Historic Sites of Manitoba: Durban School No. 1080 (Durban, Municipality of Swan Valley West)
The Durban School District was established formally in July 1900, probably named for the city in South Africa. A school opened on the southeast quarter of 29-34-28W in what is now the Municipality of Swan Valley West. This location proved to be low and wet so, in 1901, the building was moved to the southwest corner of NW29-34-28W. It operated until around 1912 when it closed due to low student enrollment and the building was destroyed soon after in a grass fire.
During the winter of 1912-1913, a meeting was held in the village of Durban to discuss the formation of a consolidated school district. A favourable vote resulted in the formation, in 1913, of Durban Consolidated School No. 1080 through the merger of Durban School with Pretoria School No. 1113 (located at 35-33-29W) and Central Valley School No. 1409 (located in the village of Durban). It was decided that the consolidated school would operate in the village due to its central location. The old Central Valley School building being too small, a new two-storey wood frame structure was erected between 1913 and 1914. It soon became overcrowded, and another classroom was established in its basement. Two additional rooms were added to the south side of the building in 1921, and at that time some 120-140 students in grades 1 to 11 were taught by four or five teachers.
In April 1967, Durban Consolidated School became part of the Swan Valley School Division. Five months later, on 3 September 1967, the school burned to the ground and students were transferred to Kenville School or Benito School. The building was never rebuilt and the site now stands vacant.
Among the teachers of Durban School were Chris Nichol, W. R. Cottingham, Bert Green, Mary Guthrie, Mary Barker, A. H. Plummer, Nestor T. Shabits, and Garnet R. Harland (1940).
Photos & Coordinates
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
The Development of Education in Swan River Valley by J. N. R. Clark, MEd thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, 1949.
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.
Boots, Buggies & Buses: Swan Valley Schools in Quest of Education, Swan Valley School Division No. 35, circa 1998.
We thank John Madsen and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 23 December 2019