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Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: North Ward School (535 Third Street NW, Portage la Prairie)

Link to:
Principals | Vice-Principals | Teachers | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

This two-storey brick building on the north side of Portage la Prairie was designed by architect Charles Herbert Mounsey and constructed in 1910. Its four classrooms opened for use in January 1911 and electric lights were installed in 1917, but water and sewer service did not arrive until 1941. The school roof was badly damaged during a tornado that hit the city on 22 June 1922 but it was repaired in time for classes to resume in September.

By the late 1960s, the school was said to be “structurally and academically obsolete.” It had no gymnasium, library, or music room, and no staff room or office. Every available space was being used for classrooms, including two in the basement separated by the furnace room. There were only single washrooms on each floor, so boys and girls had to use them in shifts. Rather than commit the resources to upgrade the building, the School Board chose to close it in June 1972 and the students were sent to the newer La Verendrye School nearby. Six years later, the building was renovated as offices for the Portage la Prairie School Division.

It is the only known example of an urban ward school remaining in Manitoba.

Principals

Period

Principal

1911-1915

Margaret McCarthy Costigan

1916-1920

Frances Ormand

1920-1922

Olive Florence Francis Webster

1922-1923

Miss Paul

1923-1934

Annie Timmins Barber (1881-1972)

1934-1940

Ina Margaret Pearson Fraser (1907-1940)

1940-1941

Miss E. Galbraith

1941-1964

Kalista May “Kay” Robb (1902-1982)

1964-1972

Morris Boychuk

Teachers

School Year

Teachers

1911-1912

Mrs. Edward-Jones, Mildred Trimble Rutledge

1912-1913

Mildred Trimble Rutledge

1913-1914

?

1914-1915

?

1915-1916

?

1916-1917

?

1917-1918

?

1918-1919

?

1919-1920

Miss Kestler

1920-1921

Stella McCuaig Denyer, Ruth McMillan

1921-1922

Mona Oulton, Jessie Roe Smith

1922-1923

?

1923-1924

?

1924-1925

Kathleen Garland, Miss Horton, Grace Tucker

1925-1926

Edith Ogletree McKillop, Grace Tucker

1926-1927

Grace Tucker

1927-1928

Ruth Francis, Grace Tucker

1928-1929

Miss McKay

1929-1930

Miss Abbott, Bernice Nixon, Ina Pearson

1930-1931

Miss Abbott, Bernice Nixon, Ina Pearson

1931-1932

Miss Abbott, Bernice Nixon, Ina Pearson

1932-1933

Miss Abbott, Bernice Nixon, Ina Pearson

1933-1934

Miss Abbott, Bernice Nixon, Ina Pearson

1934-1935

Miss Hickling

1935-1936

Miss E. Galbraith, Kay Robb

1936-1937

Miss E. Galbraith, Kay Robb

1937-1938

Elsie Barton, Miss E. Galbraith, Kay Robb

1938-1939

Miss E. Galbraith, Lal Langford, Kay Robb

1939-1940

Miss E. Galbraith, Lal Langford, Kay Robb

1940-1941

Lal Langford, Kay Robb

1941-1942

Lal Langford, Helen Piloski

1942-1943

Dorothy Leonhardt, Helen Piloski

1943-1944

Gertrude Milne, Helen Piloski

1944-1945

Helen Piloski, Chris McLean Troughton

1945-1946

Helen Piloski, Miss Sammeter

1946-1947

Helen Piloski, Helen Sklipowich

1947-1948

Ronald Boulter, Helen Piloski

1948-1949

Miss Devereau, Catherine McDougall, Helen Piloski

1949-1950

Mrs. Leonard Clark, Anne Poyser Pallister, Helen Piloski

1950-1951

Anne Poyser Pallister, Helen Piloski, Miss Rubinek

1951-1952

Evelyn M. Hopkins, Helen Piloski, Mrs. Harold Simpson

1952-1953

Mae I. Leslie, Helen Piloski

1953-1954

Mae I. Leslie, Helen Piloski, Beth Sladek

1954-1955

Miss E. Courice, Martha Holovach, Helen Piloski, Mrs. Pirot, Ann Shykitka, Beth Sladek

1955-1956

Lillian Beddome, Ronald Boulter, Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski, Ann Shykitka

1956-1957

Ronald Boulter, Mrs. Ella Cook, Mrs. A. L. Lamont, Miss M. A. R. McCall, Helen Piloski, Ann Shykitka

1957-1958

Ronald Boulter, Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski

1958-1959

Ronald Boulter, Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski

1959-1960

Ronald Boulter, Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski, Jean Yaremkevich

1960-1961

Alice Boychuk, Denise Wagner Chiponski, Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski, Mrs. Skinner, Jean Yaremkevich

1961-1962

Ralph Barry, Denise Wagner Chiponski, Mrs. Ella Cook, John Dueck, Cornelius Furdievich, Helen Piloski, Jean Yaremkevich

1962-1963

Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski, Jean Yaremkevich

1963-1964

Mrs. Ella Cook, Helen Piloski, Jean Yaremkevich

1964-1965

Mrs. Bergen, Miss S. Hodgkinson, Mrs. P. McRae, Mrs. E. Moggey, Helen Piloski

1965-1966

Peggy Curwen, Edith Lamont, Marion McCosky Makarchuk, Velma McDonald, Helen Piloski

1966-1967

Peggy Curwen, Edith Lamont, Marion McCosky Makarchuk, Martha Meikle, Helen Piloski, Delores Wooley

1967-1968

Rose Browning, Peggy Curwen, Margaret Giesbrecht, Edith Lamont, Helen Piloski, Delores Wooley

1968-1969

Mrs. R. Browning, Margaret Giesbrecht, Edith Lamont, Brenda Meikle, Iris Parrack, Helen Piloski, Miss Lois Vust

1969-1970

Dorothy Crealock, Edith Lamont, Iris Parrack, Helen Piloski, Sheila Purvis, Miss Lois Vust

1970-1971

Lee Lutz, Iris Parrack, Helen Piloski, Sheila Purvis, Miss Lois Vust

1971-1972

Lee Lutz, Iris Parrack, Helen Piloski, Sheila Purvis, Miss Lois Vust

Among the other teachers of North Ward School were Pearl Webster, Myrtle McCarthy, Kathleen Manson, Nel Tate Owens, Bentina Erlendson

Photos & Coordinates

North Ward School

North Ward School (no date)
Source: PCI Archive, Vopni Press Collection, 0262a.

The former North Ward School building

The former North Ward School building (September 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former North Ward School building

The former North Ward School building (March 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.98183, W98.29415
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Charles Herbert Mounsey (1874-1924)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: North Ward School Monument / La Verendrye School (500 Seventh Street NW, Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: West Ward School (Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria School (32 Fifth Street SE, Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Central School / Portage Normal School (Portage la Prairie)

Sources:

Death registration [Annie Timmins Barber], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Portage lists teaching staff as school opens,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1951, page 34.

Obituary [Anne Ethel Poyser Pallister], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 July 2011.

History of North Ward School, July 1894 to June 1972 by Mrs. Georgie Simmons, circa 1972. [Copy at Portage la Prairie School Division Office, December 2013.]

A Study of Public School Buildings in Manitoba by David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1994, 230 pages.

We thank Michael Mauws, Hazen Barrett, Morris Boychuk, Nathan Kramer, and Rose Kuzina for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 July 2021

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