Arnhold School, Poplar Park

By: Pat Bruce

My grandfather, the Rev. Patrick Bruce, was an Anglican minister who also taught school. My father, David A. Bruce also taught school. Arnhold School was located north of the Anglican Church, at a place called Oak Point.

There was no school in the Village of Oak Point until I was 8 years old. One of the old buildings at the south end of Colonization Road became our school. This was the old Peter Flett house.

The first teacher was Miss Edith Isbister, she lived in Selkirk and had a brother Jack. We called the school “Isbister” for a while. I can remember there only being 13 students, children of: Chernetski’s, Monkman’s, Folster’s, Pruden’s, Isbister’s, Lodging’s, Slater’s and Bruce’s.

The Arnhold School was built shortly after, in 1912, with Miss Isbister as teacher. The school was used also for socials, dances, concerts and all sports. The school was one-room about 24 x 60. At the front of the school

was the entrance and storm porch and an 8′ hall reaching right across. The boys hung their coats on one side and the girls on the other. In the rear was a large wood stove for heating.

A hold School with Dayid A. BruceasTeachet. l, Patrick Bruce, was the caretaker for 2 years and the fire was left to burn out in the evening and was to be lit up at 7 am. “I rarely get to the school before 8 am so the kids had to crowd around the heater to warm up.

By 1914, Arnhold School’s attendance was 40, more people had moved in: Halpins, Starins, Frosts, Boyces, and Larmans, children were walking 3 miles to school, such as: Sawulas, and Papolskos and others. Arnhold became overcrowded at this point.

Inside the school was Beaver Board and strapped with boards up 4′ and all around, windows faced the east, except in the hall and naturally, the blackboard and teachers’ desk were at the front.

The school was built on Ogonowski’s land, just 500′ away from their house. Water, at first, came from the rear of the house, where Ogonowski’s had a barrel of Saurkraut, they were always making. When we went for water, we would take a handful of Saurkraut, Mrs. Ogonowski would smile and say, “Take more”.

We always had a Christmas concert, and on one of these occasions I was selected to bring the tree. Being young, I didn’t realize it, but I cut down one of Mr. Ogonowski’s prize trees. He was yearly mad and came to the school and said, “Bruce, who cut the Spruce?’, I said. “Henry Helping”, and Henry said, ,.Bruce cut the Spruce”. For many years after that, kids used to chant “Bruce, who cut the Spruce?” at Christmastime.

School days bring back many stories and I don’t think children are different now than 70 years ago. Only, we used dogs in winter, and walked in the summer to get to school. Later we rode our horses to school. Henry

Helping could usually be found by a tree near Bolin’s house, when we went north; when we went south, we waited for each other by another tree, which was nearly in the centre of the road, a I /4 mile from Libau. Henry

Helping and I, pat Bruce, were pals most all of our lives, and I hope everyone had a school pal such as Henry and I were.

It is remarkable how the teachers (some just 18 years old) could come out to a remote part in the country and teach 40 to 50 students of all nationalities, and cope with all the situations, ages, classes, and subjects. It is remarkable how they took over a school and made a success of it all-

The school District of Arnhold No. 1618 was formed April 2, l9l2 by By Law No. 63 of the R.M. of St. Clements and consisted of the lands: Section l, 12, 13, 24,25, and 36 in tp. 15-5E, and Sections 6, 7, 18, 19, 30, and 3l in tp. l5-6E. In order to form, Poplar Park S.D. No. 545 was altered detaching Sec. 30, 32, and tp. l5-6E.

Thursday, May 30, 1912, at l0 am was the first public school meeting of ratepayers, in the home of Patrick Bruce (NW l/4 30-15-68) to elect “3 fit and proper persons” to act as school trustees.

Victor R. and Patrick Bruce prepared the first budget which totaled $905.00, $600.00 was set aside for annual salaries of the teacher, officers, etc., $20 was spent on fuel and furnishings. Legislative Crant in l9l2l13 gave 650/teaching day and the General School Tax was listed as $1.20/teaching day, district tax totaled $335.00.

ln 1917, the Budget was 51075.00 to operate the School, and in 1918 it was $1344.00 by 1922 it was only $994.00, the year Mr. D.T. Pruden was Sec.-Treas.

The boundary of Arnhold School was adjusted in l9l8 by adding Sec. W1/2 20, 29, 32, in tp. l5-6E and detaching Sec. 6, 7, S1/2 18, in tp. 15-6E and adding to Libau S.D. Later in 1918, was added part of Sec. 2, all of 11,14,23,26, and 35 in tp. 15-6E. In the spring of 1919 the boundary was readjusted by detaching the NWl /4 of 32-15-6E and was added to Sheffield S.D. No. 1976. The school was placed under the authority of A.

Willows (Official Trustee) and in April 1924, the cost to operate reached $1075, with fuel estimated at $75, salaries $800, the legislative grant was 750/ teaching day and the Central School Tax at $3.60/ teaching day. Special District Tax totaled $248.50.

In the fall, 1927, a By Law was prepared (No. 351 of St. Clements) detaching Sec. l, 11, 12, 14, and 23 in tp. 15- 5E from Arnhold to satisfy the formation of the new school District of Hoey No. 2173.

Mr. Bruce was the Sec.-Treas, of Arnhold for many years. In the fall of 1943 V.R. Brown was appointed the Official Trustee by the Province, then followed the discharge of all arrears of school levies accumulated up to that point.

By 1947/48, Arnhold S.D. was classified as a Closed School, due to low enrollment, but a budget of $750. Was approved by the munc. In 1949, much discussion took place as to close the school and transfer the sections

of land to Libau S.D. or not. But A.A. MacDonald, Official Trustee, in 1949, felt that Arnhold would be reopened. However, from 1947 to 1965, Arnhold School was considered closed.

Following the election of P. Kristensen as Chairman, a special meeting of the Arnhold ratepayers was called. There was a lot of consolidation going on and it was felt at the meeting, that electors should also be given the opportunity to consolidate. implications were outlined, mostly on the geographic location of Arnhold, which was on the edge of any consolidation, if left out, there might not be a school to send their children to. At this time Arnhold was still a one-room school with 3 or 4 children still attending, and its balanced assessment was considered the lowest. In 1965, only 6 families were left in the Arnhold S.D., boundary with only 3 having school age children, in fact there were only 12 resident electors in the entire district left.

The 1950 Arnhold Boundary was confirmed, under Sec. 39, Chapter 40, by a St. Clements By-law No. 120? dated Nov. 14, 1950, to consist of Sections 13,24,25’26’ 35, and 36 in tp. l5-5E, Sec. N1/2 18, 19,W11220,29′ 30,31, and SWl /4 of 32 in tp. l5-5E.

At the Special meeting in the Arnhold School, Sept. 27, 1965, a motion presented by Joseph Zaretski, 2nd by Mrs. A. Kristensen, “That the S.D. of Arnhold No. l6t8 approve the proposed for consolidation of Libau, Poplar Park, Sheffield, Arnhold and any other school districts in the area; such consolidation to operate in conjunction with the Brokenhead lndian School in Scanterbury,” Motion carded.

“We sometimes came a little earlier than the teachers and it was then we would get into mischief. Henry Halpin was one of the better achievers and usually led the class in marks and everything he did. For instance, he could make the best cherry pipes out of Hickory stems and the leaf tobacco was mixed with Kinikinik, the under bark from the Red Willow tree. Henry never smoked, but he made many a pipe for those who did,” said Pat. Bruce, who also submitted pictures of the old School which was north of the Anglican Church.

Finally, the S.D. was dissolved April l, 196? when the Lord Selkirk S.D. No. I I was declared to be the division within the meaning of Sec. 443 of the PSA by Order in Council No. 224l 67.

The teachers deserve much credit not only for the care and welfare of the many students who passed through the Arnhold School, but also their contribution to the community they served: “A remarkable job done well”.

If we have misspelled names, blame it on the poor quality of Micro-film at the Fletcher building and tired eyes: Starting in l9l I / 12, Edith Isbister, teaching at the old Peter Flett home and then at Arnhold S.D. up to 1914.

She was replaced by Ethel E. Gilterman until l9l5:

D.G. Mclean l9l5-1916
Clara L. Hayward I9l6
Ethel M. Mcconnell 1917
MarieNegryez l9l7-1918
FannyCostell 1918-1919
PauleruMcDougall l9l9-1920
Henry R. Halpin 1920,1922
Myrtle Murray 1923
Elizabeth Pelling 1924
Frank Douglas Harwood 1924-1925
Norburn Todd 1926
Eva Schwarrz 1926-1927
Bessie Levin 1928
Edith M. Hay 1928-1929
Henry R. Halpin 1929
Edilh M. Hay 1930
Viola Melinda crace Frosr t930,1931
HelgaReykdal l93l-1932
Margarer Hazel calbraith 1932
Edith Mary Bruce 1933-1935
Jessie Clarke Mcconnell 1935 1937
Leila Rae Rankin l9lt7-1939
Elsie Mollie Kreycik 1939,1940
Dora Edith Olds 1940
Mary Hazel Rankin 1941
Amy Alicia Graysron 1941
Catherine Mary Hall 1942-1943
Sarah Waschenfelder 1943-1944
Elizabeth Irene Cibson 1944-1945
Marie Patricia Banash 1945-1947

After the last report of 1947, the Arnhold S.D. records could not be found.

Posted in Schools.