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Fleming School, located at 2320 Louise Avenue, Brandon, MB, was a part of the Brandon School Division from its creation in 1914 until its closure in 2005. The school was named to commemorate the life of pioneer Dr. Alexander Fleming. Fleming, who was a Scottish born immigrant, came to Brandon in 1881, where he worked as Brandon's first medical doctor and pharmacist. He also held the role of chairman for the Brandon School Board. Fleming died in Brandon on November 26, 1897.
Rapid population growth in the City of Brandon in the early part of the 20th century resulted in a need for additional school buildings; Fleming School was among the schools established during this period. Designed by W.H. Shillinglaw, the structure was constructed out of concrete, wood and brick, and included a basement. When the school first opened, it was composed of six classrooms; after two renovations in 1953 and 1962, the school expanded with more classrooms and a gymnasium. At the time of its closure, Fleming School could accommodate seven classes, covering grades kindergarten to grade six.
Around 2004, the Brandon School Division decided to close Fleming Elementary School. Prior to the closure a celebration was held on January 14, 2005, to honour the school's 90th Anniversary. Following the school's official closing, students were reallocated to Earl Oxford Elementary School (540 18th Street). Some of the former staff found work in other schools within the Division, while Craig Manson, the last principal of Fleming School, became principle of Green Acres Elementary School.
The building formerly used as Fleming Elementary School became a high school for the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in late 2006. The Band bought the building in late 2010.
Records were collected and created by Fleming School staff and administration, many for the 90th anniversary and closing of the school. Craig Manson, the last principal of Fleming School, gave the records to David Wilson, who donated them to the S.J. McKee Archives in 2015.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of records that document the history of Fleming School. Many of the records were created and gathered specifically by Craig Manson and others for the school's 90th anniversary; on November 19, 2006 an ad written by Grant Hamilton was placed in the Brandon Sun with Jean Pickard asking for potential archives from Fleming School to be donated by contacting Keith Heide at the Brandon School Division. The archives were to be used in a display on education in Brandon to be located in the Town Centre in June 2007. Other records were collected and created by the school's staff and administration to document the activities and student of their school.
Textual records include newspaper clippings, staff and administration lists (1914-2005), programs, calendars, correspondence, anecdotes, as well as records related to the events surrounding the 90th anniversary and the closure of the school. The 90th anniversary celebration materials include Craig Manson's speech and agenda, the lyrics to the school song, and a list of people in attendance. The newspaper clippings, with capture the experiences of Fleming students, are evidence of the staff's interest in the lives of their current and former students.
Also included in the textual records is in depth genealogical research for the Fleming family. The research includes birth and death dates, photographs of grave sites and residences of Fleming family members, as well as some correspondence around the school's 90th anniversary. The photographs in the album include both originals and photocopies.
Photographs in the collection, like the newspaper clippings, document the activities and events of Fleming School, its students and staff. They include candid's from the classroom, various ceremonies (including the 90th anniversary), and the celebration of holidays (especially Halloween). There are also a number of class and staff portraits.
The collection also includes audio visual materials. The VHS recording entitled "Fleming School 90th Birthday Tea," runs approximately 75 minutes and was videoed by Ian Carkener. The DVD, which runs 42 minutes, was created by the staff and students for the 90th anniversary celebration. It has three components: "Through the Decades" shows students re-enacting school scenes from earlier decades; "Students at Work and Play," shows the 2004-2005 students in their classroom environment during holiday celebrations, school ceremonies and working on assignments; and "Reflections," which includes a slide show of photographs of Fleming School throughout the years set to music.
Finally, the collection includes four artifacts: one 90th anniversary celebration balloon with an image of the school building and the its years of operation printed on it; a school magnet with the school phone number and an image of the brick school building; and two pins. The first pin is circular with a black background and gold details including the school's name, three silhouettes and three maple leaves. The second pin appears to have a hornet or bee emblem with the number 72.
History/bio information was taken from the records, as well as the Manitoba Historical Society's website (Alexander Fleming, Fleming School - accessed on September 30, 2016), the Brandon School Division website (Fleming School - accessed on September 30, 2016) and Grant Hamilton's article "Gathering school archives while they can" (Brandon Sun, November 19, 2006). Description by Megan Treloar (September 2016) and Christy Henry.