment for exchange of Canadian money for Russian                                     


By balance handed to Simeon Reibin on arrival                                                  






Income, total                                                                                                  


Expenditure, Part 1                                                                                              


Expenditure, Part 2                                                                                           


Expenditure, Part 3                                                                                              


Expenditure, Part 4                                                                                           


Total expenditure                                                                                            



The Community was formally a democracy in which the general meeting was the supreme governance authority. However, in practice, while Peter “Lordly” Verigin’s formal powers were small, his real influence was immense. This was due, not only to his position as hereditary leader, but to his powerful personality, superior education and intellectual prowess. Resolutions at the annual general meetings never went contrary to his advice, and during the twelve months that elapsed between meetings, he and his advisors acted as an executive with sweeping powers to make almost any decision on behalf of the Community.

The general account reveals the dual financial structure within the Community, consisting of the central office and treasury and the villages. All village income, sales and other general transactions were dispatched through the central office. At the same time, assets were held by the Community as a whole as well as by the villages. The general account, however, only identifies property under the direct control of the Community and not that held by the villages, giving an incomplete idea of the overall value of Community property.

In 1905, the income of the Community as a business concern amounted to $189,782.90 and its expenditures amounted to $243,963.21, not counting a bank loan of $50,500.00 which Peter “Lordly” Verigin was able to secure at the very advantageous rate of 4 per cent, covered by Community assets of $61,925.00. This balance reflects the daring deficit financing which Verigin was undertaking, whereby, a planned excess of expenditure over income created a shortfall of Community revenue which was met by borrowing. The decision to create a deficit was made to build up the infrastructure of the Community as a self-contained entity through great investments in machinery and industrial plants.

The general account gives an incomplete idea of the overall productiveness of the Community, which, numbering over eight thousand people, was largely self-supporting. Many tens of thousands of tonnes of wheat were grown and ground into flour, vegetables grown for food, flax and wool produced, spun and woven for clothing, dairy products produced from the communal herd of cattle, and many buildings, equipment and household goods manufactured, all for internal use by the Community. None of this directly involved income or expenditure, assets or liabilities, and therefore, was not included in the general account.

Finally, in reviewing the general account it must be recalled that only six years prior, the Doukhobors had arrived in Canada with no capital but strong hearts and willing hands, none having even the faintest knowledge of the English language, Canadian law, or modern methods of business and agriculture. The rapid material achievements of the Community over such a brief period, owing in no small part to the leadership of Peter “Lordly” Verigin is nothing short of a sociological and economic wonder.

For more information on the general meetings and accounts of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, see the 1904 Report1910 Report and the 1912 Report of the General Meeting of the Doukhobor Community.