Brodie School, Thalberg

Early in Feb. 1917, a group petitioned for the formation of a new school district. The land proposed was included in the Thalberg S.D. and consisted of the NE 1/4 of Sec. 32 and all of Sec. 33 in tp. 16-8E. Therefore Council (R.M. of St. Clements) did prepare by-law (No. 14211917) to carry out the wishes of the residents. The first meeting was held at the house of Thomas Smoluk on Feb. 3, 1917 (Sec. 4-17-8E).

The first official boundary recorded was all of Sec. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, all in tp. 17-8E. All of Sec. 22, 26, 27 , NE 1/4 of 32, all of 33, 34, 35, in tp. 16-8E. All of Sec. 1 in tp. 17-7E.

The by law was passed on March 6, 1917 and the Dept. of Educ. had approved the formation by the end of the month and the full corporate name was entitled: “The School District of Brodie No. 1854.”

Inspector Willows of the Dept. of Educ. (office of the Official Trustee) had been over the proposed boundary north of Thunberg and had stated earlier in the year that a school was “absolutely essential as there were nearly 50 children” requiring education and of school age.

There was much activity in the area as the material for the schoolhouse had to be transferred to the site prior to the spring breakup of roads (NE 1/4 of Sec. 5-17-8E).

The boundary was altered in May l9l8 by transferring Sec. 22-16-88 from Brodie to Thalberg and records state the reason for the change was not so much for convenience
as “that section sticks down there in rather an unusual way and it may be true that it would be more convenient for them”.

Ira Stratton was the official Trustee in charge from the beginning with Mr. Willows filling the position in 1923.

As relates to the R.M. of St. Clements, only about 318 acres were located within the Brodie S.D. boundary, namely, the N 1/2 of 32-16-8. Or so they thought. Early in
Feb. 1942, Hugh Eade, Architect, felt that the N 1/2 of 32-16-8E was in the cull Lake District and placed it on the map as such. St. Clements asked for clarification. The Dept. of Educ. advised that no portion of the Brodie S.D. fell within the St. Clements boundary.

There followed a controversy that continued for some time. Mr. J.P. Chrusch who was Sec.-Treas. of Brodie S.D. in 1946 was of the opinion that St. Clements owed the school money. Misunderstanding as to what area of the Brodie boundary fell into St. Clements territory had to be further investigated and cleared up. Mr. Chrusch claimed that St. Clements owed them $317.00 covering the years 1942-1943 to 1946-1947 .

The misunderstanding continued and the Dept. of Education further added early in 1947 (Jan. 16) that their records showed that upon the formation of Thalberg S.D. No. 1411 on April 2, 1907 that all of Sec. 32-16-88 was included in the Thalberg boundary. Upon the formation of Brodie No. 1854 on March 6, 1917 the NE 32- l6-8E was transferred from Thalberg to the new district of Brodie. However, on April 15, 1925, the R.M. of St.
Clements had, under by-law No. 274 transferred back the NE 32-16-8E from Brodie to Thalberg. The Dept. of Educ. admitted that the N 1/2 of 32-16-88 was within the boundaries of Thalberg South S.D. No. 1411. The Dept. also added that according to their records that Gull Lake had no interest in NW 32-16-8E unless someone had recently passed a by-law of change.

St. Clements had collected $508.91 as school levies from the residents of Nl/2 of 32-16-8E since 1931 And wanted to know what to do with it. It increased to $578.91 at the end of 1947 and both school districts were claiming it (Thalberg and Brodie). St. Clements wrote to the Dept. of Educ. on Sept. 22, 1948 and stated that “Thalberg could use the money at an early date as they had built an addition to their school in 1947.”

The plot thickened, because the Dept. found a copy of an old order-in-council No. 717136 (June 24, 1936) splitting up Thalberg and transferring the N 1/2 of 32-16-8E to the Brodie S-D.

Council wrote to the Thalberg North S.D. enclosing a copy of the 1936 order-in-council and informed them that “the monies still being held rightful belong to the Brodie S.D.”

Apparently this missing order-in-council (717l36) was the cause of all the confusion between Thalberg, Gull Lake and the Brodie School Districts.

To recap the mystery over what school district 32-16- 8E fit in dated back to 1907 when St. Clements included it in the Thalberg S.D. No. 141 1. The next change affecting
this Section was not until 1917, when St. Clements by bylaw No. 143 transferred the NE 32-16-8E from Thalberg to Brodie S.D. No. 1854. Then in 1925 by by-law 274 of St. Clements, the NE 32-16-8E was changed from Brodie back to Thalberg. However, by order-in-council No. 717 in 1936 the S 32-16-8E was transferred from Thalberg S.D. No. l4l1 to Thalberg North S.D. No. 2270 while the N 32-16-8E went from Thalberg to Brodie S.D. No. 1854.

Actually, order-in-council 717l36 provided for the transfer of N 32-16-8E from Thalberg S.D. No. 141l to Brodie S.D. No. 1854 but this transfer was covered in a brief paragraph at the end of the order-in-council, and was apparently overlooked for some years when the Formation Register was written up at the Dept. of Educ. Because it did not appear in this Formation Register for over a decade, it escaped notice during all the research, investigation and confusion over the boundary dispute.

On Dec. 16, 1948 the Munc. of St. Clements forwarded to the Brodie S.D. four cheques: $548.91, $17.62, $11.65 and $17.49.

But the story doesn’t end there. In late 1950, a petition was received from John Wittmeier and 6 ratepayers of Brodie and North Thalberg school districts requesting the
transfer of the Nl /2 of 32-16-8E from Brodie S.D. to North Thalberg S.D.

A Board of Arbitration was set up consisting of C.J. Smith of East Selkirk, E.J. Bouvier of St. George, L.J. Pulfer of Beausejour, Mr. R.J. Dubois of St. George and Bill Sokolowski of St. Clements Muncipality

The first meeting was held in the Brokenhead Muncipality Hall on Feb. 19, 1951, at 10 a.m. The Arbitrators, after due consideration and after hearing all of the petitioners and those involved, made the decision “that the prayer of the petitioners be not granted”.


Submitted by John Bunio slh

A group of residents petitioned the Municipality of St. Clements during the summer of l9l0 begging that a new school district be formed, to be known as Brookside. The petition stated that there were just under 30 children of school age living within a one mile radius of the proposed school site. The Weakley School was about 4 miles south
and the Libau School further than that in a northerly direction. The petitioners felt that, “considering the nature of the country and the inclemency of the weather, it was nearly impossible for young children to regularly attend either of those two schools. ” Further, they stated, “the school districts to the south and east of them were formed without consideration for the educational requirements of the settlers.

The petition was signed by R.R. Stevens and others, and the municipality appointed R.R. Stevens along with Thomas Bunn and Fred Chappell as Arbitrators.

The district boundary being proposed were lands in tp. l4-6E, including Secs. 19 to 22 inclusive, arld 27 to 34 inclusive. This area consisted of about 7680 acres and the Assessment in 1910 only totalled about $53,760 for the combined district. The school building was to be situated on the SEI /4 of 29-14-68, it was to be a wooden framed one-room schoolhouse.

By 1911, they floated a debenture for $1000. The school was built and equipped by Jan. of 1912 as a total cost of about $ 1. 109.95.

The first teacher was J.R. Williams who was hired at $55 per month, to teach the spring term of 1912 and the enrollment was about 29 students (15 boys and 14 girls).

The districts total expenditure during 1912 was $1,494.95 which included $40.00 salary of the Secretary- Treasurer, as well as 41 other busier transactions e.g. cordwood for heating ($15) Janitor ($2.50 per month) washing and scrubbing ($2.00) Broom ($0.504) Axe ($1.25) Pail ($1.45) cutting wood ($0.65) Concerts, picnic, Field Day, never exceeded $10.00.

The first School Board Members were: Bob Stevens, John Shyhyta, and Harry Kaluzniak.

By 1922, the teacher’s salary had increased to $100 per month, but was subsequently dropped to $90. The Sec.- Treas. salary was also reduced the 1922 to about $25.00
per month, where it remained for the next 14 years and then was even further decreased in 1936 to $20.00 and stayed at that rate until well into the 1940’s.

The teacher’s salary at Brookside, it would appear, changed without too much notice. Book entries during the 1930’s tell the story: “paid to teacher $15 as part salary for Nov. with balance of Nov. paid in Jan. ($45.00). Salary for now $10 with balance in June. By 1933 the $100 per month salary had dipped to a meager $40.00 per month.

In 1929, an addition was built onto the Brookside school to accommodate needed space.

The school suffered damage and loss by fire in Dec. 1941. lt was adequately insured. Brookside was rebuilt and classes resumed in time for the fall semester in 1942.

While the school was being rebuilt (Jan. to June l9l2) me education of the students continued in rented quarters at the home of Metro Samagalski, for which the district
rental fee was $15.00 per month.

It is interesting to note that the total assessment in the Brookside S.D. during the 1941l42yeat was about 6 mills which raised about $200. For example, on the average
quarter section this ran between $6 or $7 per quarter of Special School Tax.

During the summer of 1963, the Munc. of St. Clements transferred part of legal Sub-div. No. 8 of 29-14-68 to the school district of Brookside for the price of $38.90 (bylaw No. 1602).

The district got more land in Jan. 1964 when SE 1/4 of 34-14-6E was removed from Bright Star No. 2024 to Brookside.

However, in the summer of 1964 controversy arose when a petition to transfer the W1/2 of 30-14-6E from Brookside to the Happy Thought Consolidated S.D. No. 1452 was not approved. The munc. prepared the by Law but it never passed the three readings because Happy Thought objected to enlarging their area at that time.

Effective Jan. l, 1966 Brookside was dissolved by bylaw No. 1687 of the R.M. of St. Clements and all its lands were transferred to Happy Thought. At the time of Consolidation the Brookside School Board members were: Edward Klim, Steve Samagalski, and Nick Warona. The enrollment in 1966 was l5 students.

Nick Grabowski served as Sec.-Treas. for a total of 45 years and his dedication and service to the Brookside S.D. No. 1546 was applauded long and widely. Others
serving in that capacity were: R.R. Stevens, John Shyhyta, Michael Bunio, Martin and Evelyn Peters.

The building of both Brookside schools was wooden frame and served Grades I to 9. Each school had about 135 to 155 sq. ft. of blackboard, a globe and up to 5 maps for study.

During Arbor Day each year the grounds were faithfully cleaned and trimmed. According to records, Left to Right: Loma Thomas and Patst Koshlk doing a Ukrainian Dance at Brookside School. many trees were planted to enhance the school property, e.g. in 1943, after the fire and once the new building was erected, 30 trees were planted, followed by 50 in 1944, 26 in 1945, 12 in 1946 and finally 10 in 1950. That appears to
be the last major landscaping in relation to trees.

Some of the Board Members over the years were: R.R. Stevens, John Shyhyta, Harry Kaluzniak, Nick Grabowski, Mike Bunio, Mike Samagalski, Alex Dumka, Harry Koshek, Fred Okolita, D. Samagalski, N. Klym, N. Samagalski, H. Gutowski, Bill Dolinsky, Walter
Zalusky, Geo. Horanski, Edward Klim, Steve Samagalski, and Nick Warona.

The last teacher to instruct at Brookside in 1965/66 would appear to be Miss Elizabeth Bernice Smolensk who had 9 boys and 5 girls within Grades 1 to 8 and received a salary of $2,000 per year from the district. As mentioned, the first teacher was John R. Williams in l9l2 and he taught a class of 29 students receiving $55 per month.

In 1967 Mr. Laurence Jacky purchased the Brookside School building by public auction paying about $250.00 for the structure. He had it removed from the old site to his home place on the west side of Hwy. No. 59 (SE 11-14- 15E).

As of 1983, this school still stands on the Jacyk property and in appearance still looks the same as it did on the last day classes filled the building. The other school sitting beside it is Lilydale (S.D. No. 1285) which was also purchased by Laurence Jacyk at the same auction for the same price,

Finally, we wish to share the names of most all of the teaching staff who dedicated their time and effort to the education of the students of the Brookside S.D. No. 1546 from 1912 to 1965/66. We owe all of them a deep debt of gratitude.

John R. Williams l9l2- 1913
V. Mironko l9l4
Louise Maddin 1914 1915
W. Sr. Hollies 1915
O.E. Maddin 1915
Nicholas Punak l9l5
Jro. Novak l9l6
Nichalos Punak l9l7-1918
Stephen H. Bilinsky l9l8 l9l9
Peter G. Kuhn l919-1921
William Joba 1921-1922
Peter Kuhn 1922-1923
Miss Ada Brooke 1923-1924
Mary Runge 1925’1926
Cora Wiegand 1926-1927
Ernestine Helen Matheson 1927,1929
May Millicent Mawer 1929 1930
Clara Lucaw 1930-1933
JosephFrederick 1933-1939
Miss Jean Parfaniuk 1939-1941
Fred Klym 1941-1946
Irene Kordalchuk 19.17
Mary Irene Kalinski 19.17-1948
Jean Sophie Yarema 1948- 1949
May Margaret Zook 1949 1950
OlgaSkrumeda 1950-1951
Judith Jean Zook 1951-1952
Mary Ann Mandryk 1952- l95l
Rulh Schwarz 1953-1954
Rosie Bazan I954-l956
ElsieGutowski 1956-1957
Meroslawa Horbas 1957
Edith Pruden 1958
Sadie R. Arksey 1958-1959
Gary Pirtsch 1959 1960
Anne Dueck 1960
R. Katazinski 1961 1963
ElaineParker 1963-1964
Neltie Lysaichuk 1964- 1965
ElizabethSmolinski 1965
then consolidalion with Happy Thought.

submitted by slh

Posted in Schools.