Historic Sites of Manitoba: Margaret Underhill School (25 Regina Place, Winnipeg)
This two-storey elementary school commemorates Margaret Underhill, the first full-time female Principal in the Transcona School District. Built of Tyndall stone in 1965, the school was based on designs of Winnipeg architectural firm of Ward and Macdonald. It had 24 classrooms, a music room, and library, all centered around an auditorium. The school opened to students in September 1965 and was officially opened on 19 November 1965 by Underhill at a ribbon-cutting event. The ribbon was held by two other veteran teachers, Miss C. Irving and Miss M. Webster. Speaking at the event before a crowd of 200 were Superintendent Bobby Bend, Mayor Harry Fuller, Manitoba Legislative Assembly Speaker Thelma Forbes, MLA Andrew Russell Paulley, and Department of Education Director of Special Services C. J. Muller. Other local long-serving female teachers in attendance included Miss E. Hammond, Miss Millie Webster, Miss Kay Irving, Miss I. Coltart, Mrs H. Spackman Kerr, Miss Marion Webster, Miss M. Wright, Miss H. McKellar, Miss M. Hammond, Miss E. Nevens, and Miss C. Hurst. Keys to the school were presented by Louis Ducharme to Principal A. J. Robson, architect Laurie Ward, Superintendent Bobby Bend, and Maintenance Supervisor G. Demare.
Inside the entrance of the building is a plaque, unveiled on the same as the school’s official opening, that commemorates female educators of notable tenure in the district, most of which taught at the Central School, who provided a combined 741 years of service. Their names, along with their respective years of service, are: Mrs. Myra Inez Barton Fowler (32), Miss Annie Bell (18), Miss Victoria M. Brown (20), Miss Isabelle Mary Coltart (31), Mrs. Linda Dozois Crossland (26), Miss Elizabeth Florence Hammond (35), Miss Mildred Mary Hammond (36), Mrs. Alice Elsie Harvey Peck (38), Miss Marian M. Hurst (34), Miss Catheryne [Cathryne] Barbara Irving (41), Miss Mae Masters (29), Miss Florence Catherine Matheson (34), Miss Helen May McKellar (26), Miss Lulu Violet Moir (24), Miss Edythe Murdock Nevens (36), Miss Lily Almyra Nevens (39), Mrs. Eliza Lillian Scott Hunt (17), Mrs. Helen Spackman Kerr (17), Miss Helen Tandy (16), Margaret Underhill (36), Miss Millie Webster (38), Miss Marion Elizabeth Webster (37), Mrs Mattie Ward Widlake (24), Miss Effie Marian Wilson (21), and Miss Mary Elma Wright (36).
In September 1993, the school introduced a French Immersion program for the Transcona-Springfield School Division and, in September 1996, it became Ecole Margaret-Underhill. It is now within the River East Transcona School Division.
Photos & Coordinates
[Photo caption], Transcona News, 11 June 1965, page 1.
“Lady teachers honored in newest elementary school,” Transcona News, 25 November 1965, page 1.
“Teachers honored,” Transcona News, 25 November 1965, page 12.
“School meeting makes parents even angrier,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 May 1972, page 3.
“Push-button arithmetic - help or hindrance?,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 September 1975, page 17.
From Slate to Computer in the Transcona-Springfield Area 1873-1983 by Nan Shipley, 1983, page 350.
“Alert teacher scares off attacker during schoolyard assault on girl,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 1987, page 3.
“New Principals appointed,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly Rural Edition, 12 May 1992, page 11.
“Warm-hearted students collect blankets,” Winnipeg Free Press Community Review North, 21 November 2001 page 1.
About Ecole Margaret-Underhill, River East Transcona School Division.
We thank the River East Transcona School Division for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 4 September 2020