Margaret Menzies was born on July 30th, 1920, at a family farm located in Oakburn, Manitoba. She grew up on the family farm and attended school in both Oakburn and Shoal Lake. She married Donald Menzies on June 4th, 1941. Together they had four children. In 1959, the family moved to Brandon, Manitoba, where they lived for the rest of their lives.
Margaret Menzies was a longtime and active member of the International Toastmistress Club (ITC), and was also involved in the Consumers Association of Canada, Seniors for Seniors, as well as being a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Central United Church. Menzies did not graduate from high school in her early years, but managed to continue her education and receive a bachelor of arts degree from Brandon University at the age of 70.
Margaret Menzies passed away on June 9th, 2012.
Records in the collection were brought to the S.J McKee Archives on July 13, 2012, by Gerald Brown, on behalf of the family of Margaret Menzies.
Scope and Content
Collection contains of two scrapbooks created by Margaret Menzies. The scrapbooks contain various cards, itinerary's, and other documents associated with Menzies' membership in the International Toastmistress Club. The items in the scrapbooks date from the mid 1980's to the late 1990's.
Also included in the collection are four local history books. The first is a 100 year history of the town of Oakburn, Manitoba, from 1870 to 1970, published during celebrations of Manitoba's centenniary in 1970. Next is a book about the history of the town of Shoal Lake, Manitoba, which was published in 1959 on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the town of Shoal Lake in 1909. The last two books are the first and second volumes of Ripples on the Lake, which cover the history of the Shoal Lake municipality from 1884. The first volume covers the first 100 years of the history of the Shoal Lake region, being published in 1984. The second volume was published in 2007, covering the history of Shoal Lake since 1984, as well as including new information that was not published in the 1984 version of the book.
Finally, the collection contains one photograph of Margaret Menzies receiving her bachelor of arts degree from Peter Hordern, dean of arts of Brandon University.
Biographical information provided by obituary entry in the Brandon Sun, June 16, 2012. Description by Tyler Warren (October 2012).
Robert (Bob) Troy Blair was born on March 11, 1930 in Brandon, MB. His first six years were spent in Alexander, MB, where his father and uncle operated a grocery store. In 1936, his family moved to Souris, MB, where his father ran a grocery store. Blair received his primary and high school education, with the exception of Grade 12, in Souris.
Blair remembers his school years in Souris as mainly happy years. He was involved with both piano and organ music lessons. he was never interested in physical sports with the exception of golf. World War II broke out in September of 1939. Souris became the site of #17 SFTS and home base for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Many of the service men came from England, Australia and New Zealand. Blair's mother always entertained at least two for dinner every Sunday. Rationing of sugar, tea and coffee, butter and meat became a way of life. Blair had the job every Saturday of pasting the ration coupons into booklets. It was also when he was in Grade 6, that Blair realized he was more attracted to boys than to girls. Perhaps it was because so many attractive airmen surrounded him!
In November of 1947, the Blair family relocated to Alexander where Bob Blair finished his Grade 11. This was not a good year due to bullying. In September of 1948, Blair moved to Winnipeg to attend United College for his Grade 12. Upon completion of Grade 12, Blair remained in Winnipeg until June 1950. he worked at a number of businesses - Gestetner, Eaton's Mail Order shoe department, Maple Leaf Milling, and the drug store in the Medical Arts Building. In September 1950, he entered Brandon College. Blair was very active in extra-curricular affairs while at Brandon College; particularly drama. Following his B.A. he enrolled in the Education Faculty, having decided to become a teacher.
Blair's teaching career spanned 34 years. All but one year was spent in the Brandon School Division. On his first day of teaching in the Division he met the man with whom he would spend the next 46 years. He was primarily a teacher of English and Music. A highlight of his career was exchange teaching in Sacramento, California in 1961. Orientation for exchange took place in August in Washington, D.C., where Blair had the opportunity to meet President J.F. Kennedy. He vividly recals the morning that JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. In September 1965, Blair assumed the principalship of Park School and in September of 1969, the same position at George Fitton School where re remained until his retirement in 1989. He was a member of the Brandon Picnipals' Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and servedas President of the Brandon Teachers' Association. Among his major accomplishments during his time as principal were the introduction of a centralized school library in both Park and George Fitton Schools and the integration of special needs students into regular classroom situations wherever possible. He was made a Life Member of the Manitoba Teachers' Society (Brandon) in June 1990. Following his retirement Blair worked as a Library Automation Consultant (1989-1993).
Blair also had numerous community involvements during his time in Brandon. he was active in the Brandon Little Theatre (Best Actor Award, Manitoba Drama Festival for One Act Plays in 1963), the Brandon Festival of the Arts, the Eckhardt-Gramatte National Music Competition, and Arm Industries to name a few.
Following the death of his partner in 2001, Blair moved to Saskatoon to live with a younger gay couple. He has been active in volunteerism: as an Ambassador for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, assistant with the Saskatoon Health Region's Immunization Clinics, information clerk for the Festival of Trees, data entry clerk for the Saskatoon Music Festival, on the Board of the Saskatoon Jazz Society, and Hospitality Coordinator for the Saskatoon Jazz Festival.
As of October 2013, Bob Blair continues to live in Saskatoon, SK.
Records were in Blair's possession until he donated them to the Mckee Archives on Homecoming weekend October 2013.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of two scrapbooks containing 145 photographs and ephemera (play and graduation programs, tickets, pins, newspaper clippings) documenting Bob Blair's days at Brandon College. Social events and extra-curricular activities are heavily featured in the two scrapbooks. Also included are graduation portraits for the Classes of 1951, 1952 and 1953. Of the 145 photographs all are black and white except for two photos of the Class of '53 reconvocation (May 1993), and one from the Class of '53 reunion (2003).