Albert Earl Henderson was born on September 29, 1898 in Boissevain, MB. He attended Caranton school, Boissevain high school and the University of Manitoba where he studied agriculture. Earl married Alberta Mary Roe (1902-1977) on October 17, 1924, and the couple had three children: Douglas, Lois and Amy . He farmed in the Cranton district northwest of Boissevain until 1971, when he and his wife retired to town. Earl and Alberta were very active in lapidary. Their interest was sparked in 1954, after stopping at a rock shop in Montana on the way home from a holiday. The couple began turning stones into jewlery while Earl was still farming, first in their basement and then in a shop in the yard. They moved into making items out of plastics in the 1970s. Their rock shop was the first of its kind in Manitoba. Earl took an active part in church and community affairs. He served on the Caranton school board for many years, as Noble Grand of the IOOF, as a councillor for the RM of Morton from 1962-1971, and was a member of the original hospital board for 20 years. Earl was a member of the Beckoning Hills Activity club, St. Paul's United Church, and enjoyed activities and friends at the Drop-In Centre. Earl Henderson died on February 17, 1986 in Folsom, California. Earl had been a winter resident of the Lost Dutchman Trailer Resort at Apache Junction, Arizona, and was visiting his niece in Folsom when the death occurred. He is buried at Boissevain and Morton Cemetery.
As part of the Westman Oral History Collection, this collection was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 1998. The original tapes from the Westman Oral History project were deposited in the Brandon Public Library. Copies of these originals were made by Margaret Pollex of the Brandon University Language Lab at the request of Eileen McFadden, University Archivist in the early 1990s. These copies compose the collection held in the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Item is an audiocassette tape containing an interview with Earl Henderson about agriculture and some of his mechanical, lapidary and plastic work. The interviewer is Phyllis Hallett.
History/bio information from the records and Henderson's obituary. Description by Christy Henry. An article on the Hendersons' lapidary hobby appeared in the September 14, 1976 issue of The Brandon Sun.
Born on February 10, 1924, in Elgin, Manitoba, Audrey Ellen Silvius (nee Honeyman) was raised in Fairfax, Manitoba on the Honeyman homestead. In 1964, she received her Indian name, Blue Star. Silvius completed her high school education in Fairfax before moving to Winnipeg in 1943, to earn her Nursing degree from Grace Hospital. She later completed her post-graduate degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the Brandon Mental Health Centre. Married to Merritt W. Silvius, Audrey Silvius raised four children, David, Kay, Lorna (Downie) and Gail (Campos) while working in her chosen field. In addition to her family and her career, she was also involved with the Brandon Council of Women and the United Church in Brandon. Silvius was the first executive director of the Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, a founding member of the local branches of the Marquis Project and Amnesty International and initiated a project called Tools for Peace. She was also involved in various other peace and human rights organizations. In 1987, she received the Order of the Buffalo Hunt from the Province of Manitoba in recognition of her work relating to women’s issues. In 1992, she was awarded a Confederation medal for community service.
The records found within the collection were collected by Audrey Silvius from a number of people, including Jean Halliday, Grace Godmaire and Norma Walmsley, involved in various projects with her throughout the years. Prior to their donation to the McKee Archives at Brandon University in October and November 2000, the records were stored at Mrs. Silvius’ home.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of meeting minutes, agendas, speeches, correspondence, newsletters, brochures, written publications and newspaper clippings. Four photographs and one pencil drawing are also included within the collection.
The records deal with the creation, activities, and history of the Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, as well as the activities of its Board of Directors. In addition, materials located within the collection can be divided into two areas: (1) those that relate to various organizations associated with the Friendship Centre itself, such as the Council of Christians and Jews and the Brandon Council of Women; (2) materials related to projects of important individuals involved with the Friendship Centre, such as the South Western Manitoba Recreation Council and the 4F Club of Minnedosa. Other records deal with general aboriginal issues in Canada during the time frame of the Audrey Silvius collection.
CAIN No. 202607. Description by Christy Henry (2000).
The collection is divided into ten (10) series:
1. The Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre
2. The Scout – Friendship Centre newsletter
3. The Brandon Council of Women
4. Council of Christians and Jews
5. Aboriginal Glee Club/Dancers
6. The South Western Manitoba Recreation Council
7. 4F Club of Minnedosa
8. Miscellaneous Publications related to Aboriginal Issues
9. Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings related to Aboriginal Issues
10. Photographs and pencil drawing
Principal of Normal School 1913-1938; author of Hales' Botany text.
His collection of mounted birds and animals - what was left of it after improper storage in various places, damage and dispersals - found a home as the B.J. Hales Natural History Museum at Brandon College in 1965.
For custodial history see the collection level description of the Lawrence Stuckey collection.
Bertha Miriam Clark was born on Prince Edward Island but attended public and high school in Brandon, MB. She was a member of the Class of 1929 and served as Lady Stick in her final year at Brandon College.
Clark married J. Scott Leith, Brandon College Class of 1928. Scott and Bertha Leith's son James Clark Leith is in the Canadian Who's Who.
Album was sent to Pat Britton, Brandon University Director of Alumni Relations, by Bertha Leith in April 1991. Britton then transferred it to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of a small accordian style photograph album (7 x 10.5 x 3.5 cm) created by Bertha Clark during her years at Brandon College. The photographs, which measure 4" x 2.75", depict numerous people and events.
History/Bio information taken from the 1928-1929 Sickle.
The Bertha School District, located south of Brandon in the Rural Municipality of Oakland, was established in 1896. It was integrated into the School Distict of Nesbitt in 1961. Subsequently, it became part of the Souris Valley School Division.
This fonds was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 1998. Prior custodial history is unknown.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of annual registers (1910-1961), minute books (1896-1962), account books (1896-1911, 1924-1956), an award of a Board of Arbitration (1961), a petition for consolidation with the School District of Nesbitt (1961), a financial report (1961), a map of the Souris Valley School Division showing rural school districts, and one debenture certificate (1896).
[The organization of the boys' pipe band was initiated by a group of citizens of Scottish origin in 1934. The same group engaged an instructor for the band from Scotland; the kilts were discovered in Park School and permission was given by the School Board for their use by the band.]
For custodial history see the collection level description of the Lawrence Stuckey collection.
Scope and Content
Brandon Boys Pipe Band
[History/Bio information is from Mary Hume's Brandon: A Prospect of a City, p. 129.]
The Business and Professional Women's Club of Brandon was created in November 1932. The club grew out of a meeting of business and professional women who were interested in forming an association. Guest speakers at the meeting were Miss Hilda Hesson, the Vice President of the Federation of Canadian Business and Professional Women's Clubs, and Miss F. Ingram, the President of the Winnipeg Business and Professional Women's Club. The objective of the Brandon club, according to its constitution, was the "promotion of educational, service, and social facilities for the business and professional women." The club consisted of active and associate members and belonged to the greater Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Club. The first President of the club was Miss Margaret Gemmell, with approximately 80 women attended the club's first meeting. The club established sub-committees on a variety of subjects including current events, sports, bridge instruction, public speaking, dress making, photography, stitch craft, manual training, and physical culture. The club also put on exhibitions, participated in drama festivals, held rummage sales and an annual Christmas party. During the Second World War, it established a War Effort Department. This department organized activities such as sewing and knitting in support of the war effort. The War Effort Department also raised money for charities such as the Red Cross. During its meetings, the club often heard local and national speakers or watched films. Women of many different vocations joined the club including florists, teachers, salesclerks, nurses, and housewives. Over the years, additional departments were added to the club including those named poetry, pottery, woodcraft, and drama.
This fonds was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 2002. Previous custodial history is unknown.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains three small scrapbooks, which cover the years 1932-1939, 1939-1949, and 1950-1959, respectively. The scrapbooks contain newpaper clippings from the Brandon Sun, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Flin Flon Daily Miner. The scrapbooks also contain exhibition and meeting programs from the Brandon Club. Fonds also contains meeting minutes for the years 1932-1972.
Brandon Business and Professional Women's Club (10-2002); Minnedosa Business and Professional Women's Club (11-2002); Neepawa Business and Professional Women's Club (12-2002); Trilliam Business and Professional Women's Club (2-2006).
For custodial history see the collection level description of the Lawrence Stuckey collection.
Scope and Content
Brandon City Band
Top row (l-r): F. Scott, A. McPhail, W. Marshall, L. Neilly, W. Lemay, W.G. Stuckey, W. Murdock, A. Smith, W. McLean, R. Barrett. 2nd row: W. Graham, M. Parkin, B. Treherne, J. Whitney, Geo. Mutter, L. Hammell, T. Rife, E. Rife, L. Purdon, E. Mathewson, J. Scott. 3rd row: J. Ober, A. Ober, F. Lepard, T. Mathewson, Paul Joubert, T.H. Miller, T.H. Farrar, E. Teeple, F. Harriet, F.A. Lewis. Bottom row: B. Neumeyer, Frank Parks, O. Olson, H. Lepard, W. Broadie, G. Sherman, B.T. Stuckey, Gordon Sampson, Frank Harris. T.H. Miller was band leader, W. Graham was secretary. A.C. Davidson was also a member but does not appear because he was the professional photographer; From George Lepard.
For custodial history see the collection level description of the Lawrence Stuckey collection.
Scope and Content
Brandon City O.Y.B. Band
Names written on a piece of paper inside the envelope are now on the label. Top row (l-r): (boy), ?, Arnold Rice, Frank Roberts, Jack Pritchard, Tom Prue, ?, ?, Ab. Scott, ?, ?, Anthony Rogerson, ?, Bill Fisher, Al. Crane, (boy). 2nd row: Angus Munroe, Harry McKenzie, Adam Petrick, ?, Cec. Arthur, Alex. Pue (band leader), Temp. Roberts, Jack Melhuish, Dan Craig. 3rd row: ?, ?, Gordon Rice, Harry Wells (drummer), Roy Rice, W. Hayward, Bill McRory; Source: Mr. P.K. Roberts
JOHN CRAWFORD AND PRAIRIE COLLEGE:
Although Brandon College was officially created in 1899, its roots go back much further to the late 1870’s and early 1880’s. It was during this time that Reverend John Crawford built Prairie College which was located in Rapid City, Manitoba .
Rev. John Crawford was born in Castledawson, Ireland. While he was at boarding school in Belfast he was converted to the Baptist faith. His later education took place at Edinburgh University, Stephany College, and Regent Park Baptist College, all of which are located in Great Britain. He became a pastor in London, England, which is where he met his wife, a prominent and cultured lady.
Crawford felt that his calling was in the backwoods of Canada, so he soon moved his wife and family to a farm near Toronto where he continued to preach. He was asked to join the faculty of the Canadian Literary Institute, a Baptist institution located in Toronto. He accepted the position and taught there for several years. The CLI, as it was commonly known, was a Baptist theological college. It was renamed Woodstock College in 1883.
In 1879, Crawford saw the need for Baptist preachers in the newly opening territories of Western Canada. He felt that a self-sustaining college was the answer. Young men could work the land and gain religious education to prepare them for the ministry at the same time. He chose Rapid City, Manitoba as the site for his new college, because it was then recognized as an integral hub of the Northwest. It was also on the proposed transcontinental railway route. The students would build the college and cultivate the land. The Ontario Baptist Convention, while shying away from giving him official approval for the proposed college, did allow Crawford the liberty to canvass the Baptist churches in order to raise up to $2000 for the venture.
Crawford secured the help of Reverend G.B. Davis, a student at Woodstock and a graduate of Morgan Park College, Chicago, to teach and help train the students. In the summer of 1879, Davis and nine students reached Rapid City. During that summer they cultivated the land and built a two-story college building out of local stone. The following spring, Rev. John Crawford sold his house in Toronto for an estimated $4000 and moved with his family to Rapid City to take up residence at the new college.
The newly formed Prairie College opened in the fall of 1880 with 15 missionary students. Rev. Crawford was the Principal, Rev. Davis was the Vice-Principal, while Misses Emily and Fanny Crawford were teachers. Although the school was a success missionarywise, it did not do well financially. In 1883, Prairie College closed, partly due to financial troubles and partly due to the Ontario Baptists deciding that one Baptist Theological College in Canada was enough, and it was located in Toronto. The students at Prairie College were urged to finish their education in Toronto . This college would soon be known as McMaster University.
S.J. MCKEE AND RAPID CITY ACADEMY:
After the closing of Prairie College, Rev. Crawford left for the United States. However, Rev. Davis still saw a need for education in Rapid City and began to build another school. The Rapid City Academy opened in 1884. Because Davis accepted a pulpit in Moose Jaw soon after, he prevailed upon his brother-in-law, S.J. McKee , to come and take charge of the academy. McKee accepted the position, and the school flourished under his guidance.
In 1890, McKee decided that the school would do better and reach more people if it was located in Brandon, Manitoba, where the railway had eventually gone through. He moved the Academy, and it was housed in various buildings in the city, until he found a permanent resting spot on the third floor of the Stewart Block on Rosser Avenue and Ninth Street .
During the 1890’s the Baptists began to reconsider their decision of having just one theological college. With the settlement of the West, the Baptists were looking to increase their congregation. It was thought that higher education for potential ministry students would greatly help the Baptist cause. Rev. A. J. Vining, who was the Baptist Superintendent of Missions for Manitoba and the Northwest at the time, strongly advocated a Baptist College in Manitoba.
In 1898, Vining interviewed Mr. William Davies, a prominent Baptist, in Toronto. Davies agreed to pledge $3500 a year for five years towards the establishment of a college in the West. His sister, Mrs. Emily Davies agreed to add $1500 to this amount. These pledges encouraged the 1898 meeting of the Manitoba Convention in Winnipeg to begin organization of a Baptist College to be located in Manitoba. A five member committee was chosen to consider the benefits of a Baptist college in Manitoba. Their report was to be read the following summer at the Portage La Prairie Convention.
At the 1899 meeting of the Convention, the five member committee recommended:
1. “That we proceed to inaugurate a movement for the establishment of a denominational school at once.
2. “That we extend a call to Dr. A.P. McDiarmid to act as Principal.
3. “That we appoint a committee of twenty-one directors.
4. “That at present the question of the site be left with the President and Board of Directors but that no site be considered permanent till endorsed by this Convention at a regular or special meeting.
On July 21st, 1899 it was resolved:
1. That we proceed to establish and develop an educational school at Brandon.
2. That the school be known as “Brandon College”.
3. That the quorum of the Board of Directors be fixed at eleven .
Because S.J. McKee already had a thriving academy in Brandon, and he was a staunch Baptist, it was decided to merge Professor McKee’s Academy with the newly formed Brandon College. The classes would take place in the Stewart Block, the site of the Academy. S.J. McKee was hired as professor in Classics, Mental Science and French, while also acting as the unofficial vice-principal. He also had a position on the Board of Directors. Arthur W. Vining, Howard P. Whidden, J.B. Beveridge, and Miss Annie Beveridge rounded out the first faculty of Brandon College.
The 1900 Brandon College Calendar states:
The College aims at not only the mental culture of its students, but at the development of right character. It recognizes the supreme importance of surrounding the student during the period of college life with positive Christian influences, and to keep before him distinctively Christian ideals. The transcendent worth of character is kept in view in molding the life of the College, while the best possible intellectual training is sought. Though Christian, the College is in no sense sectarian. Students of all denominations will enjoy equal privileges. In every department the professors and teachers must be members of some evangelical church; in the Theological Department alone it will be required that they shall be members of the Baptist denomination. The College in all its departments is open to students of both sexes. The faculty will have watchful regard to the best interests of the students in every respect. Those whose conduct and influence are found to be injurious to the welfare of the College will be dismissed if milder disciplinary methods fail to effect reform .
While the school would be run by the Baptists, it was always non-sectarian and co-educational. Students of all denominations were invited to attend Brandon College. The development of a person with the right character was as important as the mental culture of the students. Classes commenced on October 2, 1899. There were 110 students, 81 men and 29 women. Thirteen of these students had plans to enter the ministry. It soon became apparent that the building Brandon College occupied was far too small for its increasing numbers. Plans were drawn up in early 1900 to build a spacious college on the west edge of Brandon. Hugh McCowan was hired as architect and T.M. Harrington of Winnipeg was asked to build the school.
A charter creating Brandon College was written. This Act briefly defined the purposes, jurisdiction, and administrative framework of the College. The “Act to Incorporate Brandon College” was approved by the Province of Manitoba and assented to on June 1, 1900. It granted the Baptist Convention authority over all College affairs. This authority included the appointment of the College Directors and professors, the creation of rules and bylaws, as well as control over the school’s curriculum. While the Board of Directors had control over financial matters, all Board decisions had to be approved by the Convention .
The cornerstone for the new building was laid on July 13, 1900 by Mrs. William Davies. The College commenced classes in the new building, located at 270-18th street, on October 2, 1901. It cost approximately $44 000 to build. There was residence for 70-80 men as well as a dining room, kitchen, science laboratory, reception room, office, library and nine classrooms. The College consisted of an Academic Department, and Arts Department, a Theological Department, and a Business and Stenographic Department.
The Commercial courses were discontinued in 1916 due to financial difficulties during the war. In 1922, the Business Department of Brandon College was discontinued because the College could no longer afford to keep it operating.
The Academic Department consisted of Grades 9 through 12. Although it was a large and popular aspect of Brandon College, it began to decrease in size with the advent of secondary schools. Up until the early part of the twentieth century, most public schools stopped at around grade eight. After that, there were Normal schools that students could go to to become a teacher. Many students wishing to attend secondary school came to Brandon College, where a full secondary course was offered. By the 1920’s and 1930’s however, collegiates were becoming more commonplace. Students often didn’t have to travel as far to receive a higher education. By the early 1930’s most of the Academic Department had been discontinued because of lack of need and finances. By 1932, only the Grade Twelve course was still in operation.
Although one of the main intents behind building Brandon College had been to prepare students for the Baptist ministry, the Theological Department was always one of the smaller departments. By 1915, the Board of Directors had assumed authority over all College operations. However, the Baptist Union still maintained control over theological education, through the Committee on Ministerial Education created in 1908. In 1916, the department was curtailed considerably because of the war. An Educational Secretary, hired in 1919, managed the teaching of theology at Brandon College. The Educational Secretary also controlled the College Maintenance Fund, which was specifically set aside to ensure the financial health of theological education. The Baptist Union’s residual power over theological education led to the creation of the Brandon College Commission in 1923. This joint commission of the Baptist Union and College Senate examined several instructors, including Harris MacNeill, for alleged improper Biblical interpretations. These claims stemmed from Fundamentalist Baptists, who believed that the theological students at Brandon College were being taught by Modernists. The Commission found little evidence to support these allegations, and the instructors were later exonerated of all charges. Even with this decision, the College had to discontinue the Theological Department in 1927 due to lack of funds.
The College’s financial situation was very poor when Dr. Evans assumed control in 1928. The support from the Baptists was shaky, especially since the Fundamentalist-Modernist argument during the early 1920s. The Baptist Union Educational Committee recommended the Arts department be maintained as a significant training course for Christian leadership. The Committee wanted the re-establishment of the Department of Theology. In 1933, in an attempt to regain Baptist support, Rev. Ross C. Eaton was hired as Lecturer in Bible to help bring religious study back to the College. In 1934, John B. McLaurin was hired as Acting Professor in Theology. Dr. F.W. Pattison gave a Practical Theology course, while Dr. Evans made plans to increase the religious department even more. In 1935 Dr. C.B. Lumsden was appointed Professor of Theology, and in 1936, Rev. E.M. Whidden was appointed Head of the Department of Theology.
In 1905, plans commenced for the building of a Women’s Residence to adjoin Brandon College. On May 24th, 1906 Mrs. A.P. McDiarmid laid the cornerstone for what was to become known as Clark Hall. The building was named for C.W. Clark, a Winnipeg doctor who gave $30 000 of the $40 000 dollars needed to build the residence. Dr. Clark gave the money to Brandon College because he believed that women should have every chance to receive higher education. On October 18th of the same year, Clark Hall was officially opened, with room for 50 women.
With the expansion of the women’s department came programs that were geared towards young women of the era. A Music and Art Department was added to the College as was an Expression and Physical Culture Department. The heads of these departments were Abbie Helmer Vining, H. Hancock, and Gertrude Trotter. Miss Ernestine R. Whiteside was hired as Lady Principal and teacher of German and English.
With the rise in immigration during this time came the chance of expansion at Brandon College. There were large numbers of Scandinavian settlements in Manitoba, and it was thought that introducing a Scandinavian Department at the College would entice prospective Swedish missionary students. The students would return to their settlements after being educated by the Baptists, and it was hoped that they would spread the Baptist word among the Scandinavian settlers. Mr. Emil Lundquist was hired in 1907 to head the newly formed Scandinavian Department.
Physical fitness was stressed at Brandon College. Students were encouraged and expected to exercise. It was thought that a healthy body helped to create a healthy mind. There was more behind this ideal than simply healthy minds though, at least for the women students. During this period in history, it was often believed that women were not physically capable of learning to a great extent. It was thought that studying created too much of a stress on the female body, often leading to illness or permanent invalids. Before a girl was accepted to Brandon College, she had to furnish a letter from her doctor stating that she was physically able to go to school and study. As well, women were subjected to the “Clark Hall Line”, a daily two mile walk which was mandatory to all women. No matter what the weather was like they would pair up and, in a long line, walk down the streets of Brandon to the edge of the city. This line was often the cause of much amusement for the men of Brandon College. There were plenty of other sports offered at Brandon College for both men and women in an effort to keep the students physically active. This belief in physical fitness led to the development in 1908 of what was to become an annual College Field Day.
In 1908, the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories became the Baptist Union of Western Canada. This change reflected a restructuring of the Baptist organization. The Union had a meeting every three years that consisted of delegates sent from Baptist churches throughout western Canada. The Baptist Union Board carried on the affairs of the Union and met semi-annually. Each year the Board created a budget based on the needs of the Union, then allocated funds to Provincial and Conference Boards. These other Boards had the responsibility of financing their local institutions and projects. The Baptist Union was not in direct control over these expenditures. If the budget was not raised, the Union had to incur the provincial deficits. This situation of mounting debts continued for several years.
Principal McDiarmid’s title was changed to President McDiarmid in 1910. There is no document explaining this change, but it follows a trend in other colleges and universities during that period when the head of the school was known as the president.
Up until 1910, the College had been loosely affiliated with the University of Manitoba. The Baptists refused to accept the University of Manitoba model of a higher institution, and they continuously sought to get a separate University charter that would give Brandon College degree-granting privileges. It was because of the Baptists firm belief in the separation of church and state that they could not accept the University of Manitoba model, as it would place the College under state control. The college could not secure a charter of its own, so it was decided in 1910 that Brandon College would affiliate with McMaster University.
Brandon College was in debt following the construction of their first two buildings, and it became increasingly clear to the College Board that they could no longer rely solely on funding from the Baptist Union. In order to carry out their financial campaign and increase their administrative efficiency the Board felt it should control the College. In 1911 the Baptist Union was confronted with a proposal from Brandon College stating:
...in our confirmed judgment the work of the College should be under the immediate and unfettered direction of its own Board of Directors and Senate--that its Board of Directors, subject to the expressed general policy of the Baptist Union, control its business administration, and that its Senate should have direction of its education policies and work, viz., the determination of its courses of study, its curricula, its instruction, its examinations, etc.
It appears after this date that Brandon College was much more in control of its curricula and courses of study. However, the school still relied almost completely on the Union for financial support.
World War One began in 1914 and affected Brandon College greatly. Students were very patriotic to England, reflecting the ideals and propaganda of the time in their thoughts and actions. Classes shrunk as men enlisted, and military drilling in front of the College buildings became a commonplace scene. This was due to the fact that in 1915, a Canadian Officers Training Corps unit was established at Brandon College. A Brandon College platoon was organized as part of the Western Universities Battalion, the 196th.
Over thirty Brandon College men were killed during World War One. After the cessation of hostilities in Europe, the students at Brandon College began fundraising to build a memorial gymnasium to honor their classmates who died during the war.
Brandon College began to consider expansion in 1920, when an extension fund campaign was started in an effort to raise money to build a science building. Meanwhile, Dr. Whidden was involved in a continuous effort to maintain the College financially. That year, Mr. William Davies died, and in his will he left $100 000 dollars to Brandon College, on the condition that people in the west could match the amount dollar for dollar.
Contributions to the College increased substantially with the 1923 arrival of Dr. Sweet, the new College President. He quickly gained the confidence of the Board of Directors, the faculty, the students, the community, and the Baptists. The motto of Brandon College up to this point in time seemed to have been “Speaking the Truth in Love”. But with the arrival of Dr. Sweet the motto appears to have been changed to “Education Crowned by Reverence”.
After the Stock Market crash in 1929, the financial situation of the College grew even worse. The Great Depression severely limited charitable contributions for both Brandon College and the Baptist Union during the 1930’s.
In 1931, the Baptist Union indicated by resolution that Brandon College would be closed at the end of the 1930-1931 school year unless the College could find a way to pay its own maintenance bills. The final announcement from the Baptist Union Board stated:
‘RESOLVED that the Board of Brandon College be requested to endeavor to continue the College in operation until the close of the current College year, and that in view of the inability of the Baptist Union to make provision for adequate financial support, that the College cease to operate at the end of the current College year .’
It was at this time the businessmen of Brandon, through the Brandon Board of Trade, began to get involved in the College situation. An organization called the Brandon College Citizens Campaign submitted a by-law that would raise $20 000 for the College for at least five years. The by-law had to be accepted by 60% of the ratepayers before it would be instituted. Despite a huge campaign effort, the by-law was rejected, mainly by the large working-class society in the city who did not see the need for higher education and who resented not being hired to do contract work there. After the by-law failed Brandon citizens raised $20 000 on their own to keep the school open for at least another year.
By 1937, the College was still financially unstable, and although the Western Baptists supported the institution, they could no longer afford to help with the costs. In 1938 the Baptist Union passed a resolution withdrawing completely from any financial responsibility for Brandon College.
BRANDON COLLEGE AS A NON-DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOL:
The citizens of Brandon began to look for ways to keep the College open. A delegation of 60 representatives from towns in southwestern Manitoba asked Premier John Bracken and the Minister of Education for assistance to help keep Brandon College open as a Western Manitoba Arts College under the direction of an independent Board and on a non-denominational basis. The Brandon Board of Trade created a Brandon College Committee. Its members looked into ways the College could be saved. A.E. McKenzie was one of the central figures in this fight to save Brandon College .
In July, McKenzie put up an offer of a $100 000 endowment for Brandon College. Shortly after that he upped the endowment to $300 000. The provincial government agreed to give the College $15 000 annually on the condition that the city of Brandon raise that amount as well and the $300 000 endowment was accepted. In September, McKenzie increased the endowment to $500 000 dollars, $100 000 of which would be revenue-bearing at 3%, which would raise $3000 a year for twenty years. Brandon was disappointed that the provincial government only offered $15 000, as they had originally asked for quite a bit more. However, they set about on a campaign to raise their share of the funds so that Brandon College could open for the fall term .
In September of 1938, Brandon College reopened under the affiliation of the University of Manitoba. A provisional Board of Directors, consisting of Dr. J.R.C. Evans, Mayor F.H. Young, A.E. McKenzie, N.W. Kerr, K.C., E.M. Warren, H.O. McDiarmid, M.D., A.G. Buckingham, K.C., F.R. Longworth, and R.B. Alexander, was responsible for the administering of the affairs of the college. These men were all prominent Brandon citizens who had been involved in the fight to save Brandon College. They tried to complete the campaign to cover financial obligations and assure permanency of the college. The provincial government said that they would raise their support from $15 000 to $22 500 per year if Brandon could pass a by-law guaranteeing support of the college.
On April 17, 1939, Bill 104 received assent as an Act of the Provincial Legislature incorporating Brandon College Incorporated. On June 6, a Brandon Bylaw was passed that approved the levying of one mill on the dollar from taxpayers for the next twenty years to help support Brandon College. This Bylaw assured that Brandon taxpayers would raise $5000 during the first year that it was levied, and this amount would increase during subsequent years as Brandon grew and prospered. On June 13, the Board of Directors approved recording of the Bill as the Charter of Corporation. The A.E. McKenzie endowment was authorized by Bylaw #5 of the corporation on December 19.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939 came the resurrection of the C.O.T.C. at Brandon College in 1940. Enrollment went down as young men and women joined the Armed Forces to go overseas. In order to keep the college out of debt, Dr. Evans created the War Emergency Fund in 1941. This fund raised $15 000 from 1941 to 1946. Scholarships were restarted at the college to help boost enrollment. Many of the scholarships were contingent on the recipient being a resident student in order to help raise residence numbers.
In 1945, the A.E. McKenzie Trust of 1939 was canceled, and 90% of A.E. McKenzie’s stockholdings were transferred to the control of the Province of Manitoba. The A.E. McKenzie Foundation was established using the annual declared dividends from the 90% of the stock. This foundation was administered by the Minister of Education of Manitoba, the President of Brandon College, and a third person to be decided on by both parties. The annual grant of $10 000 from the foundation would be increased by $4000 if a Social Science Chair was established at the college.
In 1946 that Brandon College hired its first Director of Public Relations. This man was Walter G. Dinsdale, a 1937 Brandon College graduate. A Guidance Committee was created in 1948. It was also during this year that Brandon College became an associate member of the National Conference of Canadian Universities. A Social Science Department was added in 1948, and the Biology Department was reorganized. In 1949 a Department of Political Science was created.
The Board of Directors passed a resolution in 1949 to create a committee to hire a director for a financial campaign. The campaign went poorly. Brandon College, although not in the same position as it had been a decade earlier, was still not secure financially. The citizens of Brandon, having been through the Depression and the war years, did not have much left to give to the College.
In 1951, the Federal Government provided the first of an annual fund of $8 000 000 to be divided between Canada’s universities and colleges based on enrollment figures. During this first year, Brandon College received $18 000 from the government.
Education was first offered at Brandon College in 1952 with the co-operation of the Department of Education and the University of Manitoba. In 1953, Brandon College became an associate member of the Association of Universities of the British Commonwealth.
The mortgage that had been assumed from the Baptists in 1939 was paid off in 1954. It was also during this year that Brandon College received its first new building since the 1922 Science Building. An “H-Hut” was moved onto the property and placed behind the Science Building. It was redecorated and used for student functions, a library, and a recreation area.
The Board of Directors increased from twenty one to thirty six in 1955. The provincial grant of $22 500 was raised to $50 000.
In 1957 the Brandon College Faculty Association was formed. This marked the beginning of the end of the ‘family’ structure of the college. A salary schedule was created in 1957 for the Arts and Science Departments. In November of 1958, the Expansion Committee of the Board of Directors was authorized to proceed with all aspects of expansion. By 1959, a new Arts and Library building was being planned.
On Thursday, July 23, 1959, Dr. Evans died suddenly while on holiday in Robson, British Columbia. Before he died he had managed to secure funding and plans for the new Arts and Library building and Lecture Theatre. The Manitoba Government granted $500 000 and the Canada Council $102 000 towards the building of a new Arts and Library Building and Lecture Theatre.
The new Arts and Library Building and the J.R.C. Evans Lecture Theatre were officially opened on January 6, 1961 by Mrs. John G. Diefenbaker (Olive Freeman, Class of 1923). It was also during 1961, that Brandon College welcomed its first overseas student. As well, J.E. Brodie, the former president of Great West Coal made a $200 000 gift to Brandon College, and gave $50 000 to the Expansion Fund.
The next several years were full of expansion for Brandon College. The Men’s Residence, Dining Hall and Heating Plant were opened in 1962. In 1963, a Women’s Residence and the Music Building were opened. A Gymnasium was opened in 1965.
The Board of Directors changed dramatically in the early 1960’s, becoming more influenced by the distribution of funds from government sources. Legislation in 1966 revised the Brandon College Act to reduce the number of members on the Board of Directors from thirty-six down to twelve. Seven of these twelve would be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council, and three would be appointed by the Brandon College Corporation. One member would be elected by the Alumni Association, and the College President would be a member ex-officio.
BRANDON COLLEGE BECOMES BRANDON UNIVERSITY:
1967 was an important year for Brandon College. Not only was a new Education Building opened, but the College ceased to exist. This was because a university charter had been granted to Brandon College. On July 1, 1967, Brandon College became Brandon University. Dr. John E. Robbins was appointed to be its first president. The university would enjoy a certain amount of freedom from the financial hardships it had endured over the past 68 years. As well, the university would no longer have its curriculum dictated to it from other institutions as it had during affiliation with McMaster University and the University of Manitoba.
The records have been located in a number of areas around the University including Clark Hall, the old Science building, the A.E. McKenzie building, and “the trailer”, which was a very old addition to Clark Hall and has now been removed from campus. The records are now in the S.J. McKee Archives located on the Brandon University campus.
Scope and Content
The fond consists of minutes, reports, correspondence, invoices, printed material, clippings and photographs. The collection spans from S.J. McKee’s personal papers from Rapid City Academy in the 1880’s through to the decision to grant university charter to Brandon College in 1967. It is a very interesting source for the history of Western Canada.
Several different themes emerge in the fond. A very central theme concerns Baptist higher education in Western Canada, higher education in general, the development of curriculum in Canada, and the Baptist Western Movement. The development of religious higher education, especially Baptist training, is well-documented.
Areas such as student associations, student life on campus, and women’s education are detailed in the collection. There is a very detailed look at the social aspects of college life, especially the difference between the genders in the realm of higher education. These themes can be found in the various Clark Hall scrapbooks and “Saturday Books” written by the lady principal.
An economic theme is prevalent for much of the early history of Brandon College due to various financial restraints that the College and Western Canada faced. These themes are especially noticed in the Bursar and Registrar records.
The administration of the corporation can be followed closely through the minutes and certain correspondence from the Board of Directors. A more in-depth look at the people involved in the running of an institution of higher learning can be found in the various personal papers of the presidents of the College.
There are also several military files, dealing with the creation and operation of a C.O.T.C. regiment on campus during both the First and Second World Wars. The fond also provides a glimpse of how the wars affected daily life on campus and their after-effects on the College.
The fonds also examines the effects that affiliation with other universities can have on curriculum, regulations and other aspects of College life.
The RG 1 Brandon College fonds description and finding aid were prepared by Karyn Taylor (nee Riedel) in August 1998.
McKee Archives: RG 6 Brandon University fonds. The Canadian Baptist Archives at McMaster University contain the following records related to Brandon College: Correspondence (1911-1936); McMaster Chancellor's Correspondence (1895-1926); McMaster Chancellor's Reports; History (1962); Stone & Garnet History (1969); Calendars (1899-1938); Report of Commission 1923 (pamphlet); Fact Concerning 1922 (pamphlet); Jesuit Methods (pamphlet); an incomplete set of the Quill; and exams. They also have The Western Baptist and the Yearbooks of the Baptist Union of Western Canada (1907-1996). (Source: Correspondence between Judith Colwell, Archivist, Canadian Baptist Archives and Thomas H. McLeod. Date: October 8, 1996).
The fonds is divided into fifteen series and two associated fonds.
Photograph of the Brandon College Literary Society Executive 1911-1912.
Back Row (L to R): F. Freer ’15 (Editor of Critic); H.E. Green, Theo. (Pres.Deb.Soc.); W.Wilkin ’13 (Reading Room Com.); J. Robinson ’13 (2nd Vice Pres.); and H. Wilson (Treas.).
Front Row (L to R): M. Reid ’14 (Pres.C.H. Lit.); K. Johnson ’14 (1st Vice Pres.); J. Evans ’13 (Pres.); and W. Speers ’13 (Sec.).
Photograph of the Executive of the Brandon College Literary Society 1910-11.
Top Row (L to R): R. Terrier ’12 (Program Com.) and W.C. McKee ’13 (Secretary).
Middle Row (L to R): R. Harvey ’13 (Editor of Critic); W.E. Wilkin ’13 (Reading Room Com.); A. Rutherford (Treasurer); and P. Duncan (Pres. of Debating Society).
Bottom Row (L to R): M.H. Strang ’13 (Pres. Clark Hall Lit.); S.H. Potter ’12 (Pres.); and M.V. McCamis ’13 (Vice Pres).
Brandon College Orchestra. Back Row-L to R: Professor Fox, Hawkins, Professor Vining, Farrer, Fraser (Leader). Front Row-L to R: Dickson, ?, ?, E.S. Hopper, A.L.P Hunter, (possibly Mrs. McDiarmid, pianist)
Consists of the BCSA constitution, electoral procedure documents, nomination forms, the Brandon College Crests and Awards Board constitution, the Brandon College Finance Board constitution, the Brandon College Athletic Board/Athletic Council constitution, the Brandon College Board of Publications constitution, the Brandon College Literary Board constitution, the Sigma Mu constitution, and BCSA statistical summary of Committee meetings.