Manitoba Historical Society
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Honorary Secretary's Report, Annual Meeting

by Edith Steenson

MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 26, 1969-70 season

This article was published originally in MHS Transactions by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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Today, our annual meeting is being held in Portage la Prairie, near the spot where La Verendrye established Fort La Reine in 1738. It is fitting that we meet in this historic place in Manitoba's Centennial Year to hear an address by a native son, Dr. W. L. Morton, a former president of the society. Charters will be presented to six newly formed local History Chapters and to one Junior History Chapter.

The first event of the 1969-1970 season, the September field trip through southeastern Manitoba, was followed by three general meetings at which the following papers were presented:


"The Man Who Created the Corner of Portage and Main" - Mr. George Reynolds


"Demographic Influences at York Fort, 1714-1716" - Mr. John Maurice


"The North-West Transportation Company: Personnel and Attitudes" - Donald Swainson

In January 1970, centennial year was launched with a banquet in the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, at which Professor J. M. S. Careless spoke on George Brown and Confederation. Slides from the Manitoba Historical-Architectural Survey were shown in February by Mr. Norman C. H. Russell.

The March general meeting was held in Government House, where Mrs. R. S. Bowles, chatelaine, gave her paper on Manitoba's Government House. The President, Dr. Steward Martin, presented a Red River cart to the Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Bowles and thanked them for papers they had read to the society. The Lieutenant-Governor's paper on Adams George Archibald, First Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, was delivered in June 1969.

On April 21, Mr. Lionel Dorge gave his paper on Bishop Tache and Confederation. A week later, His Excellency, The Right Honourable Roland Michener, Governor General of Canada, spoke on The Republican Monarchy of Manitobah. Maitland Steinkopf, Chairman, Manitoba Centennial Corporation, presented the Governor-General with a special edition of the Historical Atlas of Manitoba. Joseph Martin, Past President, Manitoba Historical Society, presented Mrs. Michener with a framed petit-point picture of the provincial floral emblems, the work of my husband, Dr. Gordon Steenson. The Governor General presented the society's Medallions of Honour to nineteen distinguished Manitobans.

The tour on May 10th, by bus to Selkirk, then by sternwheeler to the Red River delta and return, was taken by some 1,700 Manitobans. This tour was under the joint sponsorship of the Metropolitan Corporation of Winnipeg, The Winnipeg Tribune, and the Manitoba Historical Society.

The society issued a press release on May 12 asking Manitoba citizens to contribute to a fund for the purpose of buying the Sir Hugh John Macdonald home, Carlton Street, Winnipeg.

The Manitoba Historical Atlas, sponsored by the society, and produced by professors John Warketin and Richard Ruggles, was published and distributed. Two hundred collectors' copies, each signed by the Lieutenant-Governor, were made available for special purchase. A Centennial History of Manitoba, sponsored by the society, and written by James Jackson, was published. The production of "Believe It Or Not" by Mr. J. W. Chafe was authorized.

At a press reception, April 28, special plaques made from material from ten historic buildings in Manitoba, were presented to representatives of newspapers, radio and television stations.

The society launched the Centennial Commemorative awards project, seeking the names of Manitobans who have made significant contributions to the development of the province, so that consideration might be given to their public recognition through a centennial award.

A trip to La Verendrye's Fort St. Charles, Lake of the Woods, is planned for June 19, with members of the Red River Valley Historical Society joining the members of the Manitoba Historical Society in this interesting venture.

Later today the Treasurer will present the financial report and the proposed budget for 1970-1971.

Genealogy: Miss Anne Henderson reported progress in compiling information on the descendants of the Lord Selkirk Settlers. About one thousand names are now on file. Research on the descendants of the Hudson Bay families was undertaken in England recently by Mr. Gordon Pruden.

Archives: The cataloguing of the society's books awaits the employment of a competent librarian.

Local History: Several local histories have been received, and these have been added to the master list.

Ross House: The first post office in the Canadian west was opened for the season last week. The first visitors arrived on April 4.

Historical-Architectural Survey: Work is underway again this year, the major current project being the cataloguing of photos and supporting data.

Donations: Some $2,700 has been received this year.

Margaret McWilliams Awards: These will be presented tonight.

Membership: The current membership totals 796.

Page revised: 21 January 2018

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