Historic Sites of Manitoba: Arnes South School No. 1054 (RM of Gimli)
The Arnes South School was established in January 1896, in the southeast corner of 32-20-4 east of the Principal Meridian, in the Rural Municipality of Gimli, on one acre of land purchased for $1 from local farmer Jonatan Jonson. A second acre was added to the site in May 1919.
The first school was a log structure, used until 1913 when a one-room frame building replaced it. The log school was sold to Rev. Johann Solmundson, dissembled, and re-assembled one mile north of this site, used first as a residence and later as a storage building. The frame school operated until 1951 when it was replaced by a cinder block building, measuring 30 feet by 44 feet, built at a cost of $12,000. The frame school building was moved 1¾ miles south, on the west side of Highway 9 and used as a residence for a few years until it burned down.
With student enrollment declining, the school closed in April 1967 and was consolidated with Evergreen School Division No. 22. The building and two acres of land were sold at auction to a granddaughter of Jonatan Jonson.
The teachers of Arnes South School were Stefan A. Bjarnason (1906), I. J. Petursson (1908), H. Kristjanson (1908, 1911), Rose Magnuisson (1910), Sigrun I. Helgason (1910, 1911, 1916-1918), Jennie Bardarson (1912), Anna H. Eirikson (1918-1919), Lilja V. Sveinson (1920), Capitola Sigvaldason (1921-1923), Gudrun K. Marleinson (1923-1924), Vigdes Magnusson (1925-1926), Ellen Gudrun Frederickson (1929-1934), Thora Oliver (1934-1936), Ingunn “Kristin” Martin (1936-1938), Helga Emily Nordal (1938-1941), Swanlaug Sevanbergson (1941-1942), Sylvia L. Sigurdson (1942-1943), Hazel Christine Dunning (1943-1944), A. J. Nickolychuk (1944-1945), Norma Johnson (1945-1946), Vida Gordon McCutcheon (1946-1948), Jonina Gudbjorg Bjarnason (1948-1949), Thuridur Olafson (1950-1951), Jennie Marion Hayka (1951-1952), Barbara M. Shadd (1952-1953), Margaret Elizabeth Egesz (1953-1954), Halldora M. Sopher (1954-1955), Audrey Iris Adele Wipper (1955-1956), Lillian Peterson (1956-1959), Marilyn Einette Sigurdson (1959-1961), Mabel Lillian Doll (1961-1965), Shirley Vigdes Vigfusson (1965-1966), Lesia June Minarik (1966), and Dolores M. Bjornson (1967).
A History of Education in the Evergreen School Division by John C. Gottfried, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1965.
One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.
Rural Municipality of Gimli: Historical Highlights, 1887-1987 by Rural Municipality of Gimli Centennial Homecoming Committee. Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.G55 Rur.
Manitoba School Records Collection (GR6124), Arnes South School District No. 1054 Daily Registers, Archives of Manitoba.
We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 29 September 2019
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