Historic Sites of Manitoba: Connor School No. 476 (Macdonald, RM of Portage la Prairie)
The Connor School District was established in August 1886 and a school building was constructed in the new village of Drumconnor in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. Named by first postmaster Elias Brown for a village in Ireland, the community was later renamed Macdonald in commemoration of first Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald. The school was variously known as Macdonald School or Drumconnor School through the years.
In 1905, the original school building was replaced by a wood frame, one-classroom structure. To accommodate additional students during the mid-1930s, and the opening of a high school in 1935, a former Methodist Church building was rented as a second classroom. A Presbyterian Church adjacent to the school, built in 1894, was purchased the following year as a high school classroom. It was used until 1946 when declining enrollment mandated its closure and lower grades from the other school building moved into it. The former school was sold to the community and renovated into a community hall. In 1954, renewed demand for high school education necessitated the construction of an addition to the north side of the school. In 1962, the facility was consolidated with Dundonald School, Longburn School, and West Oakland School, with the new entity known as Macdonald Consolidated School No. 2401. The district of Belle Plain School was added to it in 1964.
High school students were bused to Portage Collegiate as of 1964 and the school, part of the Portage la Prairie School Division, eventually closed.
Among the other teachers who worked at Connor School were Mary A. Morrison, M. A. Numsin, Belle Grant, Isabelle Mathiesau, Edmund Todd, A. M. McColgair, Isaac Harrison, E. J. Jollow, David McKenzie, Belle Glennie, W. Norman Stewart, John B. Stewart, Clara M. Leslie, Laurie Gunnesson, William Lightbody, E. Millicent Hodgson, Hugh F. Field, Elsie McIntosh, Elma Drysdale, R Rochford, Bertha E. Reid, Mary Kerr, Elsie Metcalfe, Gertrude E. Jackson, Myrtle J. Elgert, Rita Hipwell, Marguerite Rodger, Anna R. Gray, Lulla Foster, Pearl Foster, Ruth Hartford, Myrtle Thompson, Florence M. Street, Barbara M. Highfield, Opal Cheater, Mary Forsythe Curtis, Esther McArthur, Florence Glennie, Mabel Curtis, Evelyn Hose, Joyce Clark Highfield, Margaret Stephen, Dorothy Dawson, Norma Abel, Catherine Jackson, Michael Dyrda, Verla Loney, Effie Sloik, Audrey Stevens, Allan Kamberg, Flora Bell, Jennie Cosinski, Doris Corbin, Verla Bird, Wilda Beam, Ruth Oakes, Andrew Aleniuk, Betty Younger, Merril Kiliwnik, and Anne Poyser Pallister (1968-1969).
Photos & Coordinates
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
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 Schools of Portage la Prairie School Division #24 by Muriel Wright, 1996.
Manitoba Permit Teachers of World War II, compiled by Louisa Loeb, Winnipeg: Hyperion Press Ltd., 2007.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 September 2022