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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lilac School No. 2282 (RM of Gimli)

In 1936, the two-room school at Dnister was destroyed by fire. Although the school was rebuilt, the fire precipitated a decision to establish another school district, drawing land from adjoining districts of Minerva, South Felsendorf, and Dnister, to be named Lilac School. A frame building, 22 feet by 42 feet, was erected on land in the Rural Municipality of Gimli donated by local farmer Leon Gottfried. Classes commenced in September 1937. Five years later, a teacherage building was bought and moved to the site. As student enrollment dwindled into the 1960s, Lilac School was consolidated into Evergreen School Division No. 22 and the district was formally dissolved in April 1967.

In the early 1990s, the wood frame building sat vacant at SE24-19-3E. It was later given the local air cadets who moved it to Ridge Road and used it for winter exercises. It later burned down. An associated teacherage, purchased by the school trustees for $275 and moved to the school site for an additional $60, remains there.

Among the teachers who worked at Lilac School were Peter John Humeniuk (Fall 1937 - Spring 1939), Alexander W. Ewanchuk (Fall 1939 - Spring 1941), Eva Dorothy Persoage (Fall 1941 - Spring 1942), Michael A. Shewaga (Fall 1942 - Spring 1943), Gregory Marko (Fall 1943 - Spring 1949, August-November 1949), Alexander James Nicholychuk (November 1949 - June 1950 & Fall 1950 - Spring 1952), John Alexander Melnyk (Fall 1952 - Spring 1954), Helen Gaye Pashnitski (Fall 1954 - Spring 1955), Mary Louise Klym (Fall 1955 - Spring 1956), Ingibjorg “Inga” Nelson [Ingiborg? Neilson?] (Fall 1956 - Spring 1957), and Peter Wesley (Fall 1957 - Spring 1967).

Lilac School

Lilac School (no date) by H. D. Cumming
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-3, page 130.

Former teacherage for Lilac School

Former teacherage for Lilac School (December 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Lilac School commemorative monument

Lilac School commemorative monument (September 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.64024, W97.04190
denoted by symbol on the map above


A History of Education in the Evergreen School Division by John C. Gottfried, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1965.

One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.

A Study of Public School Buildings in Manitoba by David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1994, 230 pages.

Rural Municipality of Gimli: Historical Highlights, 1887-1987 by Rural Municipality of Gimli Centennial Homecoming Committee. Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.G55 Rur.

Manitoba School Records Collection, Lilac School District No. 2282 - Daily Registers, GR6124, Archives of Manitoba.

Lilac School Teacherage,” RM of Gimli Building Inventory Form, Heritage Manitoba.

We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 22 January 2023

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