Kitchener , Henderson Hwy north

submitted by slh

There was much agitation for a new school to be formed on the east side of the Red River by 1897/98. The young people on the east side of the Red were attending
St. Andrews, Mapleton and Selkirk Schools. This meant walking the frozen river in winter during the cold and blizzards, ferrying or boating across during the summer
months and not attending school at all during the spring break up or winter freeze over. All in all, it was most Kitchener School unsatisfactory. During 1897 and 1898 there were about 30 children crowding into boats or on the ferry, and accidents were happening and the young people were tumbling off into the water. There was a lot of concern
being voiced by the parents, especially over the safety of the younger children.

Then in April 1899, a petition was circulated by Mr. Alexander Butler Rowley and was widely signed. lt was praying for the formation of a new school district to be
made up out of portions of the Mapleton and East Selkirk schools. Mr. Rowley presented the petition to the Council of the Munc. of St. Clements on May 2, 1899 and they, by resolution No. 93/1899 did grant their approval. The munc. appointed John J. Gunn as Arbitrator. This was to be a very important arbitration because two other school districts were being agitated for and petitions were in circulation further south in the Gonor and Narol districts lying along the east side. The Munc. of St. Clements felt it was time that the two sides of the river separated in school, as well as other union
matters. The handling of the Mapleton East case would probably lead to a more complete reorganization of all the school districts on the river.

The Solicitor in charge was F. Heap of Selkirk and Inspector Mclntyre did Secretarial duties for the Arbitration Board.

The Arbitration hearing was in favor of forming a new school district on the east side of the Red River and the date of Award was May 12, 1900 and the full corporate name was Listed as “The School District of Kitchener No. 1076”. Councillor Thos. Bunn asked for an advance for the Kitchener School but Council felt that as the school district was not to be in operation until 1901, it should be left over for the next Council to decide.

By Oct. 1900, the Munc. of St. Clements had given their permission that the school trustees of Kitchener be allowed the use of the Council Chamber for school purposes up till July 1901. This was given “free of charge” provided the building was kept clean and in good repair. Council was to have the first priority for Council meetings and other munc, business, when required.

The boundary of Kitchener S.D. was the inner and outer 2 miles of Lots 8l to 106 inclusive, and the inner 2 miles of Lots 107 to 120 and that portion of the 2 miles
not included in the Ashfield S.D.

The first trustees elected were: Alexander Butler Rowley, Thos. Bunn, and Robert Spence. Mr. R. Mc- Pherson was appointed Auditor.

The St. Clements Council Chamber was being used to conduct school and although the munc. said they had first priority on the building for municipal meetings and business, it is to be noted that St. Clements changed their regular monthly meeting date from the first Tuesday of each month, to the last Saturday of each month, to accommodate the school.

The first weekend in Jan. 1901, the Kitchener community celebrated the opening of the new school (Council Chamber) and everybody turned out. The weather was very cold and stormy, but people attended, especially from Gonor and the Lockport or St, Andrews north area. The music was nagging out loud and clear. Mr. McMillan was on the bagpipes, Misses McPherson and McKenzie were on the Organ while Mr. C. Johnstone played several selections on the auto harp and mouth organ. Mr. A.
Frank played the violin. Our own local piper, R. Mc- Pherson, played the bagpipes and flute.

The school classes had commenced on Mon. Jan. 8.
with Miss McPherson in charge, there was much reason
for celebration. lt didn’t matter to the residents that they
were operating out of borrowed quarters.

Later on in the spring of 1901, tenders were called to complete a frame school building and by summer they were using their new facility. lt was a treat to say “goodbye” to the old Council Chamber, which they appreciated the use of, but this was their long awaited
school. The scholars held a picnic during the last week in June 1901, at Mrs. William Fidler’s, and sports, games and refreshments were enjoyed. They now had a fine new
school and Miss Agnes McPherson was their first teacher in this new frame building: Lit by coal oil lamps and heated by a box-stove heater, it became the social centre of the entire district.

Bob Sleigh riding, to beginning from Calder’s flat and skating were favorite winter sports while summer found baseball games the order of the day.

The children had their Annual Christmas Tree Concert each year in Dec. and they were always widely attended. The musical ability of all the students amazed the surrounding area. The Rev. W.H. Thomas chaired the 1904 Concert and commented that it was one of the best he had ever attended. There was standing room only and every student and parent in the community was involved and shared in the success. In Dec. 1905 the teacher, Mr’ Stock, was further congratulated on the musical abilities of the scholars as well as the entertainment. People were out from the city and many Selkirk and St. Andrews residents were in evidence.

In the summer of 1908 there was a “Soiree” held at Kitchener with a good program of amusements, including selections on a gramophone. This was not the end of the
event. Lunch was included (with refreshments) and a dance in the evening to excellent local talent – all for the grand sum of .25 cents.

Kitchener students were becoming well known for their talents at “public speaking” dialogue and drills, in addition to their musical skills. They also took several prizes at the Selkirk Fair for their “physical drill”.

Kitchener School, by 1912, was well known all over the province. This came about when the scholars from this unpretentious little school won first prize for map drawing sponsored by the Canadian Industrial Exhibition. This contest was open to all schools in the province and the scholars who shared in the prizes and awards and brought much distinction to Kitchener S.D. were: Florence, Annie and Elizabeth Calder, Young Gerald Bunn, Samuel Rowley, George Fidler, and Nellie Weston. Mrs. E.A. Crump was the teacher in charge in 1912.

During the war years of 1914 to 1918, the Kitchener area was a leader in patriotic and war efforts on the home front. They not only held concerts in the school but brought the old Council Chamber back into play. Miss Maud Rowley was very instrumental in organizing many of these events. They held “Mitt and Sock Socials” in aid of Red Cross War Work. This was a neat idea where the ladies of the area were requested to bring a pair of socks and were told to come prepared to buy a pair of mitts.

And as always, a lunch and refreshment was served, most times a dance was held later in the evening. One such social netted $150.00 (on Friday Nov. 23, l9l7) and it is to be noted that Mayfield School joined the Kitchener area to make this event a success, in aid of the war effort. Two ladies in particular organized a sewing class in the
Kitchener School with evening meetings every Thursday in aid of “comforts for the boys overseas”. (Mrs. Jas. H. Frost and Mrs. J.T. Calder). This sewing group contributed
greatly to the Selkirk Red Cross who were considered the leaders in the province in Red Cross efforts. Once the boys started coming home from the war, the Kitchener School ladies carried out many “receptions” programs, dances and socials.

In 1917, when the “Kitchener Boys and Girls Club” was really going strong, they took several of the major prizes at the St. Andrews Agricultural Society Fall Fair held in Selkirk on Sept. 21, and 22. Hugh Rowley carried off the top honours for his “Poultry Raising” and the young ladies cleaned up on the prizes for their “handiwor diwork” as well as “canning and preserving”, Mrs. M. Van Hartevelt, a very skillful lady with a
needle, taught sewing in the Kitchener School for many years while Duncan Rowley, a very talented gentleman, taught manual training and won the respect of many a
student and parent.

In Jan. 1924, the Kitchener boundary was affected when by-law No. 251 transferred the easterly one mile of Lots 88 to 95 (Padsh of St. Clements) from Kitchener S.D. No. 1076 to the Highland S.D. No. 1628.

Another change occurred in May 1921, when bylaw No. 340 was approved allowing the inner and outer two miles of Lots 81, 82, 83, 84, and 85 (Parish of St. Clements) to be transferred out of Kitchener to the Happy Thought S. D. No. 1452.

The boundary was readjusted from time to time as mentioned, and at June 14, 1935 the Kitchener boundary consisted of: The inner and outer 2 miles of Lots 86 and 87, the westerly one mile of Lots 88 to 95, inclusive, the inner and outer 2 miles of Lots 96 to 106 inclusive, the inner 2 miles of Lots 107 to 120 inclusive, that is not included in the school district of Ashfield.

ln 1944, at the Oct. 30th meeting of the Kitchener trustees, they decided to borrow (on a promissory note) $12,000.00 at 490 per annum, to be paid back in 2 years at $600.00 per year. This money was used for the purpose of enlarging the school.

In 1946, the school joined the Selkirk Film Club and educational films from the National School board were introduced, regularly, at Kitchener. In 1950 the school acquired an additional acre of playground.

On March 16, 1961, the trustees of Kitchener S.D. passed bylaw No. l-61 authorizing the borrowing of $13,000 for the purpose of construction of a new one room school. The vote of the electors of the S.D. was held on Friday, July 14, 1961, at Kitchener School and summed up on July 15, resulting in the majority of voting being in favor of the debenture debt. That is not to say that the debentures got over-whelming approval, because only 34 in total came out to vote. Steve Rapko, one of the trustees, summed it up well when he said “I feel consolidation of schools will soon become a reality and then
possibly we could look upon this debenture as an unnecessary expenditure, in view of another more larger unit being built somewhere close in the very near future”.

The old school with its high foundation was dismantled and the useable lumber hauled away and the modern spacious one-room structure with its bathroom and furnace room soon took on an attractive appearance. Mr. Wlm. Dyck was the contractor.

The new Kitchener School celebrated its “Diamond Jubilee” in l96l by officially opening its new up-to-date building and hosting an open-house to the residents they had faithfully served for over 60 years. There were many guests in evidence for this auspicious occasion: School inspector W.S. Patterson, Max Dubas, Reeve of St. Clements Munc., Hon. Stewart Mclean, Minister of Education, C.V. Madden, Director of Home and School association.

During the official ceremony, the contractor (Mr. Wlm. Dyck) turned the keys over to the chairman of the Kilchenet School. board (Helena Van Hartevelt) who in turn passed them to Miss Lena Margaret Copeland, teacher in charge of the new school. The social part of the celebration included a sing song conducted by Mrs. A. Bedard and accompanied by Richard Swain who also played several solo recitals.

Mrs. A. Barnett gave a reading. Then followed a generous lunch served by the Kitchener Ladies. Mr. A.A. Overhaul, (former Sec. Treas. of the S.D.) gave an interesting narrative, and some historical perspective covering the school district.

The school and property were purchased by Jack and John Cybulsky and as of the winter of 1983, the school stands as it was, looking pretty much the same, as in 1961 .

The Sec. Treas. over the years were: Thomas Bunn, C.J. Van Hartevelt, A.A. Verheul and Mr. E. McCarron. The school trustees were: A.B. Rowley, Tom Bunn, Robert Spence, Wlm. Fidler, Claude R. Macfie, Wlm. T. Fidler, J.T. Calder, Jas. H. Frost, Murdock Rowley, J. Duncan Rowley, Ed Macfie, J. Nadwidny, Mike Nadwidny, Harry Verheul, Arthur Macfie, M. Dalebozik, Steve Rapko, Helena Van Hartevelt, E. McCarron, Bill Zawada, Mr W. Skrypnyk and Mrs. T. Martiniuk.

We share with you a list of most all of the teaching staff connected with Kitchener S.D. from l90l up to consolidation.

Agnes McPherson l90l
Ambrose W. Stock 1905-1906
Nellie LeBeau 1907-1909
C.E. Huggard 1907
Julia Leckie 1908
Ellen LeBeau 1909
Emily Emes 1909-1910
Mrs. E.A. Crump 1910-1912
Charles S. White 1912-1914
Mary Maude Rowley 1914- l9l9
Mabel G. Jacobs 1914-1915
Fred Saunderson 1919
Miss Bessie Chambers 1920
P. Alice Daly 1920
Dorothy C. Robinson 1921
Bertha E. Rogan 1921-1922
Ruby Wood 1922-1923
Lillian Travers 1923
Maude Rowley 1924-1925
Mary Maude Slevin 1926-192’7
Edith I. Ablott 192’1-1928
Ruby Margaret Steele 1928- 1930
Maria Harriet Rowley 1930- 1934
Melinda M. Frost 1934
Gwedoline Jessie Carter 1935
James Ernest MacKay 1936
L€na Margaret Cop eland 193’7 -1942
John Albrecht 1942-1943
Alice Ploschak 1943
Mrs. Jessie Helen Quesnel 1944
Margaret Myrtle Barneft 1944-1945
Mary Edeline Kondratuk 1945-1946
Sam Sigurdson 1947
Joyce Madeline Struthers I 947- I 948
Margaret Myrtle Barneft 1948-1949
Miss Donelda Cook 1949-1950
Mrs. Nancy Estella Barnett 1950-1951
Lena Margaret Copeland 1951- 1963
Damaris Ardington 1963 – 1964
Edith L. Carter 1964-1965
Patricia Bazan 1965

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