Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

Volume 35, No 2
December 2002 / January 2003


Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner
President's Message
New Members, Contributors, Key Campaign Donors
MHS Capote Raffle
Book Launchs
Canada's First Literary Ladies
Dalnavert Update
Ross House Museum
MHS Young Historians Awards
Heritage News
Ste-Elizabeth: Restoring a Landmark
Spring Field Trip

Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner

The Manitoba Historical Society cordially invites you to the Sir John A. Macdonald Annual Dinner, January 18, 2003 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

Reception: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Justice Mr. Murray Sinclair

Topic: Pocketful of Mumbles

Tickets $100.00 per person
2 tickets $200.00 non members
2 tickets $175.00 MHS Members

Tax receipt for a portion of your ticket.

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair as the Keynote Speaker at the annual Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner on January 18th, 2003. Mr. Sinclair has published and lectured on a varied range of topics, including youth justice and Aboriginal issues. He is of Canadian Ojibway descent, the first Aboriginal Judge in Manitoba and the second in Canada. He has lectured in Cambridge, England and extensively throughout North America. He is a graduate of physical education and law from the University Manitoba and arts from the University of Winnipeg and he also received three honourary degrees. He was co-commissioner of the Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People of Manitoba. In January, 2001 he was appointed a judge of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench.

President's Message

Wow! 125 years! That is what the Manitoba Historical Society will have reached in 2004. To some, that seems like a long time off but when you think about it, it really isn't. The new year must inspire us to create ideas and energy, to unite and bring members together to organize events and to get our message - our accomplishments - out to all Manitobans.This milestone has been reached by only one other historical society throughout Canada. The question is, therefore, how can we - the membership - celebrate our 125th Anniversary and ensure, collectively, that the Manitoba Historical Society continues for the next 125 years?

Since becoming President, I have enjoyed meeting members and listening to their suggestions on how we can "better the Society". In my opinion, this is not only an issue for Council but one for the membership. Why did you join the MHS? Was it because you are interested in our province's history and would like to meet others with the same interests? I would like to hear from you and encourage you to become involved. After all, this is your Society.

I am pleased to report that the Society recently filled the two vacant positions on the Executive. I am excited to announce that Gordon Goldsborough and Stephanie Middagh have accepted the challenge. Both bring with them a varied background of experience and expertise that will be a great asset to the Society. With the Executive now complete, I plan to focus on the role and mandate of the various committees and to ensure all committee positions are filled. We still have openings for some of the committees and I welcome members to step forward and answer the call.

In closing, I would like to inform everyone that the Manitoba Historical Society is about to embark on an adventure of great transition. Council will be reviewing many of the policies and procedures and ensuring that our staff have the proper resources and support needed to carry out their day to day duties. We must look at ways to increase the number of visitors to our two museums, Dalnavert and Ross House. Most importantly though, Council must create the energy and enthusiasm to inspire members to become more involved. This will ensure the continuous success the MHS has enjoyed over the past 125 years.

On behalf of the Executive and Council, I would like to wish all members a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. I hope to meet with many at one of our Society's festive events at Dalnavert and at the Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner in January.

Steven Place

New Members, Contributors, Key Campaign Donors

New Members

Mel Chwartacki
Dan Furlan - Welcome Back


Carol Polson
Doris M. Stone
Rose Podruski
Lee Treilhard

Key Campaign

William & Shirley Loewen


Morley Lesley Brown of the Treesbank District, husband of former MHS president, Alice Brown, died on September 23. He was born on his grandfather David Brown's homestead in the RM of Oakland in 1909. He attended school in Treesbank and Stockton and later farmed until the outbreak of World War II. He served with the RCAF during the war. For thirty years beginning in 1945 he resided in Winnipeg where he was involved in various business ventures. In 1975 Morley and Alice moved back to Treesbank to enjoy their retirement years. Morley took great interest in local history. He guided early historians to virtually unknown sites of fur trading posts in the Treesbank area.

Robert Kennedy, a long-time MHS member, died in Winnipeg on October 27. He was born in Scotland in 1909 and he moved to Canada in 1913. After completing his schooling at Mulvey and Kelvin schools he started his 47 year career with the CPR offices, rising to the position of office manager for the vice- president. Always very active in his church, he served as volunteer manager of the the Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery for over 25 years.

Former MHS member Lily Hobbs died in Winnipeg on October 30 at 97 years. She retired in 1964 after 40 years with the federal department of agriculture's poultry division. A life member of the Winnipeg Sketch Club, she served as its secretary for 17 years. She did the research for the history of the Winnipeg Sketch Club that was published in 1952. Her world travels provided her with subject matter for countless sketches of landscapes, buildings and people. She was a member of the Winnipeg Business and Professional Woman's Club from 1938, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star for over 50 years and for many years she was a member of the Manitoba Naturalists Society and MHS.

MHS Capote Raffle

You, too, have the opportunity to wrap yourself in history. You saw a picture of Judith Hudson Beattie, Keeper of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, in her HBC blanket capote in the newsletter last year. She enjoyed making it so much that she decided to create one as a money-making venture for MHS. HBC has donated the materials, and Judy did the hand sewing and blanket stitch trim (though without the buttons shown here), an estimated $600 value. The coat is medium-large (its wrap-around style and dropped sleeves with cuffs accommodate a range of body types). Tickets ($2 each or three for $5) are available from council and executive members or the office until the draw, which will take place in June. All proceeds will go to support the Centennial Business Awards project of MHS.

Book Launchs

A Thousand Miles of Prairie, the new collection of 15 articles from early MHS transactions edited and introduced by Jim Blanchard, was officially launched on November 27 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in the Grant Park Winnipeg store. The transactions have been chosen for their interest to modern readers and because their authors were prominent in the early history of the province. The collection includes papers by Dr. John Schultz, Archbishop Matheson and John Dafoe as well as MHS presidents Dr. George Bryce and Charles Napier Bell. One of the Challener Murals from Winnipeg's former Royal Alexander Hotel is displayed on the cover. This attractive paperback, priced at $19.95, is available at the MHS office, Dalnavert's Carlton Lane Gift Shop and the bookstores just in time for Christmas. Publisher: University of Manitoba Press.

You are invited to the Manitoba Archives Building on Sunday, January 26, 2003 from 2- 4 p.m. to attend a reading from Undelivered Letters edited by Judith Hudson Beattie and Helen M. Buss. Some of the undelivered letters from the Hudson's Bay Company Archives will be on display. This will also mark Judy's retirement as Keeper of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives after almost twenty-two years with her colleagues at the Provincial Archives of Manitoba, so please come and join the celebration. For those who may wish to buy the book, UBC Press is offering the hardcover at half price for this occasion only.

Canada's First Literary Ladies

The University Women's Club will be offering a six week course "Canada's First Literary Ladies" beginning Tuesday morning, January 18. The cost of the course is $50. To register, or for further information, please call Janice MacDonald at the Club 954-7880.

This course will look at women such as Francis Brooke, Elizabeth Simcoe, Anna Jameson and Susanna Moodie who are an important part of our literary heritage and whose writings give many interesting insights into life in Canada in the early days of settlement. The instructor is Céline Kear, past president of the MHS.

Dalnavert Update

Many people contributed to this autumn's Cook Book Sale. Unfortunately it coincided with the strike at the Winnipeg Free Press that limited the amount of publicity that could be achieved on the event. It is this factor that resulted in an unexpectedly low turn out and consequently poor sales. However the committee is not despairing; we still have an excellent stock of Cook Books and are planning to coordinate the selling of the remaining cook books in either another cook book sale in the new year or perhaps as part of another fundraiser.

Currently the main emphasis around Dalnavert is the preparations that are being made for the upcoming Christmas season. Visiting Dalnavert Museum in December has become a Christmas tradition for many people. Many of the images, which we relate to Christmas, were popularised in Victorian England, such as the Christmas tree, glass ornaments and Christmas cards. All of these can be seen in their original context at Dalnavert Museum, the restored Victorian home of Sir Hugh John Macdonald.

Upcoming Programming:

December 4th from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. the School of Scottish Arts will be presenting "Highlights of a Scottish Christmas and Hogmanay". Come learn the traditions surrounding the most important season of the Scottish calendar then sample some traditional holiday foods. The cost is $15 each and reservations are required. Please call (204) 943-2835.

December 8th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will be the "Festive Celebration of Christmas" at 61 Dalnavert. There will be carollers and festive treats in the attic including our popular Apple Ambrosia. The cost is Adults $5, Senior Citizens and Children $4 and/or Families $15.

December 13th to 22nd there will be the fourteenth annual presentation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Each performance is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $12 each plus GST. Advance tickets are required.. Please call (204) 943-2835 for reservations.

Through a visit to Dalnavert you can surround yourself in an old-fashioned Christmas feeling. During most of December the museum will be operating at its normal times. Following Boxing Day the museum will be open December 27, 28, 29, 30, January 2, 4 and 5 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. The cost of admission includes a guided tour.

As of January 4, 2003 Dalnavert will be reverting to its mid-winter hours of operation. At that time tours will be available Saturday and Sunday only, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Christmas Shoppers

Our Carlton Lane Gift Shop is now stocked with a variety of gift-giving solutions. Recent arrivals include a selection of attractively packaged tea, fancy teaspoons and glass Christmas tree ornaments in traditional shapes. Also we have an interesting selection of books, china headed dolls, Christmas tree tinsel - tin icicles, stocking stuffers and a whole lot more. Oh yes, we have glass pickles too! Come early before the stock is reduced.

Did you know?

In 1848 the first glass ornaments were made by a company in Germany. These were solid glass balls however it was not very long before hollow glass ornaments became available including some in fanciful shapes. The most unusual is perhaps the glass pickle. It was traditional that the first child to spot the glass pickle on the tree received an extra gift.

Ross House Museum

In 1984 when Ross House Museum was moved from Higgins Avenue to its present location in Joe Zuken Heritage Park (at the corner of Euclid and Meade) interpretation panels were created to assist visitors in obtaining an overall perspective of the lives of the Red River peoples. In the intervening years since then the approaches to interpretation have evolved. In wishing to update the interpretation of the Museum, the Ross family and the Red River Settlement a pair of consultants (Aimm North Heritage Tourism Consulting and Cultural Visions Consulting) have been hired by the Society. The cost of this project is being supported by funds on hand, a grant from the Manitoba Heritage Grants Advisory Council and two Bingos allocated by the Manitoba Lotteries Foundation.

As part of the Bingo allocation we are required to provide volunteer staff. In this instance the time requirement is approximately 3 hours per volunteer per occasion. We have not been informed of our Bingo dates but volunteers will be required to staff them. Would you like to assist for one or more Bingos? If you would be willing to help to staff a Bingo, that will help to pay for improvements to Ross House, please call Tim Worth at 943-2835.

MHS Young Historians Awards

The winning schools in the 2001 MHS Young Historians competition are listed below in alphabetical order. Teachers' names and the abbreviated form of the school name used in the winners' lists are included.



Arborg Collegiate (AC), Arborg

Mr. Gerrard

Balmoral Hall (BH), Winnipeg

J. Christie
S. Bourbonnais
D. Alexander

Deloraine Elementary School (DE), Deloraine

Mr. Joyal

Ecole Morden School (EM), Morden

L. Mereniuk

Grant Park School (GP), Winnipeg

P. Bursa

Holy Ghost School (HG), Winnipeg

Miss Gentile

Manitou Elementary School (ME), Manitou

Mrs. Spencer

Pineland Colony School (PC), Pineland Colony

I.T. Ruttle

Portage Collegiate Institute (PC), Portage la Prairie

J. Kostuchuk

Ruth Hooker School (RH), Selkirk

J. Sprange

St. Francis Xavier School (SF), St. Francis Xavier

B. A. Tiltman

St. Mary's Academy (SM), Winnipeg

Mrs. Nickel
B. Lucas
Mr. Swirksy

Strathmillan School (SS), Winnipeg

S. Steuart

West Kildonan Collegiate (WK), Winnipeg

T. Schmidt

Willerton School (WS), Neepawa

J. Young

Level A (grades 5 - 7)

Grade 5 Awards

Family History


Johnathon Bogoslowski (SF), My Grandfather's Life


Holly Penman (BH), My Family's Past

Historical Fiction


Megan McCullough (SS), Diary of Emily Gibson


Brianna Hicks (SS), Ivy Gibson's Journey to Winnipeg


Jennifer Schroeder (EM), Dear Diary, it's me, Emily Carr

Grade 6 Awards

Historical Fiction


Grace Boyd (BH), Henry Hudson's Diary


Claire Lefevre (BH), The Great Depression Diary

Honorable Mention

Ashley Adams (DE), The Long Awaited Railroad



Nora Fien (BH), Thomas Clement Douglas


Krystie Seymour (HG), Catherine Schubert


Travis Kemp (DE), International Peace Gardens



Marfisia Bel (BH), The Fort Garry Hotel


Karlen Prendiville (BH), The Forks


Teresa Kennedy (BH), The North West Company

Honorable Mention

Melissa Dayton (SF), History of Schools in St. Francis Xavier

Computer Project

Award of Merit

Grade 6 class (RH), Historic Sites of Manitoba

Models/ Dioramas


Keri Guenther (SF), Prairie Giants - Canadian Grain Elevator


Jamie Slivinski (HG), North West Coast Indians


Michelle Weber (EM), Klondike Goldrush

Posters/Paintings (Grade 5)


Zack Clark (SF), Effects of the Fur Trade of Western Canada

Posters /Paintings (Grade 6)


Natasha Zloty (BH), NWMP


Susan Kim (HG), Nellie McClung


Erika Kasper (BH), Red River Settlement

Honorable Mention

Stephanie Caldwell (ME), Manitoba Legislative

Level B - Grades 8, 9 (S1) & 10 (S2)

Family History


Jolene Gross (PC), My Family's History


Caitlin Puchniak (SM), History of O'Conner/Downey Farm

3rd (tie)

Vlado Batarilo (GP), Family History
Jenna Stacey (BH), Family History Project

Historical Fiction


Bria Sharkey (SM), Klondike Chronicles


Jamie Rosin (BH), Property of Angela O'Ryan


Erika Rae Pinga (SM), Japanese Internment Camps

Honorable Mention

Nadveep Grewal (SM), The Letters of Peter Pond
Jill Richot (SM), A War at Home



Danielle Dubois (SM), The Red River Rebellion


Christine Nolting (BH), Nellie Mclung: Life of a Remarkable Woman

3rd (tie)

Laura Horosko (SM), The People of the Canadian Prairies and the Great Depression
Kathryn Patrick (SM), The Formation of the HBC

Posters / Model / Dioramas


Tiffany Walker (SM), The Trial of Louis Riel


Kendall Row (SM), Japanese Internment


Tegan McNabb (SM), The Iron Link

Level C - Grades 11 (S3) & 12 (S4)

Family History


Richelle McCullough (BH), Harry Harmon McCullough's Farm: a Family History


Joel Fridfinnson (AC), Joel Fridfinnson's Family History


Christy Young (WK), Overland by Cart

Historical Fiction


Manon Gamache (BH), Letters


Lisa Wicklund (PC), Leaves from a Lost Diary


Catherine Quirk (SM)¸Willow Weep for Me



Laura Penner (BH), Rose Shepak


Holly Yeo (PC), Research

3rd (tie)

Karissa Wollmann (WS), Japanese Canadian Internment Diary WWII
Nathanea Van Kuik Fast (BH), Winnipeg, a History of Immigrant Exploitation



Jane Polak Scowcroft (BH), The Exchange District


Melissa Grapentine, Christina Caliguin & Jackelyn Tsouras (SM), The University of Manitoba


Carmen Hui (BH), Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Nutcracker

School Group Project

Award of Merit

Centennial Oral History Project, Balmoral Hall School

MHS Young Historians Awards Reception: Manitoba Archives, November 17, 2002

A large crowd for the awards presentations

Dr. T. Kenneth Thorlakson presents grade 5 awards

Some of the grade 6 projects

Heritage News

The St. Vital Historical Society operates a museum located at room 17, 900 St. Mary's Road, on the same site as the Louis Riel School Division Offices. In addition to the various articles on display there is a large collection of photographs and written material highlighting the history of St. Vital. The museum, which is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is operated by volunteers. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Two special exhibits mark the 100th anniversary of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface. One exhibit, "Once Upon a Time in My Little Corner of the World", highlights the services and collections of the Society through museum artifacts, photographs, letters, maps and books. The display will visit various centres in rural Manitoba for about two years. The second exhibit, "Cherished Memories - Treasures Revealed," will be shown until September, 2004 at the Salon Empire of the Centre du patrimoine at 340 Provencher Blvd in the Centre culturel franco-manitobain. Early records from the first parishes of the St Boniface Diocese, photographs of early French Canadian pioneers and a Belcourt French-Ojibway dictionary are displayed.

The St. Nicholas Orthodox Church of Arbakka near Vita will be moved with most of its historical contents to Fort La Reine Museum in Portage la Prairie before the end of 2002. The Ukrainian Connection group in Portage la Prairie took possession of the historic building and raised funds to move it to a new concrete foundation at the museum.

The expanded Northwest Regional Library in Swan River has a room specifically designed for archives with proper temperature and humidity controls and a separate entrance. Archival material formerly stored in the museum building is being moved to the new facility. A local person is being hired to begin developing an archive that would meet the needs of the community. Gwen Palmer, secretary of the Swan Valley Historical Museum said that training and ongoing support for the new staff person and for volunteers will come from the Association of Manitoba Archives.

Teulon United Church on September 14th and 15th celebrated 100 years worshiping in its present building, first as a Methodist congregation, then joining with the Presbyterians in 1912 as a Union Church and finally as part of the United Church of Canada in 1925.

Ste-Elizabeth: Restoring a Landmark

The town of Ste-Elizabeth, founded in 1898, belongs to the Municipality of Montcalm and borders the Municipality of De Salaberry. It is approximately 50 miles South East of Winnipeg, off Highway #23. At one time, this town spanned over an area of twelve sections long by eight sections wide. The parish erected its first Roman Catholic Church and Rectory in 1901, but unfortunately, a devastating fire destroyed it in May 1951. Shortly after the loss, a new Church was built, which is the building that still stands to this day.

The Church served as a place of worship until 1989 after which it was sold to an individual.

In May 2002, a group of descendants and former parishioners had the opportunity to purchase the Church and the land it sits on. Gabriel Collette of St. Malo spearheaded this project, with the encouragement of his father, Marcel. The Ste-Elizabeth Historical Committee was then formed and negotiations soon started to purchase this landmark, with the help of the Archdiocese of St-Boniface. Shortly after the purchase was finalized, the task of repairing the building and cleaning the debris around it was undertaken by the committee and a group of dedicated volunteers. The purpose of this project to the committee and volunteers is to transform this landmark into a historical monument, dedicated to their ancestors.

Anyone wishing to make a tax deductible donation towards this project can send a cheque, payable to "The Archdiocese of St-Boniface", to:

Ste-Elizabeth Historical Committee
Attn: Michelle Gratton
25 Cherry Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2J 1V8

Other fundraising events include a 2003 Calendar and a recipe book. If you're interested in purchasing a calendar, please call Michelle at (204) 257-5466. The recipe book should be ready by the summer 2003.

A descendant from Ste-Elizabeth, Yolande (Dupuis) Rheault, is working diligently on a history book to commemorate this town's centennial. If you have any information or pictures that could enhance this book, please contact Yolande at (204) 233-4735 or e-mail For more information, visit our website: http://groups.msn/com/SteElizabethManitoba.

Spring Field Trip

The MHS field trip committee is rescheduling the field trip to Ukrainian settlements in eastern Manitoba that had to be cancelled last June. It will be held in June 2003. People who registered last time will have first choice of tickets. See details in next Keywords.

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