Historic Sites of Manitoba: Governor Semple School (150 Hartford Avenue, Winnipeg)
The second Governor Semple School is located on Hartford Avenue, east of Main Street, the first school having existed on Jefferson Avenue some miles away. The West Kildonan School District held an essay contest to name the new school, which was won by Centennial School pupil Rosemarie Newman, selecting “Governor Semple” in commemoration of colonial official Robert Semple, who was killed at the Battle of Seven Oaks in 1816.
A cornerstone for the new school was laid on 8 August 1950 by West Kildonan School Board Chairman W. T. Jenkinson. The building was designed by architect Edgar Prain and the construction contract awarded to Peter Leitch. The single-story school had eight classrooms, cost $120,000, and was erected to accommodate around 300 students, thus helping alleviate crowding at Victory School and Centennial School. Completed in December 1950, it officially opened on 21 March 1951. Dignitaries at the official opening ceremony were Mayor C. J. H. Lyon, Deputy Minister of Education R. O. MacFarlane, MLA T. P. Hillhouse, West Kildonan School Board Chairman W. T. Jenkinson, and district school inspector Eleanor Boyce.
In 2004, the school received a $750,000 renovation by Antex Western Floors and King Construction, affecting the schools heating system, washrooms, gymnasium, library, computer laboratory, resource and guidance offices, classroom furnishings, along with internal and external aesthetics. The re-dedication ceremonies on 15 January 2004 included Gord Macintosh, Peter Bjornson, and Brian O’Leary.
Among the teachers who worked at Governor Semple School through the years was Lila Muriel Burge Kennedy.
Photos & Coordinates
“W. Jenkinson to place stone for new school,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 August 1950, page 25.
““Governor Semple” name for school wins award,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October 1950, page 3.
“West Kildonan opens Victory School wing,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 November 1950, page 10.
[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1951, page 16.
“Teachers named for W. Kildonan,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 September 1952, page 2.
“Semple School tea arranged Wednesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 1960, page 14.
“Seven Oaks teacher assignments announced,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 September 1960, page 5.
A Historical Study of Public Education in West Kildonan to 1959 by Raymond Ronald Bailey, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, 1966.
“Non-graded school,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 March 1969, page 25.
“School safety program,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1977, page 13.
“School’s water okay,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly, 21 January 1992 North Section, page 3.
“City wide recognition of effort,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 2000, page E9.
“Pack rat school custodian inspiration for archives,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 December 2001, page A4.
“West Kildonan school unveils result of $750,000 renovation project,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 January 2004, page N3.
School division half-yearly attendance reports (E 0757), Archives of Manitoba.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Page revised: 25 April 2020
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