Gull Lake School


At a meeting of the Executive of the Gull Lake Community Club held at Gull Lake on Sat. Aug. 10, 1935, a unanimous conclusion was arrived at that the Executive were all in favor of the formation of a school at Gull Lake. The conditions were that the Community Club have a say in the choice of a site and that no support be expected from its membership other than in general taxation. The Sec. Treas. of the Gull Lake Community Club. J.G. Elsey placed this statement in writing.

Notices were distributed to the ratepayers indicating steps were being taken to form a school district at Gull Lake, and that the first meeting of the Arbitrators would be held to deal with the matter in the Council Chamber at East Selkirk on Feb . 28, 1936 at 2 p.m.

Due to the weather and conditions of the roads many of the Gull Lake Community Club were unable to make the meeting, however, Mr. J.H. Plewes, the Inspector of Schools did attend the meeting.

ln order to form a boundary for the new proposed Gull Lake school district it was necessary to alter several school distdct boundaries, e.g.: Stony Point, Thalberg,
Brodie, and Beaconia, etc.

A flood of letters were received at St. Clements indicating that some ratepayers would rather remain within their present school boundaries and were not prepared or agreeable to change to the Gull Lake proposal. One letter stated that “I would not want to be a ratepayer at the Gull Lake S.D. because there are so few taxpayers around and some more will have to leave as soon as the cordwood and bush is gone, for that is the only crop around, not really farmers. I do not think that place will ever be able to make a school or pay for even half the expense.” (signed by Mr. John Zirk, of Stead.).

Mr. A. Stubel, H. Steinke and Joe Molinsky wrote to the Munc. on Feb. 24, 1936 saying that “we have figured it out that there is not enough taxpayers and too much idle land” in the district proposed.

Mr. Dan Klann who had been living in the area since 1902 wrote, once he found out his property was affected by the new proposed Gull Lake S.D. saying, “l can’t understand how you plan to raise the taxes, not surely by so called farmers that live in the district. All Sections 30- 31 in tp. l6-8 and all the rest is all sand hills and wood and once cut, will lie idle till the end of the world. All the farmers in the area don’t raise enough grain or anything to even pay a teacher. If the Lake Lots can raise the money, OK, but don’t depend on the surrounding settlers because they won’t and can’t pay higher than now
because the land is nothing but a desert.”

Mr. August Zirk said, “thank you, but no thank you”, Mr. Karl Steinke said “I absolutely don’t want to belong to no Gull Lake, I am quite satisfied with Thalberg”, Julius Block said, “At the present time we will stay at Beaconia, there are no roads in winter to Gull Lake”. On May 12, 1936 by Resolution No. 80 – The Reeve of the Munc. of St. Clements opposed the formation of Gull Lake S.D. and Council upheld the Action.

However, Mr. R. Fletcher, Deputy Minister of Education advised the Munc. of St. Clements that the Gull Lake S.D. would indeed be formed. And formed it was on the l9th of June, 1936 by order-in-council No. 715 / 36 of the Province of Manitoba. Gull Lake S.D. No. 2269 the time of formation consisted of the following lands within its boundary: Sec. 23, 24, 25, 26, 35, and 36 in tp. l6-7E, Sec. 1, and S1/2 of Sec. 2|n tp. l7-‘7E, SWI/4 of Sec. 6 in tp. l7-8E, Nwl/4 of Sec. 19, Wl/2 of Sec. 30 and all of 31 in tp. l6-8E.

The above was to be effective as of and from July l, 1936. In Oct. 1936, H. Nixdorf was asking for some money to operate the school and Munc. of St. Clements checked with the Dept. of Educ. to see if Gull Lake should get some share of the Assets of the Thalberg S.D. The boundary was adjusted by award of inspectors H. Connolly, dated Jan. 30, 1939 adding the SW1/4 of Sec. 32-16-8E from Thalberg — effective retroactive to Jan. 1, 1939.

The school, which was on the Grand Beach Bus Route, had some trouble with vehicles etc. as two road signs were ordered in Aug. 1949. According to Mary E. Greening, who was Sec. treas. at the time “there is quite a bit of brush and trees near the school clearing and the school is not noticed until you are almost up to it”, and further on she states, “another sign placed about 3 years ago near the lake reads: “Slow at all times, children crossing” has been repeatedly battered by the grader and a new one is
badly needed. ”

ln Dec. of 195?, the Sec. Treas. advised Council they wanted to budget or borrow an additional $l,000.00 in order to pay for remodeling the school and a new oil furnace. Council had advised Gull Lake S.D. that the assessment of the area in 1957 was $72,050. and that the present mill rate was l1 mills on Special Tax and 4 mills on Secondary School, this raises $1,080.75. lf Gull Lake required another $1,000 then the Mill Rate would double to 30 Mills.

Finally, St. Clements told Gull Lake to seek advice from the Dept. of Educ.

However, Cull Lake borrowed most of the money locally from Mr. Froehlich at a very low rate of interest and the remainder from the Bank and built their new foundation, with a full basement and had the school placed on same. They also purchased and installed their oil furnace at the same time.

By 1950, St. Clements confirmed the Gull Lake boundary as being: Sec. NW1/4 of 19, Wl/2 of 30, 31, Swl/4of 32, intp. l6-8E,andSec. 14, 15,21,22,23,24, 25,26,35, and 36 in tp. l6-7E.

For your interest we have listed most all of the teaching staff dating back to 1936.

The Treasury and Secretarial duties appear to have been looked after at the beginning by inspectors Jas. H. Plewes and H. Connolly, Henry Nixdorf, Mr. Ursel, and
Steve Kendyfore serving the longest term right up to consolidation with Agassiz. Mrs. Mary E. Parker (Gunning) also served for quite some time. Jean S. Williamson only served for one school term.

Eventually consolidation was discussed and Cull Lake S,D. was scheduled to go east to the Beausejour area. The Thalberg North school remained open for a while and the Gull Lake students were bussed there. Then by order of the Minister of Education dated Dec. 21, 1967, The Agassiz School Division No. l3 was declared to be a division under the meaning of Sec. 443 of the PSA. The School District of Gull Lake No. 2269 was
dissolved effective Jan. 1, 1968.

The students are now bussed east to their schools within the Agassiz School Division No 13

As for the school building that served the Gull Lake S.D. for a great many years (1936-1968) not only as a place for furthering education, but as the social centre of the area it was sold by Public Auction and purchased by Tom Kowal who lived in it for a time. After Mr. Kowal passed away his family sold it. The school later burnt down. Now there i\ a collage on the site.

The residents of the old Gull Lake School District owe a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. Steve Kendyfore (NW 19- l6-8E) who served as Sec. Treas. for so many years.

When one checks the records you discover that Mr. Kendyfore was only paid $25.00 per year in 1950 and eventually that was increased to $50.00 per year later on. However, what really amazes us is that Steve Kendyfore was only receiving $10.00 per month for filling the position of Sec. Treas. at the time of Consolidation in the
later 1960’s. When one considers the great amount of time, effort and responsibility that went into the Sec. Treas. position to keep these schools going, it seems a gross underpayment, especially in that year.

Here is the list of teachers:

David Alexander w. Brown 1936-1937
Cleta Mildred Van Norman 1937-1938
David Alexander wilson Brown 1938-1939
Margaret Anne Parker 1939-1940
Margaret Anne Ursel 1940-1941
Marie C. Reckseidler 1941-1942
Margarel Anne Ursel 1942-1943
Anne Eleanor Kowalchuk 1943 1944
Edna G. Caryk 1944-1945
Helen Elaine KoltaLo 1945
Margarel M. Hunier 1946
Miss Helen Elaine Koltalo 1947
Thomas Walter Kelly 1947-1948
Susan Letandre 1948 1949
Elizabelh Albina Cmi!rowski 1949’1950
Mrs. Myrtle Johnston 1950
Henrietia Christine Klouslerboer 1951
Miss verna Theresa Novakowski l95l 1952
Jean Senicie 1952-1956
Catherine Lesosky 1956-1959
Anne Chrusch 1960
Sreve Zasiawny 1960 1966

submitted by N. Froehlich

Field days were another big event and the school children practiced for weeks. They set a date early in June and the teachers of each school would get trucks and drivers to bring the children to this field day, which was held at the south side of Gull Lake and when the properly was sold, they arranged to have it on the north side, which now is a camping area.

Participating schools were: Stead, Brodie, Thalberg South, Gull Lake, Beaconia, Thalberg North, and Glenmoor.

Field day started at l0 am., with “O Canada”, then the competition started.

They had races for boys and girls, different age groups, such as: relay races, sack races, dodge ball (school against school), ball throw, running broad jump, standing broad jump, high jump, wheel barrow races, three legged races and baseball games.

We had ribbons for the winners: red lst, blue 2nd while 3rd, and trophies for the top winners. The school that had the most points won the shield (trophy). Gull Lake School was the last one to take the shield.

Each school had crest. They were seed to their shirts. The children brought lunches and they had a refreshment stand. The parents all came and it was a great big picnic, that lasted all day.

Posted in Schools.