Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

Volume 35, No 3
February / March 2003


Czech & Slovak Event
President's Message
New Members, Contributors, Key Campaign Donors
Manitoba History on the Internet
MHS Capote Raffle
Book Launchs
Dalnavert Update
Chocolate Madness
Manitoba Free Press On-line
Heritage News
Manitoba Museum Plans to Cut Services
MHS Annual General Meeting
MHS Fall Field Trip Photos
MHS Member Completes 14th Book on Ukrainians
Book Launch
Electrical Museum is Worth Seeing
Sir John A. Macdonald Annual Dinner
MHS Centennial Business Awards
Spring Field Trip
Dalnavert Garage Sale

Czech-Slovak Event

Tuesday, March 18, 5:30 cash bar, 6:00 dinner

Canadian Czechoslovak
Benevolent Association of Winnipeg
154 McKenzie Street at Pritchard Avenue
(half block north of Selkirk Avenue)

Shelley Sweeney, Head, Archives and Special Collections, University of Manitoba will speak on the Czech and Slovak Community in Manitoba.


  • The Furiant Dancers
  • Opera Singer Miriam Haverda Sings
  • Slovak Folk Songs

Price: $16.00 per person


  • Knedlícková hovezí polévka se zeleninou (Meat Dumpling Soup with vegetables)
  • Veprová pecenc, zelí, knedlík (roast pork, dumplings, sweet & sour cabbage)
  • Zákusek: ruzné koláce (Assorted pastries)
  • Tea or Coffee
  • Czech and Slovak beers, Czech rum, wine and imported mineral water are available

Seats will be reserved on receipt of payment at the MHS office. Seating is limited and is allotted on a strictly "first come, first served" basis. Phone 947-0559 to make reservations or for more information. Street parking on Pritchard, McKenzie and Selkirk. No. 16 Selkirk bus stops at McKenzie in both directions.

President's Message

Happy New Year to all Members! I trust you had a relaxing and enjoyable Holiday Season. With our Society's 125th Anniversary only one year away, 2003 promises to be a very busy and exciting year.

Many of you may have attended our annual fundraiser, the Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner this past January. I hope you had an enjoyable evening listening to our guest speaker, the Honourable Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair and were entertained by the colourful and vibrant Summer Bear Dance Troupe. I urge that many of you will return next year to kick off our 125th celebration.

During the year, the Manitoba Historical Society plans to organize many opportunities for you. As usual, annual events such as Chocolate Madness at Dalnavert, our Canada (Dominion) Day celebration at Ross House and our Multicultural Dinner are all again on our organizing board. Other events, such as lectures, joint meetings with other heritage organizations and our Annual General Meeting are also being thought out and planned.

The Society will hold this year's AGM outside of Winnipeg to provide a relaxing environment for its members and to support local historical and heritage associations. The AGM will be in Gimli on May 31st.

As with most groups and organizations, success of these events and gatherings can only be ensured by the strong support and attendance by its members. I hope that you will not only attend such events but WILL GET INVOLVED! This will result in having members return for our 125th anniversary celebration.

The Executive is open to ideas and suggestions. If you have any thoughts on how the Society could benefit this year or next, please do not hesitate to contact Jackie at the office. I hope that the membership will continue to support our programs and activities and look forward to meet many of you in the coming months.

Steven Place

New Members, Contributors, Key Campaign Donors

New Members

J. Bumsted & W. Owen
Department of Indian Affairs, Ottawa
Deborah Edwards
Robert B. Jackson
Roy P. Vallance


Donald Bailey
U. Frances Bowles
Friesens Corporation
Ernest Hansch Foundation
Carl James
David J. McDowell
Margaret Morse
Areen Mulder
Richardson Foundation
Shirlee Anne Smith


Lillian Ruth Buggey, life member of MHS, died in Winnipeg on January 5, 2003. Ruth was born in Rivers in 1913. She took her B. A. at United College in 1933, her Bachelor of Library Science at McGill University in 1934 and her Master of Library Science at the University of Michigan in 1964. She had an interesting career in a variety of libraries, retiring in 1975. Ruth worked as a volunteer at Dalnavert in the gift/reception area, and in recent years she continued contact with the museum through her membership in the Friends of Dalnavert.

Manitoba History on the Internet

The MHS web site underwent a significant redesign recently, and is now up and ready for viewing. The new site has all the contents of the original site, and a lot more. The tables of contents of all issues of our journal, Manitoba History, are on-line and can be searched using a convenient link at the top of every page. Also available are lists of the older Transactions (some of which were reprinted recently in Jim Blanchard's book Thousand Miles of Prairie), and Manitoba Pageant. There are a few features available only on the site, such as a profile of Manitoba church architecture, and others are being prepared. A comprehensive list of links provide access to a wide range of related sites.

We have big plans for future expansion. We want it to be the best site on the Internet for learning about Manitoba history. A new item that will be available soon is "Manitoba Historical Photo of the Week" featuring selections from the extensive collections in the Provincial Archives of Manitoba, as well as contributions from Society members. If you have photos that you would like to share with visitors to our web site, or have information that you would like to see on it (for example, notices on upcoming events, historical projects, meetings, and new books, articles and notes relating to local history, requests for information - all free of charge), please contact our webmaster, Gordon Goldsborough, at 204-885-3969 or send email to

MHS Capote Raffle

Ladies and gentlemen, you, too, have the opportunity to wrap yourself in history. Judith Hudson Beattie, Keeper of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives and several other men and women made HBC blanket capotes at workshops in the past two years. Judy enjoyed making her capote so much that she decided to make another one as a fundraiser for MHS. HBC 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 MHS council and executive members or the MHS office until the draw, which will take place on June 11. All proceeds will go to support the Centennial Business Awards project of MHS.

Dalnavert Update

Last autumn Dalnavert benefited from two Bingos at the McPhillips Street Station Casino. Three thousand dollars were gained towards the cost of piloting a new series of programs this March. The Musems Management Committee wishes to thank those who volunteered to come out and fill the volunteer requirements for doing the Bingos. We have been allocated another two Bingos in March so if are over 18 years of age and you would like your name added to the list of those who have already expressed a willingness to volunteer for this activity, please call Tim at 943-2835. Each volunteer opportunity is for approximately 3 hours during the late afternoon.

The March programming that we will be piloting will have a variety of objectives but on the whole will introduce a new interpretative mandate to Dalnavert's audiences through programming that will be targeted at school groups, families, adults and seniors. Included in the range of new programming will be thematic lectures, workshops and tours. It is our aim through these programs to better interpret the history of Winnipeg in the 1890s. We are confident that many people will want to be included as a participant in these programs. To be one too or to simply find out more details about the upcoming programming please call Tim or Nancy at (204) 943-2835.

Did you have an opportunity to visit Dalnavert this past December? Many did. The Festive Sunday program was up in attendance and "Carlton Lane Gift Shop" reported excellent sales for the time period leading to Christmas. There was another Christmas Raffle; this year won by Hilda Zaiser and Liz Fraser. The dramatic reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was once again a sell-out. And already plans are underway for next year's program, the fifteenth. If you have yet to see Richard Hurst spin the tale, mark your calendar to order your tickets on October 1st. Be amongst those who make it an annual visit.

The sub-committee that is working towards the construction of an Interpretation Centre, adjacent to Dalnavert has been meeting regularly to review developments and guide the endeavours of the architect. The sub-committee is working to a timetable that would see construction starting in 2003 and completed in 2004. In addition to enabling a broader range of programming the building will provide an enhanced Gift Shop, a volunteer area and offices for the museum staff.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at 7:30 p.m. the School of Scottish Arts will be presenting a special program, "Scottish Secrets - Travel tips even your travel agent can't tell you." Whether you are planning a trip to Scotland or just an arm-chair traveler you will be sure to enjoy this program. The presenters will share their tips on how to plan theme vacations, from golf to historic castles, to fit any budget. The cost is $8 per person, which includes refreshments. Advance reservation is required for this program and can be done by calling (204) 943-2835.

Chocolate Madness

Sunday, February 9, 1:00 to 4:00

$5 admission gets you your first sampling ticket and a chance for a door prize. Additional sampling tickets: 12 for $5.00

After a low calorie lunch drop by Dalnavert for a decadent dessert or two and purchase a special Valentine treat for your "sweetie."

Manitoba Free Press On-line

The Manitoba Free Press, an MHS Centennial Business, began publication in 1872. Aside from a name change to Winnipeg Free Press, it is the longest running of the province's newspapers, and the oldest daily (since 1874) west of Toronto. The Free Press is an invaluable source of information about early life in Manitoba, and microfilm copies at libraries around the province are often the cornerstone of research by local historians. Marriage, birth, and death announcements provide useful data for genealogists, and local news can provide a more intimate look at events than is typically found in books and government documents. However, unless you are prepared to spend long hours hunched over a microfilm reader, you must know the exact date of an event in which you are interested. Scanning for information on a subject over a range of time requires a keen eye and patience which, in this day of easily searched computer databases and Internet search engines, requires far more work and dedication than many people are willing to commit.

A hi-tech solution to this problem appeared recently, as the genealogy web site created a name and subject index to the Manitoba Daily Free Press, covering the period from 1874 to 1893. The database is one of dozens in a "Historical Newspaper Collection," with the Free Press as the only Canadian representative. Access to the entire collection, including a large number of American papers, costs US$29.95 for three months or US$79.95 for one year. Given the focus on family records, it is understandable that the search facility provides only three fields: given name, surname, and keyword. Enter a word into one or more of these fields, and you are shown a list of pages where they appear from among the 31,000 in the database. Click on a page and it is displayed with your search word(s) highlighted. The page can be saved on your computer in JPEG format.

The database is a good first effort but it is far from perfect. It was created by capturing an image of an entire page using a computer scanner then using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to search the image for recognized words. The process was done automatically, without human supervision, so not all words appearing on a page were identified correctly. Likewise, poor-quality scans of faded pages or hyphenated words result in incomplete indexing, and some dates, often long sequences, were inexplicably not included in the database. Nevertheless, the database would useful to anyone doing research on the early history of Winnipeg and Manitoba, especially if a specific date is not known. For a more in-depth review of the site, see here.

Heritage News

The Canadian Pacific Rail station, a designated heritage site in Portage la Prairie, was badly damaged by fire last autumn. The City of Portage la Prairie and Fort la Reine Museum want to repair the building and keep it as a historic site. CP rail is considering a letter from city officials outlining plans for the station.

The Fort Garry Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at Pembina Trail Library at 2724 Pembina Highway on Saturday, February 22nd at 2:00 p.m. The guest speaker, Jim Blanchard, edited the new book, Thousand Miles of Prairie. He will read and discuss excerpts from some of the Manitoba Historical Society Transactions that were included in the book.

A war memorial known as the Angel Statue which was first erected outside the Canadian Pacific Railway station on Higgins Avenue in Winnipeg will be moving to a new home. After the station was sold by the CPR, the statue was moved to a cul-de-sac on Henry Avenue. Largely through the efforts of Syd Davy of Winnipeg about $19,000 has been raised and the statue has been moved to a warehouse to await the preparation of a new site on a huge slab of Chinese granite in front of Deer Lodge Centre on Portage Avenue. The 15 foot statue, created by Montreal sculptor Couer de Leon McCarthy, depicts an angel wending her way to heaven with a fallen soldier on her arm. The plaque on the original base indicates that the statue was to commemorate the CPR staff who lost their lives in World War I, 1914-1918. Later the commemoration was expanded to include World War II when the dates 1939-1945 were added to the bottom of the plaque. Mr. Davy, president of the Manitoba branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada and vice president of the Manitoba Branch of the Monarchist League of Canada, hopes the statue will be ready for rededication on the 59th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2003.

As part of its centennial celebrations, la Société historique de Saint-Boniface invites the public to a series of open houses relating to Manitoba's heritage. The first open house on January 18 focused on genealogy. At the second open house the focus is on "family treasures" - photos and other documents. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Centre de patrimoine, 340 Provencher Boulevard in St. Boniface. There will be bilingual displays and tours and an opportunity for visitors to speak to an archivist about their own archival materials. For more information call la Société historique de Saint-Boniface (204) 233-4888.

An act of parliament establishing Sir John A. Macdonald Day on January 11 and Sir Wilfred Laurier Day on November 20 has received royal assent. Now the birthdays of these distinguished prime ministers will be remembered. MHS has commemorated the birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald with a special dinner for the past thirty-eight years.

Manitoba Museum Plans to Cut Services

In early January the Manitoba Museum announced its intention to eliminate nine staff positions. This decision will be finalized on February 7. Included in the cuts are the two individuals who coordinated the Museum Advisory and Training Service (MATS).

The service assisted community museums with information, resources and on-site consultations on a wide range of museological topics. They also served as the conduit for access to the intellectual resources of the professional staff at the Manitoba Museum. As well, MATS administered the Preventive Conservation Service. Our own staff at Dalnavert and Ross House Museums have attended training sessions and consulted with professional conservators in order to improve the museums' collections care standards. Environmental monitoring equipment was available for loan through the PCS.

These services were an invaluable resource for the museums of this province, particularly the smaller community museums that are often run by volunteers. These services were generally offered free of charge to publicly owned institutions.

The Manitoba Historical Society deeply regrets the loss of these resources to the heritage community in Manitoba. The MHS will be working with its counterparts in the heritage community to advocate for a continuation of these types of services to the museums of this province.

MHS Annual General Meeting

The MHS Annual General Meeting and Luncheon will be held Saturday, May 31, 2003 at The Waterfront Centre, 94 First Avenue, Gimli, Manitoba.

The Annual General Meeting will be at 10:30 AM in the Lady of the Lake Theatre on the main floor just inside the front door. The Luncheon will follow at 12:30 PM in the spectacular Johnson Hall after we take the elevator to the fifth floor. Peter Bjornson of Gimli will be the guest speaker.

Following the luncheon, weather permitting, walking tours will be available starting from the New Iceland Heritage Museum on the main floor.

Cost of the luncheon including the walking tour and entry to the museum is $15.00. Reservations and payment in advance are required by Thursday, May 22, 2003. To make reservations or for more information phone Jackie at the MHS office, 947-0559.

The Waterfront Centre, sponsored by the Betel Heritage Foundation, is a beautiful new building just around the corner from Tergesen's General Store. It is handicapped accessible.

For those who would prefer to save gas and avoid stress, a chartered Grey Goose bus will leave from the front steps of the Legislative Building at 9:00 AM, returning by 4:30 PM at an additional cost of $15.00 per person. As May 31 is a Saturday, ample parking should be available on the Legislative Building grounds and adjoining streets.

Photos from MHS fall field trip

More photos from the MHS fall field trip to Jenpeg and Norway House, taken by Shirley Bradshaw.

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MHS Member Completes 14th Book on Ukrainians

Michael Ewanchuk, a long-time MHS member, has recently published his fourteenth book, Vertical Development: a New Generation of Ukrainian Canadians Volume 3. This book deals with the descendants of farmers, labourers and others who rose from their immigrant background through education.

Click photo to enlarge

Other books by Michael Ewanchuk are:

  • Pioneer Settlers: Ukrainians in the Dauphin Area 1896 - 1926*
  • Vita, A Ukrainian Community (three books)
  • Spruce, Swamp and Stone: A History of the Pioneer Ukrainian Settlements in the Gimli Area
  • Pioneer Profiles: Ukrainian Settlers in Manitoba*
  • Hawaiian Ordeal: Ukrainian Contract Workers 1897 - 1910*
  • Reflections and Reminiscences: Ukrainians in Canada 1892 - 1992
  • Young Cossack, a novella, Children's edition*
  • Pioneer Ukrainian Settlers (in Ukrainian)
  • William Kurelek, The Suffering Genius
  • East of the Red: Early Ukrainian Settlements 1896 - 1930
  • East of the Red Early Ukrainian Settlements North of the Dawson Trail, Vol. 2
  • Vertical Development: A New Generation of Ukrainian Canadians, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Books marked with an asterisk are out-of-print. Books may be purchased at local bookstores or directly from: Ewanchuk Publishing, 828 Borebank Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3N 1G4. Phone 489-4604.

Book Launch

Jim Blanchard at the book launch on November 27 signs copies of Thousand Miles of Prairie at McNally Robinson Bookstore at Grant Park Mall. The book contains articles that appeared in MHS Transactions and introductory commentaries on them.

Click photo to enlarge

Electrical Museum is Worth Seeing

The Manitoba Electrical Museum and Education Centre was established in 2001 by the Manitoba Electrical Museum Inc., an organization of retired Manitoba Hydro employees and retired electrical industry employees. Six main themes portray the story of electricity in Manitoba from the 1870s to the present as well as a view into the future. A large collection of electrical artifacts, archival photographs, documents and interactive educational displays help tell the story. The six themes are:

  1. Introduction to the Power system
  2. The Light Goes On 1882 - 1900
  3. Energizing Manitoba 1900 - 1960
  4. Powering Up the Farm 1942 - 1960
  5. Power from the North 1960 - 1999
  6. Into the Future

In the lower level are displays about electrical safety and other interesting aspects of electricity.

Admission to the museum is free. Guides are available to answer questions. There are free pamphlets and booklets, including a sixty-eight-page book, A History of Electric Power in Manitoba. This museum, located at 680 Harrow Street, will appeal to people of all ages.


Shirley Render for her appointment as executive director of the Western Canadian Aviation Museum

Eira (Babs) Friesen on her appointment to the Order of Canada

Sir John A. Macdonald Annual Dinner

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Honoured guest, Hugh Gainsford, great grandson of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, with Tim Worth, curator of Dalnavert Museum

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Guest speaker, the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair and MHS President Steven Place

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Summer Bear Dance Troupe

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The famous Hoop Dance

Special thanks to Margaret Morse and her Dinner Committee for planning the delicious meal and the outstanding program that followed.

MHS Centennial Business Awards

Centennial Business Awards were presented at the Sir John A. Macdonald Dinner to three businesses that have been in existence for more than 100 years.

  • Cliff Binnie accepted the award for Thomson Funeral Chapels, Winnipeg from Judith Hudson Beattie.
  • Judy McIntosh accepted the award for Reesor's Jewelry, Brandon from Ken Zealand.
  • Bob Groff accepted the award for Trim Services, Winnipeg from Ken Zealand.

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.

Dalnavert Garage Sale

Start saving items for the Dalnavert Garage Sale to be held on May 24. Phone 943-2835 to arrange to leave items at Dalnavert or phone Carl (233-4776) or Bill (269-4639) for a pick up.

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