Honorary Secretary’s Report, Annual Meeting, 14 June 1960

by Miss Aileen Garland

MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1959-60 season

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This was presented at the Annual Meeting at Lower Fort Garry, Tuesday, June 14th, 1960.

This season nine general meetings, including the Annual Meeting tonight, have been held by the Society. Six of these meetings were held, through the courtesy of the Manitoba Teachers Society, in McMaster House.

Two of our meetings were experiments which turned out successfully. For some time the Council has been eager to hold a meeting in some centre in the province other than Winnipeg, some place where there was a lively interest in local history. Our first meeting of the 1959-60 season was arranged by the Project Committee headed by Miss Malvina Bolus and was held in Emerson jointly with the Emerson Museum Project Committee on September 13th. Arrangements were made to charter a bus to take the members to Emerson and so great was the response that it was necessary to charter two buses and for some of the members to take their own cars in order that all the members who wished to go could be accommodated. Mrs. T. W. Shields of Emerson gave a paper on Fort Dufferin, Gateway to Immigration. We visited the site of Fort Dufferin and were welcomed to the summer home of Mrs. G. E. Myers which was once part of the buildings of Fort Dufferin. Mrs. Myers had on display a very interesting collection of photographs and items belonging to the period of Fort Dufferin and the early days of Emerson. Mrs. Myers is a sister of Mrs. Basken of our Society and their father was the first to own the land on which Fort Dufferin once stood. The ladies of the Emerson Museum Project served tea at the home of Mrs. Walter Forrester, who lives in the Fairbanks house, one of the oldest of the larger houses in Emerson. Before we returned to Winnipeg we visited the Emerson Museum which is housed in the old Custom House and the old Jail which has been set up in a charming park beside the highway.

Our other experiment was a dinner on November 16th at the Fort Garry Hotel to celebrate the centenary of the first publication of The NorWester, Manitobas first newspaper. This meeting was arranged by Miss Marjorie Morley, head of the Commemoration Committee with the help of the Department of Industry and Commerce. Our speaker was Mr. George V. Ferguson, editor of the Montreal Star and formerly editor of the Winnipeg Free Press. Mr. Ferguson gave us a thoughtful and stimulating address on The Newspaper Today. The response to this experiment both from our members and from the public was gratifying and 215 people attended the dinner.

In October, Miss Aileen Garland presented a paper on The NorWester. In January, Prof. W. L. Morton gave us a scholarly and entertaining paper on The Battle of Grand Coteau. In February, Lionel Orlikow spoke on The Reform Movement in Manitoba. This was a valuable addition to our programme as up to date we have had little material on events after 1900. Our March meeting was addressed by Prof. John Warkentin on the subject Manitoba Settlement Patterns and Mr. Warkentin showed us some excellent slides which he had collected to illustrate his talk. In April, Prof. Paul Hiebert of Carman spoke to us on The Survey of 1872, and in May, Mrs. Willo Forrester of Emerson shared with us the fruits of years of research when she gave us a paper on Markers Along the 49th.

All of our meetings were well attended, each one drawing a number of people with special interest in the topic or the speaker in addition to our regular members.

This month the Manitoba Historical Society received an award for its publication Manitoba Pageant from the Canadian Historical Society. This award was in recognition of the outstanding contribution which Manitoba Pageant is making in the field of local history. You will remember that some years ago the Society received an award from the American Association for Local History for its encouragement of the preservation of local history through the grants for Ethnic Group Studies.

Professor Paul Yuzyk, head of the Selection Committee, reports that two of the Ethnic Group Studies are soon to be in print. Rabbi Chiels manuscript on The Jews in Manitoba now in the hands of the University of Toronto Press is to be published soon. Professor W. L. Morton has written a foreword for it. Mr. Victor Peters study of The Hutterians in Manitoba has also been accepted by the University of Toronto Press, subject to some revision which Mr. Peters is now working on.

Mr. Nathan Arkin, chairman of the membership committee, reports a further increase in memberships. There are now 447 regular members, 57 contributing members, 10 sustaining members, 10 life members and 3 patrons.

Generous contributions from many individuals and business firms made it possible for the Society to qualify for the grant of $3,000. from the Provincial Government, a grant which is given if the Society raises an equal amount.

Page revised: 22 May 2010