Historic Sites of Manitoba: King George Fifth School (261 Youville Street, Winnipeg)

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

Designed by Winnipeg architect Henry William Greene and built of stone from the quarries at Garson, this 14-classroom school opened in 1916 in the Norwood area of St. Boniface, as one of the first fireproof schools in Manitoba. A free public skating rink was also established on the school grounds to discourage use of the Red River ice surface. Soils berms around the perimeter of the school building, visible in photos from the early 20th century, were removed in the late 1950s. Originally heated with coal, the school was converted to natural gas in the 1960s.

A caretaker's residence at 389 Eugenie Street bordered the school grounds with the same type of fence edging the front yard. It was a two-storey house with a basement. The main floor had a kitchen, dining room, and living room. The second floor had three bedrooms and bathroom. It accommodated the family of caretaker George A. Cairns (1954-1960).

In 1954, the school was the site of a Salk polio vaccine trial in which some students received the vaccine and others received a placebo. The school's student population at this time was approximately 400. A student from this time recalls that, in the lead-up to Christmas, the school caretakers brought a piano to the main floor hallway near the Principal's office and the students sang Christmas carols. Each year the school had a tea with grade 6 girls serving the tea.

The school closed in June 1989 due to declining enrollment. A flag lowering ceremony on 29 June 1989 was attended by many alumni, including Mary Reid, a student of the school when it opened in 1916 who later taught there. In 1990, with mounting maintenance costs and no long-term tenants, the building was put up for sale. It is now used by a private Christian school.

Principals

Period

Principal

1916

Alfred Blakely Gillespie (1870-1939)

1916-1919

William Alexander Shannon (1883-?)

1919-1920

?

1920-1921

William Dowell Bayley (1879-1955)

1921

Miss M. C. Erwin (Acting)

1921

William Dowell Bayley (1879-1955)

1922-c1925

Harry Bingham Donnelly (1888-1980)

c1925-1926

?

1926-1927

Alfred White (1869-1955)

1927-1950

?

1950-1958

Robinson Erle Hamilton (1892-1965)

1958-1961

Edward James Marshall (1901-1964)

1961-1966

?

1966-1970

Raymond Arthur Joseph “Ray” Labelle (c1931-1981)

1970-1974

Robert James “Bob” Hibbert (1938-2019)

1974-1983

Ed Loiselle

1983-1989

Lorne William Ferley (1934-2014)

Vice-Principals

Period

Vice-Principal

?-1953

Miriam May Somerville (1903-1987)

1953-1968

?

1968-1977

Berthe Yvonne Granger Valcourt (1914-1996)

Teachers

School Year

Teachers

1916-1917

?

1917-1918

Miss Jean Berube (grade 4), Miss Grace Henry (grade 6), Miss Alma Iredale (grade 3), Miss Maggie Irwin (grade 7), Miss Helen Neelin (grade 5), Miss Mary Reardon (grade 1), William A. Shannon (grade 8), Miss Jennie Sharman (grade 1), Miss Myrtle Spencer (grade 2)

1918-1919

?

1919-1920

?

1920-1921

?

1921-1922

?

1922-1923

?

1923-1924

?

1924-1925

?

1925-1926

?

1926-1927

?

1927-1928

?

1928-1929

?

1929-1930

?

1930-1931

Mary Reid, ?

1931-1932

Mary Reid, ?

1932-1933

Mary Reid, ?

1933-1934

Mary Reid, ?

1934-1935

Mary Reid, ?

1935-1936

Mary Reid, ?

1936-1937

Mary Reid, ?

1937-1938

Mary Reid, ?

1938-1939

Mary Reid, ?

1939-1940

Mary Reid, ?

1940-1941

Mary Reid, ?

1941-1942

Mary Reid, ?

1942-1943

Mary Reid, ?

1943-1944

Mary Reid, ?

1944-1945

Mary Reid, ?

1945-1946

Mary Reid, ?

1946-1947

Mary Reid, ?

1947-1948

Mary Reid, ?

1948-1949

Mary Reid, ?

1948-1949

?

1949-1950

?

1950-1951

?

1951-1952

?

1952-1953

?

1953-1954

Mrs. Goddard (grade 1), ?

1954-1955

Mrs. Barton (grade 4), Miss Bodie (grade 5), Mrs. Cuthbertson (grade 3), Mrs. Gibb (grade 2), Mrs. Goddard (grade 1), Mrs. Lynch (special education), Reta Evelyn McRuer (grade 3), Miss Smith (grade 2), ? (grade 6)

1955-1956

Mrs. Barton (grade 4), Miss Bodie (grade 5), Mrs. Cuthbertson (grade 3), Mrs. Gibb (grade 2), Mrs. Goddard (grade 1), Mrs. Lynch (special education), Reta Evelyn McRuer (grade 3), Miss Smith (grade 2), ? (grade 6)

1956-1957

Mrs. Barton (grade 4), Miss Bodie (grade 5), Mrs. Cuthbertson (grade 3), Mrs. Gibb (grade 2), Mrs. Goddard (grade 1), Mrs. Lynch (special education), Reta Evelyn McRuer (grade 3), Miss Smith (grade 2), ? (grade 6)

1957-1958

Mrs. Barton (grade 4), Miss Bodie (grade 5), Mrs. Cuthbertson (grade 3), Mrs. Gibb (grade 2), Mrs. Goddard (grade 1), Mrs. Lynch (special education), Reta Evelyn McRuer (grade 3), Miss Smith (grade 2), ? (grade 6)

1958-1959

Mrs. Barton (grade 4), Mrs. Cuthbertson (grade 3), Mrs. Gibb (grade 2), Mrs. Goddard (grade 1), Mrs. Lynch (special education), Mrs. McIntosh (grade 6), Reta Evelyn McRuer (grade 3), Miss Smith (grade 2), ? (grade 5)

1959-1960

?

1960-1961

?

1961-1962

?

1962-1963

?

1963-1964

?

1964-1965

?

1965-1966

?

1966-1967

?

1967-1968

?

1968-1969

Inez Boddy (grade 5), Anita Cloutier (grade 5), Moira Eagle (special education), Esther Lanthier (grade 3), Barb Lytle (grade 3), Marjorie Morrison (grade 2), Mrs. Pal (grade 6), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Mary Thiessen (special education), Berthe Valcourt (grade 6), Donna Wenham (grade 4)

1969-1970

Nils Anderson (music), Inez Boddy (grade 5), Terry Chartrand (French), Moira Eagle (special education), Bob Hitchen (grade 6), Esther Lanthier (grade 3), Donna Lean (grade 1), Olga Lobur (grade 5), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Barb Lytle (grade 3), Thelma Olson (grade 4), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Kae Speers (kindergarten), Mary Thiesson (special education), Berthe Valcourt (grade 6), Pat Vandal (grade 2), Lynn Werry (Grade 1)

1970-1971

Inez Boddy (grade 5), Jean Funk (librarian), Doris Gallagher (grade 1), Walter Hercia (resource), Bob Hitchen (grade 6), Pat Knox (grade 1), Donna Lean (grade 2), Olga Lobur (grade 5), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Barb Lytle (grade 3), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Thelma Olson (grade 4), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Moira Skelding (special education), Kae Speers (kindergarten), Mary Thiessen (special education), Bernie Zakaluk (physical education), Berthe Valcourt (grade 6)

1971-1972

Berthe Valcourt, ?

1972-1973

Berthe Valcourt, ?

1973-1974

Berthe Valcourt, ?

1974-1975

Lil Greer (librarian), Katherine Hamm (music), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Michael Knox (grade 4), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Judy McLean (grade 1), Lois Mitchell (elementary supervisor), Thelma Olson (grade 4), Catherine Ousey (grade 3), Anita Peters (grade 2), Bob Ramsay (grade 6), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Moira Skelding (special education), Kae Speers (Kindergarten)

1975-1976

Jim Byers (grade 2), Lil Greer (librarian), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Neil Jackson (physical education), Michael Knox (grade 5), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Judy McLean (grade 1), Anita Peters (grade 2), Bob Ramsay (grade 5), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Moira Skelding (special education), Kae Speers (kindergarten), Berthe Valcourt (grade 6)

1976-1977

Jim Byers (grade 3), Mike Elliott (grade 4), Lil Greer (librarian), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Neil Jackson (physical education), Michael Knox (grade 4), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Judy McLean (grade 1), Catherine Ousey (grade 2), Bob Ramsay (grade 5), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speers (kindergarten), Berthe Valcourt (grade 6)

1977-1978

Jim Byers (grade 3), Mike Elliott (grade 4), Lil Greer (librarian), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Neil Jackson (physical education), Michael Knox (grade 4), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Judy McLean (grade 1), Catherine Ousey (grade 2), Bob Ramsay (grade 5), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speers (kindergarten), Berthe Valcourt (grade 6)

1978-1979

Jim Byers (grade 2), Terry Chartrand (French), Lil Greer (librarian), Katherine Hamm (music), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Ron Hinther (special education), Neil Jackson (physical education), Michael Knox (grade 4), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Lois Mitchell (elementary supervisor), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speers (kindergarten)

1979-1980

Jim Byers (grade 2), Lil Greer (librarian), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Ron Hinther (special education), Diana Lynch (grade 2), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Lois Mitchell (resource), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speers (kindergarten)

1980-1981

Jim Byers (grade 2), Diana Fabas-Pirie (grade 2), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Neil Jackson (physical education), Del Kjartlenson (librarian), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Lois Mitchell (resource), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speer (kindergarten), Mary Thiessen (special education)

1981-1982

Jim Byers (grade 2), Ann Hart (grade 3), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Neil Jackson (physical education), Del Kjartlenson (librarian), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Lois Mitchell (resource), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Ruth Richards (grade 6), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speers (kindergarten), Mary Thiessen (special education)

1982-1983

Jim Byers (grade 2), Ann Hart (grade 2), Pat Henderson (grade 5), Walter Hercia (resource), Ron Hinther (special education), Neil Jackson (physical education), Del Kjartlenson (librarian), Bertha McDonald (grade 3), Lois Mitchell (resource), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Gladys Schewe (grade 1), Kae Speer (Kindergarten), Mary Thiessen (special education)

1983-1984

?

1984-1985

?

1985-1986

Eileen Csaba (grade 3), Neil Jackson (physical education), Bertha McDonald (grade 1), Carol Nyznik (grade 1), Stella Orisko (grade 5), Bob Ramsay (grade 4), Gerry Rivard (librarian)

1986-1987

Eileen Csaba (grade 3), Brian Hatherley (physical education), Maureen Jackson (grade 1), Neil Jackson (physical education), Carol Nyznik (kindergarten), Stella Orisko (grade 5), Bill Quinn (music), Bob Ramsay (grades 3 and 4), Gerry Rivard (librarian)

1987-1988

?

1988-1989

?

Caretakers

Period

Caretaker

1954-1960

George A. Cairns (1901-1977)

1960-?

Daniel Brown “Dan” Peckover (1899-1982)

Photos & Coordinates

King George V School

King George V School (circa 1915)
Source: Education Department Report, 1915, Manitoba Legislative Library.

King George V School

King George V School (no date)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-3, page 96.

The former King George V School

The former King George V School (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former King George V School

The former King George V School (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former King George V School

The former King George V School (November 2021)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.88057, W97.10816
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: King George School No. 1242 (RM of Rossburn)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: King George School (430 Victoria Avenue East, Brandon)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: George V School (265 Grey Street, Winnipeg)

Sources:

“St. Boniface cheque,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 March 1916, page 5.

“Throws light on school trouble,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 August 1916, page 7.

“Teachers’ trouble at St. Boniface,” Manitoba Free Press, 25 August 1916, page 4.

“Skating rink for school,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 November 1916, page 3.

“Prof. Shannon new Principal of King George Fifth School,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 December 1916, page 3.

“King George School to reopen Tuesday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 August 1917, page 2.

“School Principal asked to explain,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 August 1921, page 5.

“School Board ‘fires’ Bayley; plan appeal,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 August 1921, page 6.

“Teachers’ Federation supports W. Bayley,” Ottawa Journal, 16 August 1921, page 13.

“Program announced for opening day at King George V. School,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 August 1921, page 3.

“Board decides Bayley should be reinstated,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 October 1921, page 3.

“Principal W. D. Bayley resumes duties at King George School,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 October 1921, page 1.

“Delegation will ask Bayley reinstatement,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 January 1922, page 11.

“552 new pupils to be enrolled in St. Boniface,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 September 1922, page 2.

“Important St. Boniface Schools,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 September 1922, page 5.

“Daily life of school children portrayed,”Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 1927, page 3.

“Sewage seeps into school auditorium,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 September 1942, page 3.

“Allaire feels pinch,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1967, page 23.

“Maroons die, Mohawks enter senior hockey,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 September 1967, page 24.

“Four school safety patrols honored,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 June 1974, page 71.

Obituary [George A. Cairns], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1977, page 99.

“Local history,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly South Edition, 16 April 1989, page 1.

“The last hurrah,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly South Edition, 2 June 1989, page 7.

“King George V School up for sale,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly South Edition, 10 June 1990, page 1.

“Goodbye King George V School,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly South Edition, 23 June 1991, page 2.

“Science symposium honors founding member, Lorne Ferley,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly South Edition, 9 June 1991, page 5.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Obituary [Reta Evelyn McRuer], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 February 2015.

We thank Robert Ramsay, George Penner, and Beth Cairns for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 4 December 2023

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