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Winston Leathers R.C.A., distinguished artist and MHS member, died in Kenora, Ontario on July 20 at 71 years. Born in Miami Manitoba, he studied Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba and attended the Manitoba Teachers’ College where he majored in Art Education. From 1958 to 1968 he taught basic design at Technical Vocational High School in Winnipeg. Then he joined the staff of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Architecture, U. of Manitoba where he taught for 26 years. His art work has been exhibited in North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Japan.
Doris Macdonell (née Fraser), MHS member, died on July 21 at the age of 87 years. Before her retirement she worked and a teacher and supervisor for Winnipeg School Division No. 1. For many years she attended regularly the Sir John A. Macdonald Dinners and other MHS functions with her husband, Gordon, who died on May 17.
Shirley Hancock, MHS member died on July 24 at the age of 78 years. She taught business education at Vincent Massey High School in Fort Garry. Following her retirement in 1993 she volunteered at CNIB and MHS. She was chair of the MHS Young Historians Committee for several years.
Louise Kernatz, MHS member, died on August 4 in Winnipeg. Born in Brandon in 1942, she grew up in East Kildonan and attended the University of Manitoba. She taught in Winnipeg School Division, and served for a time as president of the Winnipeg Teachers' Association. In recognition of her achievements in teaching she was honoured with a Distinguished Service Award. When she and her husband retired in 1998 they built their dream home near Treherne MB and quickly became part of the rural community.
Michael Ewanchuk B.A. B.Ed. M.Ed FCCT, LLD, DCL, a longtime MHS member, died in Winnipeg on August 26. He was born in Gimli in 1908, a son of Ukrainian pioneers who had arrived in Canada from Western Ukraine in 1902. He attended Gimli High School, Wesley College and the Provincial Normal school in Winnipeg. He taught and served as principal in several rural schools. During World War II he joined the RCAF where he was an instructor and later a counsellor at various air bases in Canada. After the war he continued his education at the University of Manitoba. He became a school inspector in rural areas and finally in Winnipeg. He received numerous awards for his work in education and in promoting Ukrainian culture. He published 16 books, many of them dealing with Ukrainian settlements in Manitoba. He was a familiar figure at MHS events. Even at the age of 95 he attended the MHS Annual General Meeting at Gimli and the Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner.
Mary Antoniak, MHS member, died on September 13 in Winnipeg at the age of 76 years. She was born in Kiev, Ukraine and came to Canada with her family at the age of six months. She was employed by Sun Life of Canada, CNR and, after 21 years at home raising her family, she went to work for Air Canada Finance in 1976, retiring in 1992. She was very active in her church, singing in the choir and serving on many committees. She was interested in MHS activities and attended MHS events.
The Lower Fort Garry Volunteer Association is planning a reunion of the descendants of HBC emoloyees and settlers from the Red River Settlement and Lower Fort Garry. This will be part of the celebrations of the 175th anniversary of Lower fort Garry national Historic site during 2005-2006. For more information contact the committee chair, Barbara Gessner at Box 394, Selkirk MB R1A 2B1 or email email@example.com.
The National Elevator of the Inglis Elevator Row has been undergoing restoration this summer. It has been raised and a new concrete foundation put in place. The cribbing has been replaced and currently (September 1st) siding replacement is in progress. By the end of October it is hoped to have the roof replaced as well. This provincial and national historic site is still in need of financial support to complete the restoration. The web site, www.ingliselevators.com gives more extensive information.
The Garden of Memories in the Air Force Heritage Park on Air Force Way (formerly Sharp Boulevard) in Winnipeg is a project of 500 (City of Winnipeg) Wing, Air Force Association of Canada. Over the past eight years the garden has displayed engraved stones bearing the names of people who played a role in Canada’s air force. At a formal ceremony held in conjunction with the 64th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Parade on September 19th, 82 engraved stones were added. The garden will commemorate the accomplishments of 1600 members of the RCAF when 21 more stones are added at next year's ceremony.
An exhibit featuring the Manitoba Métis and the community of St. Laurent opened on September 21 at the world-famous Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. Eric Robinson, Manitoba's Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, David Chartrand, Manitoba Métis Federation president and people of all ages from the Manitoba Métis community attended. Jig dancers and young fiddlers from St. Laurent performed at the opening. The emphasis of the museum exhibit is on how the Métis people live today.
The Historic Sites and Monument Board of Canada unveiled a plaque to commemorate the national historic and architectural significance of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Cooks Creek. The Church, already designated as a national Historic site in 1977, was designed by the Reverend Philip Ruh and built with volunteer labour between 1930 and 1952.
History is alive and well in Souris. Hillcrest Museum this summer had a total of 3,851 visitors, an increase of 296 over last year. "The Plum" attracted many visitors to its museum and also to The Swinging Bridge Show, a mini-musical. The town's landmark, the one hundred-year-old swinging suspension bridge, will be featured on a postage stamp in 2005, one of four stamps featuring Canadian bridges.
The hangar of Brandon's Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at the Brandon Municipal Airport has been designated as a provincial heritage site. The hangar, built in 1941, was used to train more than 1900 pilots and air crew from Commonwealth countries during World War II. The former hangar is virtually intact and now serves as a museum preserving history and artifacts, including vintage training aircraft.
The Pembina Threshermen's Museum on Highway 3 east of Morden continues to grow. New additions seen by visitors to the annual Threshermen's Reunion on September 10th and 11th are an MTS building and a post office. Other historic buildings on site include the Morden CPR Station built in 1905, Pomeroy School built in 1909, Reimer house (over 100 years old), Peter's Barber Shop (replica), Roseisle United Church, built in 1891, NWMP outpost (replica), Brawn Log House (built in 1885) and a sod house.
The Daily Graphic reports that a feasibility study on the future of the 111 year-old CPR station in Portage la Prairie is underway. The study will determine the cost of restoration of the station and the cost of running it, possibly as an interpretive centre. Portage la Prairie Mutual Insurance Co. has contributed $5,000 to help fund the feasibility study. As a fundraiser a draw will be held on November 3 for a set of two return tickets from Portage to either Toronto or Vancouver, donated by VIA Rail. The price of tickets for the draw is five dollars each.
The Minnedosa Tribune reports that two stone pillars are planned for the entrance to the Heritage Village on Heritage Park Crescent in memory of the pioneers. A fund has been set up to raise money for the project. The Tribune also reports that Minnedosa's grand home, the Castle, built in 1901, has qualified for inclusion in the Canadian Registry of Historic Places. The Registry provides an online listing of formally recognized heritage places in Canada. See www.historicplaces.ca. The Castle is currently featured on the cover of the Accommodations and Campgrounds Guide published by Travel Manitoba.
A commemorative plaque to recognize the historic significance of William Hespeler will be unveiled in Niverville at Hespeler Park. In his role as Commissioner for Immigration and Agriculture in Winnipeg from 1873 to 1883 and German Counsel for Manitoba and the North-West Territories from 1883 to 1909 Hespeler recruited thousands of Mennonites and others of German origin to settle on the Canadian prairies.
Steinbach city council designated the home at 255 Hanover Street owned by Jerry and Bev Friesen as its first municipal heritage site under the Heritage Resources Act of Manitoba. The house was built in 1916 by pioneer automobile dealer, J. R. Friesen. It was moved from its original location on Main Street in the 1950s. The owners have restored much of the two storey house to its original condition. Steinbach Councilors expect that there will be more heritage buildings designated in the near future.
In an article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 23, 1979, Dr. Edward Shaw reported on the meeting that formed the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba in 1879. Dr. Shaw included excerpts from a speech by Alexander MacArthur on the reasons for creating the Society.
On January 23, 1879, 16 men held a meeting In the Winnipeg Court House to form The Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoha, In doing so, these men established the oldest historical society beyond the borders of Central Canada.
One might think that the Newfoundland Historical Society would be older since that province was the earliest to be occupied by Europeans; the British, and Portuguese fishermen, having been there as early as 1502. That society dates only from 1905. In Central Canada, the Numismatic Society of Quebec became the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society in 1866 and thus took on a name signifying an historical interest. The men who formed the Manitoba society "built better than they knew."
Who were they? They chose as their chairman, for that first meeting, Dr. William Cowan, physician and surgeon with office and residence at the corner of Main Street and Bannatyne Avenue. The other 15 participants were a mixture of academics, businessmen, clerics, government employees, and professionals.
Alexander Begg was the Queen's Printer and Provincial Auditor. Reverend Professor Bryce was a Presbyterian minister and Principal of Manitoba College. Donald Codd was a federal employee and the Dominion Lands agent. Canon Grisdale of St. John's Cathedral was also secretary of the Lower House of the Church of England, Province of Rupertsland. George H. Ham was local editor of the Daily Free Press. Reverend Professor Hart was secretary of Manitoba College and a member of the Manitoba Board of Education. Frank L. Hunt was a farmer. Allan MacDonald was a lawyer who served as prothonotary, clerk of the Crown and Peace, and Master of the Queen's Bench in the Court House.
Alexander McArthur, who presented a paper on the need for the society, was secretary of the Manitoba Investments Association with offices in McDermot's Block on Main Street. W. R. Nursey was a real estate agent. S. B. Parsons was a partner in Parsons & Richardson, Stationers, corner of Main and Rorie Streets. Rev. W. Cyprian Pinkham of Holy Trinity Church, Headingly, was also secretary of the Board of Education for the Province and Superintendent of Protestant schools. Reverend J. Robinson was pastor of Knox Church, Presbyterian. W. H. Ross was a partner of Ross & Ross barristers, attorneys, solicitors and real estate agents with offices in the Morris Block, Main Street. A. H. Whicher was inspector of Dominion Surveys with offices in the Dominion Lands Building, North Scott Street.
Alexander McArthur addressed the meeting. Following are excerpts from his address: "On this occasion, I presume, we have two points to consider. First, whether it is advisable to form a society for the purpose of literary and scientific research, and secondly, what range within those two subjects such research should take. The first question is answered by your presence here today. Our city and province have both arrived at that stage of growth and importance that the formation of such a society cannot longer be delayed. The metropolitan character of the City of Winnipeg warrants us in supposing that the material for the composition of a literary and scientific society is to be found among her citizens."
"For instance, in history we may begin with the voyage of Hudson, James and the other navigators who first made us acquainted with the vast land-locked sea of Hudson's Bay ...
Coming nearer home, an interesting field is opened up in the advance to the interior of the Jesuit missionaries from Lower Canada, with the French fur-traders in their wake ...
The blustering, pushing, warlike and murderous Peter Pond, the discoverer of Lake Athabasca, we ought to know more about. We may follow, too, the humane but indefatigable explorer, Sir Alexander McKenzie when he, the first white face, gazed on the placid surface of the great stream now bearing his name flowing towards the Arctic Sea ...
The student of history, too, will find the elements he is in search of in the settlement of the colony of the Earl of Selkirk. Deeply interested as we are in that settlement, it is worthy of suggestion whether the descendants of the Earl might not be requested to hand over to your society the correspondence and letters regarding this colony, either for preservation or for the purpose of being copied ...
Among other travellers and writers whose works throw light upon our history the student will no doubt think of Archbishop Taché, Bishop Mountain, Bishop Anderson and Mr. Ryerson, Lord Southesk, Milton and Cheadle, Sir George Simpson, Ballantyne, Mclean, Ross, Butler, Kennicot. Horetzky, Hargrave and Begg. The reports of the government officers contain matter of much interest.. The reports of Hind, Chapman, Fleming, Selwyn, Bell, Dawson, Macoun, Cameron and others, will repay perusal. The reports of the English House of Commons Committees are rich. too, in material connected with our history.
But we should not confine our research to the one branch of knowledge. The natural history of our country presents many points of interest and novelty which should be made subjects of observation. We live under climatic conditions which few other civilized people have ever experienced. It is given to few to breathe an atmosphere charged with cold marking 40 below zero. What effect this intense cold and the extreme change of temperature from that point to 100. above, which is something reached in summer, or a range between extremes of 140, has upon animal life, ought to be an interesting topic for investigation.
We have within our borders the largest fresh water lake in the world, which is completely frozen over the winter. We might well consider the effect upon the fish under the icy covering by the want of fresh air.
We have, too, at least one animal, which is our own exclusive property, being found nowhere else in the world. I refer to the musk-ox. A catalogue of the birds which brave our Arctic winter would prove of interest. The rare and brief visits of the white ptarmigan to the northerly borders of our province, from the far north, should be noticed. The botany of our territory and the effects upon it of our rigorous winter, should receive attention ...
In the science of meteorology many and interesting opportunities will occur which experimental philosophers in mild climates can only enjoy by the aid of art and at a great cost. Where ice can be obtained for six months in the year, and where water congeals in a few seconds, the experiments which may be conducted with it are rendered easy and of frequent recurrence ...
Those inclined to antiquarian pursuits, will find room for their exertions in the remains of the ancient races inhabiting the land. A museum and library will be the natural result of the formation of such a society as we speak of, and I think a little consideration will not only justify us in arriving at that conclusion, but that the accumulation of books for a library and objects for a museum will not be attended with much difficulty.
The Iibrary should embrace all the works which I have already mentioned connected with the country, and application through the proper parties will enable us to procure valuable works from the Old Country, such as the records of the Master of the Rolls ... In creating a museum I have no doubt we will have the ready assistance of a large number of the Hudson's Bay Company's officers, whose opportunities and abilities qualify them so well for collecting objects worthy of presentation."
Mr. Frank L. Hunt then suggested organization, whereupon it was moved by Reverend Professor Hart, seconded by Reverend Mr. Pinkham, that it is advisable to form a Society, such as has been described by Mr. Alexander McArthur in his address. Carried.
It was then moved by Mr. Alexander McArthur, Seconded by Reverend Professor Hart "that those present form themselves into a Society to be called The Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba".
Thus began the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba. Its library eventually became the Winnipeg. Public Library. It helped save the Fort Garry Gate. Many papers of scientific and historical interest were read to the Society. It gave rise to the Manitoba Record Society, which has seen the publication of important works on the archival records of Manitoba. It saved the Riel house in St. Vital from disappearing to make way for a parking lot. More recently, the Society saved and restored the Sir Hugh John Macdonald house in downtown Winnipeg.
Through its membership in almost 90 communities in Manitoba and almost 50 communities in the rest of Canada, the United States and Britain, the Society has well represented the history and heritage of our province. Its founders would no doubt be proud of the Historical and Scientific Society's first 100 years - as should all Manitobans.
After 60 years Alice Brown is still an active MHS member. Alice, MHS president from 1965 to 1967 and a former teacher - librarian, lives in Treesbank, MB. She joined the Society in 1944 and still has an active interest in MHS. Alice attended the past presidents' dinner on September 22 of this year.
Are there any others who have been MHS members for more than 50 years?
Liz Currie, a student of Gordon Bell High School, Winnipeg won the "It's Cool to be a Canadian" Essay Contest jointly sponsored by the Manitoba Branch of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and the Manitoba Historical Society. The award was presented at the school in June.
The Manitoba Historical Society and the Manitoba Branch of the United Empire Loyalists' Association want to learn about high school students' appreciation of their Canadian Heritage. These two organizations are again sponsoring an essay contest for S3 students in Manitoba schools with a prize of $200. Second and third prizes will be book presentations.
The essay should illustrate by examples from Canadian history, the many contributions of our country to the world - for example: Macintosh apples, basketball, times zones, Salk vaccine, amongst many others. It should take into consideration the size of its population and its proportional impact on the world scene.
1. Eligibility: Grade 11 History or English Students in Manitoba are eligible to enter.
2. Theme: Examples of Canadian inventions and/or discoveries that have benefited world citizens.
3. Length and Format: Typed or printed, double-spaced on 8½" by 11" paper, approximately 1000 words.
4. Documentation and Presentation:
a) Theme must be developed in a logical manner using historical, current facts and data
b) Legibility, style and grammar will be considered in the judging of these written entries
c) All entries must include a bibliography, title page and footnotes
d) Students are encouraged to use a variety of sources
Entry must be received on or before May 20, 2005.
c/o Education Chair
2-1800 Wellington Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P2E5
For questions please leave a message at: (204) 489-7180 and your call will be returned, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new 2005 Winnipeg wall calendar featuring early Winnipeg postcards has been published by Rob McInnes of Historicards. For more details go to www.historicards.com.
Click here for this feature on the excellent museums of rural Manitoba, as explored by Maria Zbigniewicz.
This coming November watch for the new issue of Manitoba History. An article by Dr. Sarah Carter traces the long time relationship between prairie First Nations and the British monarchy, while historian Lyle Dick analyses the execution of Thomas Scott within the context of 19th century nationalism and the growth of the visual media in Canada. The issue will also contain a variety of interesting Gazette articles including the Young Historians essay, the Manitoba Bibliography for 2003, and a number of book reviews.
Editor, Manitoba History
After a successful season Ross House has closed for another year. Under the direction of Manager Victor Sawelo several improvements have been made to the Museum. Updated wiring and new lighting fixtures have enhanced the displays in the gallery. A Canadian flag flies on our new flag pole to announce when the museum is open The city has made repairs to the building. More trees are being planted in the park. Our Manitoba Heritage Grant application has been approved for a new interpretive panel outside the museum. With the support of the community and MHS Heritage Preservation Committee walking tours of Point Douglas are proposed for next year.
Students are invited to submit entries to the Young Historians Award Competition on any topic of interest related to Manitoba History. There are three judging categories: Level A: Grades 5, 6 & 7; Level B: Grade 8, S1 & S2; and Level C: S3 & S4.
For written submissions there are three categories for all levels: research paper, family history and historical fiction.
Non written submissions for all levels include video or computer based projects. A posters and paintings competition is for Level A or Level B entries only.
Registration forms and detailed criteria sheets are available at the MHS office after October 30. Phone (204) 947-0559.
Submissions must be received in the MHS office by April 28, 2005.
For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.
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