Manitoba Historical Society
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Honorary Secretary's Report, Annual Meeting, 13 June 1961

by Mrs. A. E. Brown

MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1960-61 season

This article was published originally in MHS Transactions by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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Our Annual. Meeting this evening is the eighth meeting of the Manitoba Historical Society to be held during the 1960-61 season. Our regular meetings from October to April were held in McMaster House, through the courtesy of the Manitoba Teachers' Society.

For the September meeting about 100 of our members travelled by chartered bus to visit the Dufferin Historical Society at Carman. A stop was made at Aubin Nurseries where the members toured the premises on a tractor-drawn hay rack; a novel and exciting experience. We also visited their museum after which supper was served at the Canadian Legion Hall. The program consisted of a showing of some very interesting slides of a series of water colours of western Canadian farm life by Mr. Arthur A. Brooke; presented and commented upon by Prof. Paul Hebert. The originals of these water colours are in the possession of the Dufferin Historical Society. Rev. J. A. E. Hoskins then gave a paper on the history of the Carman area entitled Settlement on the Boyne.

At our October meeting the speaker was Dr. Victor Peters, whose paper, The Hutterian Brethren in Manitoba, was the result of much careful study and research, in which Dr. Peters was given every assistance by the Hutterians with whom he worked. This paper gave us a glimpse of the more extensive study which Dr. Peters did for his M.A. work under a Manitoba Historical Society fellowship. His address was followed by a period of questions and discussion in which the attending members demonstrated a keen interest in the topic of the evening.

In November, Dr. Murray Fisher presented an interesting and informative paper entitled: Local Government Reorganization.

The subjects chosen for our January and February meetings were both concerned with the history and way of life of our western Indians, but they dealt with widely differing aspects of this topic. On January 17, Mr. Walter Hlady gave a most interesting and detailed account of Indian migrations in Manitoba and the West. He used a large number of maps to illustrate the migration patterns as these had been determined by actual archaeological exploration and evidence. Our speaker for February was Dr. R. W. Dunning who gave us the result of a number of years of first hand research into the Social Organization of the Algonquin Tribes in Ontario and Manitoba.

In March, Prof. T. R. Weir, Head of the Geography Department at the University of Manitoba, read a paper entitled Settlement in Southwest Manitoba, 1870-1891. To illustrate his paper he had prepared beautifully detailed and accurate maps to illustrate each step along the way as the open plains of southern Manitoba became the settled farm lands of today.

Our April meeting was an innovation. It was the first time that members f the Junior Chapters have provided the program for a general meeting. The Clubs represented were the Fonseca Chapter of Grades VII and VIII in Gordon Bell High School, whose contribution was entitled Along the Assiniboine from Fort Garry to Omand's Creek. Miss R. Whiteside's groups from St. John's High School presented a series, Reminiscences of St. John's School and District. Their material had been gathered through interviews with pioneer citizens of the district. Mr. Orlikow of Kelvin was the sponsor of the third group, and Laurie Halprin gave a brief history of The Fifty Years of Kelvin High School for their Chapter, supported by Junior Members dressed in the school fashions of earlier times. It seemed to be the general feeling that our Junior Members had provided a worthwhile evening.

During the past year, the Society has embarked on three new projects. The first of these was the setting up of the Manitoba Record Society, with Prof. William Smith as General Editor. This project involves the Manitoba Historical Society's underwriting the publication of at least the first two annual volumes, after which time it is hoped that the Record Society will have become self-sustaining. A commitment of at least $5000.00 by the Manitoba Historical Society has been made in order to launch the Record Society. The date for publication of the first volume has been tentatively set as 1963.

Our second project involves providing financial assistance to selected museum person el experienced in the work of Manitoba's small museums. This assistance will enable them to attend a course in museum management which will be given at Oshawa, Ontario in October of this year. Miss Barbara Johnstone is chairman of the Committee in charge of this project. The third is a summer program to assist Mr. Lionel Orlikow in the making of a historical survey in which he plans to interview and record on tape the reminiscences of some of our older citizens who have been political figures and labour leaders. It is hoped that it will be possible to make a summer project of some sort a continuing work, using students doing graduate work, to make community history surveys. In this way our historical resources will be more effectively preserved.

The Ross House Museum had another successful season. The construction of the Disraeli Bridge freeway and the attendant traffic problems in the area had an effect on attendance. On the whole, however, the season was a good one and our thanks are extended to Mr. Leonard Reid, the chairman of the Ross House Committee.

In February, our secretary, Mrs. Bell, who has filled this position most capably since September, 1958, resigned, and her place was taken by Mrs. Dorothy Newton.

Mr. Nathan Arkin, who has been chairman of the Membership Committee for a number of years, reports an increase in regular members to 476. When the number of those who have contributed to the society is added to this figure, the total number who have shown a supportive interest in the work of the society amounts to 533. In this connection Mr. Steward Martin, who was in charge of the drive for donations, deserves special commendation for his efforts on our behalf.

As most of you are probably aware by this time, just one year ago our publication, Manitoba Pageant, received an award from the Canadian Historical Association in recognition of the contribution which it has made in the field of local history. The Pageant has completed another year of successful publication. Our greatest problem remains, as it was last year, that of finding some way in which this little magazine can be most effectively placed before a larger number of our young people.

The members will be glad to know that the History of the Jews in Manitoba by Rabbi A. Chiel, which was prepared some years ago under the sponsorship of the Society, will be published this September. This valuable work is being made available to the public through the generosity of a group of citizens interested in its publication.

In closing I would like to remind you that our own annual publication No. 16, Series III of our Transactions will be off the press soon.

Recently, the work of our Society has been recognized at a national level for the second successive year. Our award this year is made by the Local History Section of the Canadian Historical Association to Provincial Societies deemed to have made an outstanding contribution in this field.

Page revised: 9 February 2023

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