Honorary Secretary’s Report, Annual Meeting, 10 June 1959

by Miss Aileen Garland

MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1958-59 season

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This was presented at the Annual Meeting, Wednesday, June 10, 1959 at the Pavilion in Kildonan Park. Seven General meetings, including the Annual Meeting tonight, have been held. Since it was no longer possible to hold our meetings in the Library of the Legislative Building, our regular meetings have been held this season, through the courtesy of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, in McMaster House.

At our October meeting our speaker was Mr. Eric Morse of Ottawa whose subject was Paddling With The Explorers. This was a most interesting account of a canoe trip made in the company of Mr. Elliot Rodger of our Society and two others by way of Methye Portage to Lake Athabaska, the route first travelled by Peter Pond. The Social Committee provided coffee and cakes after the programme. Our November meeting was scheduled for Tuesday the 18th on which date Mr. Walter T. Bradley was to speak to us on The History of Transportation In Winnipeg. Unfortunately an additional chapter was added to the history of transportation in our city on that day, since it was the day the system was almost paralyzed by the blizzard, and the date the radio, after announcing hundreds of events to be cancelled on account of the storm, finally settled on announcing only those which would take place. Ours was among those cancelled. Mr. Bradley presented his paper on December 13. In January, Mr. Jean Lagasse gave us an interesting and informative paper on The Metis In Manitoba. In February our speaker was Mr. Macdonald Coleman of Brandon who gave us an amusing and interesting talk on The Early History of Brandon. In March, we had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Ralph Hedlin speak about the doughty pioneer of the Grain Growers movement Edward Partridge. In May, Dr. W. J. Rose, recently returned to Canada from England, told us about Minnedosa, The Crossing, The Railway And The Town. Dr. Rose was assisted by his sister Mrs. Edward Brown, who still lives in the Minnedosa district. All our meetings were well attended, each one drawing, in addition to our regular members, a considerable number of people especially interested in the topic under discussion.

In September our secretary, Mrs. K. P. Bedson, resigned and her place was taken by Mrs. B. Bell. We regret to report the death on September 29 of Mr. G. Maitland, former custodian of Ross House.

The Membership Committee, under the able leadership of Mr. Nathan Arkin, reports an increase in regular members from 403 to 456. There are also 53 contributing members, 7 sustaining members, 3 patrons, and 10 life members.

Generous contributions from many individuals and business firms made it possible for the Society to qualify for the grant of $3000 from the Provincial Government, a grant which is conditional on the raising of an equal amount by the Society.

Manitoba Pageant is now in its fourth year. Mrs. M. Brown is chairman of the committee in charge of publishing it. Manitoba Pageant is published three times a year and distributed free to all schools in the province and to many libraries. Pupils are encouraged to form Junior Chapters of the Historical Society. These chapters receive a charter, and members receive, in return for an annual subscription of 35 cents, individual copies of Manitoba Pageant and a reproduction of an historical picture. This year the picture is of the Anson Northup. There are 20 Junior Chapters and 363 adult subscribers. The Society now prints 4200 copies of each issue.

A certificate of an Award of Merit was presented to the Churchill High School Junior Chapter for its outstanding achievement in presenting, under the leadership of Mr. N. Belton, an excellent and well-organized historical display.

The Society has received a valuable gift of a catalogue and album of the law stamps of Manitoba from Mr. K. Bileski. Mr. James Graham, now the owner of the oldest house in Winnipeg (the Barber House at 99 Euclid Ave.) hopes that this house will be preserved as an historic site. He invited Dr. Campbell and Miss M. Morley to look at the house and gave the society the old documents and papers found in the house. Dr. Campbell and Miss Morley spent many hours going through these documents which have been handed over to the Archives. The Society has also acquired five pictures of Manitoba scenes, painted about 1910 by Mr. E. Hutchins. It was considered that these pictures, then in Chicago, should be in Manitoba. They are for sale to interested collectors. One has already been sold.

The Selection Committee unanimously accepted the manuscript submitted by Mr. Victor Peters on the Hutterians in Manitoba. This committee also reports that Mr. Peters’ manuscript and that of Rabbi Chiel on The Jews in Manitoba are now in the hands of the University of Toronto Press pending publication.

Mr. Douglas Kemp, who is in charge of the publication of the Transactions of the Manitoba Historical Society, reports that No. 14, containing most of the papers given during the 1957-58 season, will soon be ready for distribution.

Mr. Hart Bowsfield represented the Society at the unveiling of a cairn on the site of the once thriving town of Nelsonville on June 29, 1958, at the unveiling of the marker at Morris to commemorate the forts of that area July 3, and at the opening of the Museum at Emerson on August 3.

The Programme Committee reports that several meetings are already planned for next season. For a long time the Council of the Society has hoped to arrange a meeting in some other centre in the province where there is a lively interest in local history. In September we plan to meet in Emerson with the members of the Emerson Museum Project on Saturday, September 12, 1960. The meeting will be at three o’clock Daylight Saving Time. Mrs. T. W. Shields of Emerson will give a paper on Dufferin, A Gateway for Immigration. The members of the Emerson Museum Project are planning a silver tea for that day at the home of Mrs. Walter Forrester, who lives in the Fairbanks house, one of the oldest of the larger houses of Emerson. Members of the Society and their friends are invited to the tea and invited to visit the Museum which has been housed in two log buildings, the old Custom House and the old Jail, now located by the highway in a delightful park. In October we celebrate another centenary with a paper on William Coldwell and The Nor’wester, the first newspaper published in the Red River Settlement. In November a further celebration of the centenary of our first newspaper is planned in the form of a dinner organized jointly by the Commemoration Committee of the Society and the Department of Industry and Commerce. At this meeting the speaker will be Mr. G. V. Ferguson of the Montreal Star, formerly of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Page revised: 1 October 2012