Alfred Angus Murray McPherson was born February 15, 1923 in Brandon, MB. The middle son of Angus and Annie Ethel (Pentland) McPherson, Murray grew up on the family farm in the Brandon Hills District. Following high school he obtained a B.Sc. degree from Brandon College, before enrolling in the Faculty of Eduction at the University of Manitoba in 1947 where he received his B.Ed. and M.Ed. Murray completed his Ph.D. in Educational Curriculum in 1975 at Michigan State University.
Murray's teaching career began at Brandon College as a chemistry instructor. After the year of teacher training he taught in Daupin Collegiate, then Luxton Junior High School and St. Johns High School in Winnipeg. In 1962, Murray joined the University of Manitoba Faculty of Education where he taught methods in mathematics and served as Head of the Deparment of Curriculum: Mathematics and Natural Sciences for sixteen years, before assuming the position of Co-ordinator of Student Teaching. During his career Murray co-edited a series of textbooks for elementary grades and was a strong supporter of the Manitoba Association of Mathematics Teachers. Following his retirement in 1988, Murray volunteered with Creative Retirement, Mentors Club and Habitat for Humanity. He also remained active in the United Church.
Murray McPherson married Margaret Elinore Raven on July 14, 1951 in Winnipeg. Margaret Elinore (Raven) McPherson was born in Winnipeg, MB on March 11, 1927. Educated at the University of Manitoba, where she earned a B.Sc. (1947), a Dip. Education (1948) and a B.Ed. (1966), Margaret taught school in Dauphin (1948-1953) and the Winnipeg School Division (Spring 1954). Together they had two children: John Angus Murray McPherson (b. March 19, 1955), an orthopedic surgeon in Winnipeg, and Kathryn May McPherson (b. November 20, 1957), a professor of history at York University, Toronto. Alfred Angus Murray McPherson died on November 25, 2001 at the Charleswood Care Centre in Winnipeg, MB. Margaret continues to live in Winnipeg, MB.
The MacPherson family originally came from the County of Sutherlandshire in the north of Scotland. The need for wool during the Napoleonic Wars resulted in the "Highland Clearances" of the early 1800's, which forced the small farmers or "crofters" to leave their farms and to move to the villages, such as Kildonan, Helmsdale and Golspie along the east coast.
In 1814, Hugh MacPherson (1779-1843) with his wife Anne Sutherland (1783-1857) and their family, immigrated to Nova Scotia and acquired a farm at Watervale, a community on the West River at Pictou. Following the issue of the land title, the "Mac" spelling of MacPherson became "Mc."
Alexander McPherson, the son of Hugh and Anne, married Elizabeth Murray at West River on April 10, 1840. They lived on the family farm at Watervale where they had a family of eleven children, a number of whom died in infancy. Their oldest son Hugh (1845-1916) and their youngest, Johnston (1857-1944), later came to Brandon Hills, MB.
Angus Sellars McPherson, a son of Hugh and Margaret (Sellars) McPherson, was born in Brandon Hills, MB on March 1, 1884. A farmer in the area his whole life, Angus married Annie Ethel Pentland in 1913. Together they had three sons: Howard, Murray and Kenneth. Angus died at Brandon General Hospital on September 5, 1953.
Alfred Angus Murray McPherson's mother, Annie Ethel (Pentland) McPherson, was born into a family that originally came from the ancient Scottish Midlothian or the more modern County of Edinburgh, from the Pentland Hills County, and in and around the towns of Pentland and Carrington. Around the year 1700, at the time of the large movement of immigrants from Scotland and England into Northern Ireland, several families of the clan settled in counties Down and Arnaugh in Ireland.
Between 1790 and 1820, a number from both Scotland and Ireland immigrated to Canada settling mainly in Eastern Ontario in the Counties of Hastings, Lennox and Addington and on Amherst Island. Around 1860, some moved to Huron County in Western Ontario to carve homes out of the bush. In 1881, Thomas James Pentland came from Goderich to Manitoba and settled near Douglas. He had learned the trade of a blacksmith and found one was needed so badly he gave up the intention to homestead and built a shop northwest of Douglas, on the South East quarter of Section 17-11-17. He later added a store and house there.
On July 22, 1885, Thomas James Pentland and Annie Isobel McVety were married at the home of the bride's parents at High Bluff and lived northwest of Douglas until 1890, when he made a deal with Isaac and Fred Lewis. Thomas took their homesteads on Section 14-12-18 and they took over the store, which they moved to Oakenside. T.J. Pentland continued to farm there until his death in June of 1919. T.J. Pentland was elected to the Council of the RM of Elton for Ward 1 in the fall of 1884 and served three years as councilor and fourteen years as Reeve.
The McVety and Owens families both came from County Fernanagh, Northern Ireland to Ontario during the first half of the nineteenth century. Henry McVety and Elizabeth Owens were married March 11, 1856, at Belgrave and lived at Morris until the spring of 1882, when they moved to High Bluff, Manitoba and fifteen years later to Bagot. In 1882, their daughter Annie Isobel came to Douglas to teach at the first Elton School situated 2.5 miles north and 1 mile east of present Douglas.
The family of Thomas and Annie Pentland consisted of three sons and three daughters. Fred, who served overseas in the 78th Battalion in the First World War and was killed in September 1917; Harry, who farmed in Justice until 1922, then lived in Brandon until his death in 1948; Ethel (Mrs. Angus McPherson), now living in Brandon; Evelyn (Mrs. N.C. Thompson) now living in Brandon; Wesley, living at Justice on the home farm; and Grace who died in 1908.
Harry Pentland's son, H. Clare Pentland, was born October 17, 1914, on a farm near Justice, MB, where Harry had taken up farming. Clare graduated from Brandon College in 1940, with an Economics degree and attended the University of Oregon, where he completed a Master's degree in 1942. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1961. His dissertation was later published as "Labour and Capital in Canada 1650-1860." A noted economist and a founder of the history of labour in Canada, H. Clare Pentland died on October 13, 1978.
Prior to the death of Murray McPherson, Margaret McPherson's husband, he and his daughter Katherine McPherson, professor of history at York University, searched through various farm houses previously occupied by members of the McPherson family and gathered together family archival materials to safeguard them from destruction. These materials were tranferred to the McPherson residence in Winnipeg and upon the death of Murry McPherson, Margaret became the sole custodian of the records. The decision to place the records at the McKee Archives was arrived at for two reasons. First, the records relate to the Brandon Hills and the history of this region. Second, Murray McPherson attended Brandon College in the 1940s, and felt kinship with the institution. The records came to the McKee Archives courtesy of the good offices of Diane Hageland of the Association for Manitoba Archives. Margaret McPherson donated the records to the McKee Archives on May 4, 2006.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of personal and business records for various members of the McPherson and Pentland families. These were generated in the course of settlement in the Brandon Hills, travel, participation in the First World War and various forms of associational life, in particular the Orange Lodge. The fonds includes correspondence, financial records/ledgers, legal documents, postcards, photographs, scrapbooks, greeting cards, livestock records, Brandon College Sickles, school records, electoral records, diaries, membership records, certificates, income tax records, ration cards, notebooks, newsclippings, autograph albums, poetry, receipts and speeches.
Biographical information for the fonds was provided by Margaret McPherson. Processing done by Deidra Wallace and Christy Henry summer/fall 2006. Description by Christy Henry. Numerous spellings of the surname "McVety" appear in the fonds, including McVetie and McVitie. The oldest documented spelling in documents of a legal nature is McVety. This spelling therefore will appear throughout the finding aid.
Further accruals expected.
Original file order has been maintained, while some boxes have been combined to provide a more suitable environment for the preservation of print materials. The boxes have been renumbered accordingly. Due to the original file order, however, the file numbers in the database have been prefaced by their original box numbers. For example, File 3.5 refers to the fifth file of the original third box.
The Brandon Art Club was founded in November 1907, and operated in an art studio on the top floor of the Brandon College Women's Residence. The club appears to have been the creation of Miss. H. Hancock, who became the Director of the Department of Art at Brandon College c. 1907. The club moved to larger facilities made available at the First Methodist Church; the organization remained there until sometime during the Great War when the club relocated to St. Paul's Presbyterian Church and then in 1921, to the Prince Edward Hotel. The club's first public art exhibitions were held at the Prince Edward Hotel. Art classes were held for the first time in 1928. In 1968, the Brandon Art Club merged with the Allied Arts Center, which had been formed in 1959. The Allied Arts Center was located at 1036 Louise Avenue. In April 1984, the Allied Arts Center was moved to new facilities at the Arts Center of Western Manitoba located at 638 Princess Avenue. In 1989, it was renamed the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, and began to function as a "professional, regional art gallery." The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba relocated to 2-710 Rosser Ave. c. 2001.
These records were created at different times between 1907 and 1993, and remained in the possession of the administration of the above mentioned organizations until May 2001, when they where donated to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains administrative records, minutes, personal files, correspondence, newsletters, photographs, summaries of collections and exhibits, scrapbooks, programs, submitted papers, and other miscellaneous records. All are a record of the growth and evolution of the Art Club, its administration, and of the art community in Brandon.
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
A number of the letters are samples of "cross writing"
Some of the letters are fragile, but generally the fonds is in good condition.
Ann Murdoch donated a copy of "My Dear Will" to the McKee Archives in February 2008. The formal donation of the Baker family letters occurred on September 27, 2008 at a reception in the Gathering Space at the John E. Robbins Library.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of a collection of about 200 letters primarily written by William Baker (although letters written by other family members are also included), who left Liverpool and settled in Oak Lake, to his son William who remained in England. The letters offer insights on a wide range of subjects including the conditions of immigrants and the Riel "situation".
The fonds also contains a supplement to "My Dear Will: Reflections of Prairie Pioneer Life." This latter publication consists of transcribed copies of the letters in the Baker family fonds. The letters were originally transcribed by Ronald James Parsons and his wife Rita Olive Parsons (nee Blake) and published, along with some letters, photographs and other documents for family c. 1997. The booklet was updated in 2007 by Ronald and Rita's daughter, Ann Murdoch. The Supplement was prepared by Ann Murdock and her sister Dawn Powell.
Description by Christy Henry.
My Dear Will booklet
2008 accessions. Booklets and family tree stored in Rare Books: RC 3399.B73Z495 2007 v.1 and v.2.
approximatley 65 cm textual records;
approximatley 30 photographs
History / Biographical
Bessie Marie Hill was born in 1933. She graduated from Winnipeg Normal School in 1953. Throughout her forty year teaching career, she taught at Hagyard (1953-56), Melita (1956-62), Shilo (1962-65), Kenora (1965-68), DND Germany (1968-76), Kenora (1976-80), Assiniboine South School Division - Laidlaw (1980-84), and Assiniboine South School District - Royal (1984-92).
Florence Mabel (Nelson) Hill was born on June 19, 1907 in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan. She attended the Brandon Normal School in 1924-1925, then taught at Rose Lea School (1925-1929), Errol, at Lenore (1929-1931) and Ravine School (1955-1956). In 1931, she married Gordon Orval Hill (1898-1969). Together they had three children: Allan Hill, Bessie Marie Hill and Georgina Bernice (Hill) Matiation. Florence Mabel Hill died in Lenore, Manitoba on December 23, 1992 in her 86th year.
Sarah Viola Hill was born on June 28, 1900, and was Florence Mabel (Nelson) Hill's sister-in-law. Viola attended the Brandon Normal School in 1916-1917, and took graduate studies at the University of Manitoba. During her thirty-nine year teaching career she taught at Hagyard, Oak Lake (1917-1918), Cottonwood (1918-1919), Rose Park (1919), Grand Coulee (1919-1920), Virden (1920-1922), Lumsden, Saskatchewan (1922-1925), Lenore (1925-1934), Gunton (1934-1936), Birtle Indian Residential School (1936-1941), Ravine, Lenore (1947-1950), The Pas (1950-1956) and Woodnorth (1956-1966). During the war years, Viola worked as part of the Civil Service in Ottawa in the Department of Finance (1941) and later in Vancouver, B.C. Sarah Viola Hill died on January 19, 1988 at Virden District Hospital.
For biographical information on Georgina (Hill) Matiation, see the Georgina (Hill) Matiation collection (29-1998).
Records in all accessions were in the possession of Bessie Marie Hill until she gave them to Gerald Brown who delivered them to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Accession 33-1999: 1 photograph; 6 cm textual records (c. 1900-1952; predominant 1925-1930)
The accession includes one b/w photograph (30x 36 cm) of the Brandon Normal School 1926.
Textual records include a Herbarium and Plant Description workbook including pressed samples (1900); Florence Nelson’s Dominion Drawing Book 1925-1926; Florence Nelson’s Handwork, 1925-1926; Florence Nelson’s Professional Second Class Teacher’s Certificate, 1928; Florence Nelson’s Reading Course Certificate in The Teaching of History, Educational Measurement; A schoolmaster of the Great City, Manitoba Department of Education Examination 1922 in Drawing; Manitoba Department of Education Inspectors Tests June 1952 Literature Level One; The Canadian Teacher Vol. 34, No. 3, October 1929.
Accession 12-2001: 15 photographs; 55 cm textual records (1916-1950, predominant 1916-1935)
The accession includes a b/w photograph (5x7) of Florence Nelson (Hill); a b/w photo (2 ¾ x 4 ½") of the Birtle Residential School class “when Viola Hill was teaching there"; a b/w (10x14) class portrait of the Brandon Normal School 1916-1917 “Second Class” and 13 b/w photographs of various sizes.
Textual records include a Science Notebook created by Florence Nelson (Hill) c. 1924; 3 documents associated with the work-life and career of Florence Nelson (Hill); 21 Inspector’s “Teacher’s Report” on the teaching performance of Miss Viola Hill [n.d.]; various documents and publications including: Manitoba Department of Education Professional Certification documents; “A Union Jack Figure Drill;” Department of Education (Manitoba) Grade XII examinations in Algebra, Geometry, French, Rhetoric and Prose Literature, History of English Literature, Composition, Additional English – A, Tennyson, Additional English – B, Browning, History; Physical Science: A Handbook of First Aid (Toronto: Bauer & Bauer); Santa Claus Christmas Book [no publisher, nd]; School Broadcast Materials, Manitoba Department of Education in co-operation with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Bernhart P.O. Horst (ed.), The New Teachers’ and Pupils’ Cyclopedia – A Reference Library of History, Geography, Biography, Literature, Economics, Civics, Arts, Sciences, Discoveries and Inventions (Holst Publishing Company); The Source Book: An International Encyclopedia Authority written from the New World Viewpoint. 10 volumes including study guide and index; Walter Keast, Canadian Business Arithmetic, Part I. (Pitman; E.C. Hills & R.T.); Holbrook (ed.), French Short Stories with vocabulary and notes (Copp Clark); Clarence Perkins, Introduction to World History. Educational Book Company.
Accession 5-2003: 15 b/w photographs and four certificates (1955-1956)
The accession includes 15 b/w photographs of members of the Brandon College Teacher Training Class of 1955-56. Textual records include the Graduation Certificate for Georgina Bernice Hill, and other certificates.
Accession 16-2008: 3mm texual records and eight certificates/diplomas (1917-2007). Accession consists of certificates, grades, contracts and correspondence relating to the education and teaching career of Sarah Viola Hill and a newspaper clipping and biographical sketch concerning Bessie Marie Hill.
History/Bio information provided by Bessie Marie Hill. The Normal School photograph from accession 33-1999 has been located with the Normal School collection in the map drawers of the Reading Room.
Georgina (Hill) Matiation is Bessie Marie Hill's sister. Her records are located at 29-1998.
2.4 m textual records; c. 5 photographs; 1 minute book (measuring 1"x 9"x 14")
History / Biographical
The Brandon Trades and Labour Council was established in 1906, as an affiliate of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada. The original Council contained thirteen locals, including those of railway workers, sheet metal workers, plumbers and steam fitters, bricklayers, carpenters and joiners, cigar makers, printers, and barbers. By 1912, the Council contained twenty four locals. The Council's principal function was to advance the corporate interests of labour within the framework of a largely unregulated capitalism. After 1955, the Council was affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress, which was created through a merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour.
Fonds remained in possession of Brandon and District Labour Council prior to donation to the S.J. McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of financial and administrative records of the Brandon and District Labour Council. Records also include collective agreements, correspondence, publications of the Labour Council and affiliated unions, some union local minutes, newspaper clippings, petitions, and various miscellaneous files. Fonds also includes a minute book for the Council (1971-1985) and two union charters.
The Brandon Council of Women (BCW) was active between 1895 and 1927, when it disbanded. Principally through the efforts of Mrs. Kaye Rowe of Brandon, the BCW was officially restablished in 1952. The Brandon Council of Women remained active until c. 1973. It brought together fifty-two women's organizations in Brandon, representing 2600 women.
The Brandon Council of Women fonds was transferred to the McKee Archives during the 1970s. It was accessioned in 1998.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of papers and photographs of the International Council of Women (ICW), the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC), the Manitoba Council of Women (MCW), and the Brandon Council of Women (BCW). The ICW papers include meeting minutes. The NCWC papers include meeting minutes, resolution lists, pamphlets, newsletters, correspondence, financial records, yearbooks, and copies of Acts pertaining to women. The MCW papers contain copies of the MCW constitution, meeting minutes, resolution lists, correspondence, and committee reports. The BCW materials comprise the largest part of the fonds, and include meeting minutes, committee reports, financial records, correspondence, short course agendas, posters, pamphlets, memos, resolution lists, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, photographs, and scrapbooks.
The Brandon Folk, Music, and Art Society, Inc. has been in existence since 1985, when it was founded by a group of Westman people interested in providing an alternative art and music festival for the western Manitoba region. That group sponsored the first annual Brandon Folk, Music, and Art Festival in September of 1985 and established the community-based, non-profit structure of the Society.
The Society's main goal is to provide musicians, artists and artisans with an opportunity to perform or display their talents on a professional level. The Society provides for its members and aspiring artists by sponsoring an annual Festival, coffeehouses, socials and other performances at local establishments, featuring local and touring performers.
The Society is governed by a volunteer board of directors from many sectors of the local community.
Recrods in accession 19-2008 were in the possession of the Brandon Folk, Music & Art Society prior to their donation to the archives in September 2008.
Scope and Content
Accession 17-2008 (12 cm, 1985-1988) consists of 10 files containing promotional materials, meeting minutes and planning documents for Society's annual music festival.
Accession 19-2008 (63 cm, 1981-2008) consists of: minutes, festival programs, publications, posters, financial records, correspondence; miscellaneous photographs.
History/Bio information taken from Society records. Description by Donna Lowe and Christy Henry.
The Brandon Hills Busy Bees was formed in 1916 by eighteen women. The aim of the group was to assist with the war effort during World War One. At the end of the war it was decided to carry on the club and do community and welfare work. The Busy Bees met twice a month and, during World War Two, one meeting a month was devoted to Red Cross work.
In 1969, the younger members of the Brandon Hills Busy Bees decided to form their own organization called the Brandon Hills Community Fireflies.
The remaining members of the Busy Bees continued in their work until they disbanded as a society on September 14, 1988. At their last meeting it was decided to donate their records to the McKee Archives (minutes September 14, 1988).
In the minutes for the September 14, 1988 meeting of the Brandon Hills Busy Bees, Mrs. Mollie Baker made a motion to donate the record books of the organization to the Archive at Brandon University, and for Mrs. Nell Baker and Mrs. Lillian Coate to take them there. The motion was seconced by Mrs. Jean Kreller. Prior to their donation to the McKee Archives in 1988 the records were in the possession of members of the Brandon Hills Busy Bees.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of minute books with membership lists, accounts, newsclippings, correspondence, and reports, recipies (Treasurer's BK 1917-1919), treasurer's books, donation records, 2 photographs (1916 and ca. 1970s), a history of the Busy Bees 1916-1976 and calendars for the Womens' Auxiliary to the Grain Growers (Oakville, MB) for 1916-1918.
The mintue book for 1976-1981 also contains the minute book of The Red Cross Emergency Unit, Brandon Hills for December 1943-1947.
Description by Christy Henry.
Albert Angus Murray McPherson collection (21-2006)
The Brandon Sno-Goers Snowmobile Club was created in approximately 1970 and was disbanded in approximately 2002. During its lifetime, the Sno-Goers were an organization dedicated to the promotion of recreational snowmobiling. They were also a community service group, which raised funds for local charities, held many winter events and worked with E.M.O. services in the southwestern area of Manitoba. They were members of the provincial organization Sno-Man Inc (Snowmobilers of Manitoba Inc.).
Records were donated to the McKee Archives on September 9, 2005 by Lloyd Shortridge, former president and Sno-Goers member from 1986-2002. The records were in Shortridge's residence prior to their donation.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of minutes (annual meetings, general meetings, director's meetings, club meetings etc.), newsletters, financial records, member lists, correspondence, records related to various club activities, events, and charity fundraising. It also includes the Manitoba snowmobile operator's training manual, exam and answer key, information on snow trails and trail grooming and records for the 1989 Sno-Man convention and sled show hosted by the Brandon Sno-Goers. Fonds contains a number of artifacts, including: 3 pins, 2 badges and the Sno-Goers' flag.
Fundraising included: Heart & Stroke Foundation (Heart Fund Ride), Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Poker Derby), Canadian Liver Foundation, Ability Fund March of Dimes, City of Brandon, Canadian Cancer Society, Dreams for Kids.
Description by Christy Henry. All records related to Snopasses (except a few annual reports) were culled, as were recipets and duplicates, Sno-Man newsletters and Sno-Man meeting minutes.
There are some financial records mixed in with the minutes in 1983-1985. There are some minutes for 1980 in the correspondence file.
Fair. The photos have some crackling on the surface. Some of them also have what appears to be pencil marks on them.
History / Biographical
The Brandon Square Dancing Club was started by E.J. "Curly" Tyler as part of his degree program at the University of Utah. Part of his obligation for his degree was to organize a recreation group, so he organized the Square Dancers. The club operated for two years under Tyler's direction, with the individuals he taught receiving certificates for proficiency. After he ceased to be its leader, the Brandon Square Dancing Club continued for a number of years. Much of the dancing took place at the Ag Extension Centre.
Photographs turned up somewhere in the old Original Building at the time of the renovations (mid 1990s) and were brought to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of 44 black and white photographs of the Brandon Square Dancing Club. The majority of the photographs depict actual dancing. There is also one file with photocopies of the photographs. These photocopies identify individuals in the photographs.
Individuals in the photographs include: Edith Laycock; Bill Clement; Bea Lissaman; Reg Lissaman; Jean Hawley; Mrs. Murray Simmons; Murray Simmons; Dood Cristal; JoAnn Myers; Bob Myers; Jim Creighton; Muriel Cumming; Frank Cowan; Dean Finch; Birk Birkinshaw; Bill Baynton; Gil Wankling; Hugh Knowlton; Hilda Evanson; Archie Evanson; Gwen MacKay; Don (D.R.) MacKay; Burt Hurst; Ena Skafel; Einar Skafel; Marian Jones; Ray Jones; Joan Tyler; Curly Tyler; Bea Matheson; Murray Matheson; Bill Coleman; Gladys Wankling; Percy Finch; Lois Gibson; Ken Pratt; Jack Findlay; Phyl Harwood; Ozzie Pullow; Jean Pullow; Ann McDiarmid; Barb Brodie; Mal Brodie; Bud McDiarmid; Doris Boyd; Ethel Norrison; Dr. Arhurst; Mrs. Arhurst; Bob McPherson; Mary Gooden; Ron Godfrey; Elizabeth Godfrey; Gordon Cummings; George Gooden; Marg Purdy; Kay Findlay; Jack Coleman; Betty Coleman; Marion Unicume; Nels Unicume; Bob Hawley; Nan Coleman; Jack Purdy; Kay Birkinshaw; Lyal McGill; Norm Emerson; Shirley Emerson; Zana Hurst; Ethel Morrison; Leo Kennedy; Hazel Jones; Dr. R.C. Jones; Jim Blencowe; Betty Knowlton; Wesley Nelson; Marian Nelson; Pauline Tennant; Dave Dick; and Bob McMullan.
George Gooden provided the names on the photographs. Description by Christy Henry.
Copyright restrictions apply
Photographs have been removed from original matting.
Photograph number 40 is missing using the original numbering system. The numbers on the photographs have been adjusted accordingly (ex. old #43 is now #42). The numbers on the photocopies have also been adjusted to reflect the new numbering system.
Good. A number of the items in the collection show evidence of tearing around the edges, missing covers etc. The photographs show bends and tears.
History / Biographical
Clarence Frank Hopkin was born September 11, 1913 in Brandon, MB. He worked for the family bakery (Hopkin's Bakery), which was located on the southside of Rosser Avenue downtown, for the railroad in the mail cars and the Brandon Post Office. At the same time Hopkin's worked for the Post Office he and his wife operated Hopkin's Home Bakery from their house after the downtown bakery had ceased operations.
Hopkin's was a member of the First Baptist Church and a Golden K Kiwanis Club member. He took an active interest in community theatre, attending and participating in a number of plays. In 1994, Hopkin received the Mayor's Volunteer Service Award for Education in recognition of his volunteer work at Betty Gibson School where he read to and with the students there.
Hopkin married Ivy Margaret Ward on June 2, 1945 in Brandon. Ward was born in 1913 and predeceased her husband in 1986. Together they had two children: Keith and Elaine.
Clarence Frank Hopkin died in Brandon on March 17, 2009.
Records were collected by Hopkin's and possibly other family members at the house on 7th Street where the family lived for approximately 100 years. After Hopkin's death in March 2009, his daughter Elaine and granddaughter Holly contacted the Archives regarding donation of some of the materials to the McKee Archives. Visits were made to the Hopkin's house by Archives staff the week of April 13-17, 2009, at the end of which the records in the accession were officially donated to the Archives.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of records collected by Clarence Hopkin over the course his life, which document his personal interests and certain community events.
Included in the collection are: scrapbooks (mostly newspaper clippings); play programs from productions staged by the Brandon Little Theatre; cookbooks; four play scripts; copies of the BCI New Era yearbook (1926, 1928 (may not be complete - missing cover), 1929); 1946 Brandon Business and Professional Classified Directory; Brandon College/University programs from recitals, plays and convocations; materials related to the radio show broadcast by First Baptist Church; Harrison High Literary Society play programs; miscellaneous programs to events held in the city; Brandon City District Drama Festival and The Mantioba Drama League Provincial Festival programs; The Brandon Canadian Concert Association programs; information on the Brandon Street Railway and the Criddle family; advertisement cards from Brandon businesses; a typescript copy of "How Englishmen Get That Way;" and a radio broadcast talk by Christopher Ellis.
It also contains copies of: Northern-Lights and Shadows by J.S. Clark; A Bundle of Burnt Cork Comedy by Harry L. Newton; Picturesque Brandon; Petit Pettitt: Biography of a Brandon Oldtimer by Joan T. Thompson; and Pioneer Patches by Mildred Donley.
Collection also includes four photographs and one negative. Negative: Brandon Collegiate Form 3A, 1928-1929. Photographs: City Hall looking southeast; Grain elevator on Pacific Avenue; Brandon Central Fire Station; interior parlour photograph.
History/Bio information provided by Hopkin's daughter Elaine in April 2009.
The Crown Protestant School District was founded in 1883, in the municipality of Whitewater, Manitoba. It became the Crown School District following school reform in Manitoba in 1890. The School District provided schooling for children in the Elgin, Fairfax, Heaslip and Minto communities. In 1930, the district was replaced with the creation of separate school districts for Elgin, Fairfax, and Lily.
This fonds was accessioned by the McKee Archives in 1997. Prior custodial history is unknown.
Scope and Content
Fonds contains minute books (1883-1930), financial records (1884-1917), attendance registers (1892 -1906), tax records for the District (1918-1930), and documents concerning the disestablishment of the Crown School Division.
Cover of Young School minute book is moderately damaged, but pages are in good condition with only minor water damage and a few ripped pages.
History / Biographical
Dorothy Cox (nee Frost) moved from Elm Creek to Justice in 1946 to work as a schoolteacher. In 1948, she married Laval Cox and together they had four children: Larry, Herd, Rosalie and Heather.
In 1949, Dorothy and Laval purchased Gibb Gillespie's PSV business and began hauling grain, cattle and agricultural equipment. Dorothy went back to teaching in 1959, first at Justice and then Elton Collegiate. After retiring from teaching in 1978, Dorothy started a greenhouse, which operated for 21 years.
All six members of the Cox family were active in community events and organizations. Dorothy was involved in establishing the baby band in 1951; her sons Larry and Herb were members. Along with Laval, Dorothy was a leader of the Cubs in 1955-1956 and again in 1958-1959. Laval was the leader of the local hockey club in 1958, and of a bible study group in 1960. Larry, Herb and Rosalie were avid skaters in 1960-64. Heather and Rosalie were enrolled in senior grades of Sunday school in 1970.
Records were collected by Dorothy Cox, a resident of Justice, over a number of years. She donated them to the McKee Archives on April 4, 2012.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of records related to the history of the Justice district. It includes a history of the Justice Church (1910-1970); minute and expense books for the Justice Hockey Club (1949-1966); a minute and expense book for Young Protestant School (1884-1898); a copy of the Justice 100th Anniversary community history (2009); and four color photographs of Justice Church.
History/Bio information taken from the content of the collection. Description by James Heaman (2012).
Generally good. Some of the photographs have tape on them.
History / Biographical
Churches of the Prairies was a project undertaken by Doug Brolund and his brother. The project involved gathering information on the churches of the prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta). They were interested in the time between 1800 to 1925. Their aim was to collect historical, architectural and photographic material, as well as information concerning the people involved in the building, the ministry and in the using of the churches. The information was to be collected, put into order and made available and retrievable to anyone wishing to use it.
The purpose of the bank of information was to be the publication of a book or books. The Brolunds' believed in the importance of preserving our heritage, of honouring those who were involved in the building of the churches and believed the material would prove to be invaluable in the future to other organizations. To gather information, they sent out letters asking for any information, photographs, news clippings and stories on the churches of the prairies. The project ended when Doug Brolund was left on his own to complete the work. He concluded that it was simply too much for one person to accomplish.
In the early 1980s Doug Brolund donated the text and photographs that had been assembled to the McKee Archives. He was convinced that the material was too valuable to simply discard.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of information (such as news clippings, church histories, correspondence and for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, inventory site forms) on and/or photographs of various churches across Canada. The files for Alberta; British Columbia; Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec are quite small and generally contain pages from old calendars and newsclippings, although there are a few photographs (some of them unidentified) and church histories. The Alberta file also contains a copy of the Provincial Register of Historic Sites ca. 1979.
The file for Saskatchewan contains information on and/or photographs of churches in the following towns/areas: Kennell, Castleton, McAulay, McLean, Neudorf, Eatonia, Eston, Carnduff, Wheatland and Carievale. There are also photographs of Welwyn Church, Trinity United, Florence School, Coshen? School and Wamphray Presbyterian (RM of Edenwold). The file also contains the finding aid for Saskatchewan developed by the project members.
The material on Manitoba churches is the most extensive. There is a copy of the finding aid for Manitoba developed by the project members. The files are arranged alphabetically, with separate files for Brandon, Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg. There is information on and/or photographs of churches in the following towns/areas: Aspelund Free Church, Arden, Angusville, Alexander, Birtle, Brookdale, Boissevain, Belmont, Mount Hope School District, Beulah, Beausejour, Clanwilliam, Carberry, Petral, Chater, Carrol (Bunclody), Decker, Deloraine, Dauphin, Darlingford, Douglas, Hargrave, Elgin, Elton, Elkhorn, Erickson, Forrest, Hamiota, Hunterville, Hilton, Horod, Hilltop, High Bluff, Horton (Desford), Hartney, Ingelow Isabella, Kola, Killarney, Kenton (and area), Justice, Lockport, Lenore (Breadalbane), Lynn Lake, McConnell, Minnedosa, Melita, Miniota, McGregor, Newdale, Ninga, Neepawa, Ninette, Oakner, Onla, Oakburn, Oak Lake, Pipestone, Rosser, Rapid City (and area), Rivers, Riding Mountain, Rounthwaite, Rossburn, Russell, Polonia, Sandy Lake, Scandinavia, Solsgirth, Souris, Hellmouth, Seech (and area), The Pas, Saint Agathe, St. Pierre, St. Anne, Teulon, St. Andrews-on-the-Red, Swan River, Shilo, Sparling, Virden, Westnbourne, Vista, Wabowden, Wawanesa, Waskade, Brandon, Brandon Hills, Portage la Prairie, Portage la Prairie (Oakland) and Winnipeg.
File 24 contains negatives. There are also some negatives for New Brunswick churches in File 23.
The Brandon file also contains a minute book of the First Church United Circle. For information on the Brandon Synagogue, see the Brandon Synagogue file in the institutional biographies. For technical architectural descriptions of some Brandon Churches, see "A Guide to the City of Brandon, Municipal Heritage Building Inventory" in the institutional biography files. The Winnipeg file contains a copy of "Souris Valley Plains - a history" by Lawrence B. Clarke. A number of the Winnipeg churches are unidentified. Description by Christy Henry.
The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (commonly called the E-Gré Competition) is the most important annual contemporary music competition for exceptional emerging Canadian performing artists in piano, voice, and strings. Since 1976, the E-Gré has promoted the performance of Canadian and contemporary music of the 20th and 21st centuries and has commissioned 31 new works by leading Canadian composers. The S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition received its letters patent in 1974 and its legal incorporation in 1979. The inaugural competition was held in 1976 and continues to be held annually at Brandon University. The competition has undergone a few name changes since its inception. For the 8th annual event of the competition the name changed to the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition for the Performance of Canadian music. Prior to the 27th competition, the event listed both contemporary music as well as Canadian music. The competition is administered by a board and artistic director.
The records were held by the Eckhardt-Gramatté competition until their donation to the McKee Archives in the summer of 2010 by Pat Carrabré, President of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition Board.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of records created and collected by the Eckhardt-Gramatté committee in the course of holding the competition each year. The records are related to the promotion and administration of the event and the annual award winners. Items include: legal documentation, including the Certificate of Revival and the incorporation documents for the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition; press files (1976-1979, 1980-1983, 1984-1987), which include newspaper clippings and photocopies of newspaper coverage, press releases on performance orders/show times, and promotional materials for individual performer; 30 award winners' files containing promotional materials and press clippings related to the award winner; event programs; and promotional posters for every year (except 1979).
History/Bio information taken from the E-Gré national music website available at: http://e-gre.ca. (Date accessed October 26, 2012). Description by Steve Dueck (October 2012).
Photographs in the collection are covered by Canadian copyright law. Researchers are responsible to honour appropriate legislation.
Some posters contain French.
Media Kit for the 10th annual competition can be found in the Dr. J.R.C. Evans
collection at the S.J McKee Archives (accession number: 7-2004). All listings below can also be found at S.J. McKee Archives at Brandon University: Francis Chaplin collection: Dean of Music: School of Music: Eckhardt-Gramatté: trio for violin, violoncello and piano (accession number: 13-2008): Ferdinand Eckhardt: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990), Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Grammatté: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #14: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #15: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #16: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #17: Convocation (c. 1990): W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) # 19: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #12: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #18: W.M.C.A Convocation (Fall 1990) #13: Lawrence Jones Collection (accession number: 9-2011).
Information regarding Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté (née Fridman) Sonia Eckhardt and Dr Ferdinand Anton Ludwig Eckhardt can be found at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, the University of Calgary Library, Special Collections, the National Library of Canada and the Winnipeg National Art Gallery Archives.
Records are organized chronologically within each type of record.
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.
Frank Robb was Assistant Secretary Treasurer for School District of Brandon No. 129 and Curator of the B.J. Hales Natural History Museum exhibition for Brandon's 75th Anniversary (1957). Robb left Brandon ca. 1969 and relocated to Minaki, Ontario.
Frank Robb sent the slides to Fred McGuiness ca. 1986. McGuiness gave them to Eileen McFadden at the McKee Archives in April 1986.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of 155 slides taken by Frank Robb, an inventory for the slides prepared by Robb and a letter from Robb to Fred McGuiness regarding the slides and memories of Brandon ca. 1950s.
Popularly known as the “voice of the prairies,” Fred McGuinness was known by many titles and honorifics: wordsmith, apiarist, author, beekeeper, brother, columnist, editor, father, historian, husband, journalist, memoirist, Morse operator, member of the Order of Canada, member of the Order of Manitoba, public speaker, publisher, radio broadcaster, son, telegrapher (CP), telegraphist (Navy), vice-president, and writer.
Frederick George McGuinness (b. 21 January 1921 – d. 22 March 2011) was born in Brandon, Manitoba. He attended Park and Earl Oxford public schools. Upon his father’s death in 1933, McGuinness worked as a paper carrier for the Brandon Sun, whose route covered the City’s downtown core. In 1937, he quit school and began working for the CP Telegraph Service initially as a telegram messenger and later as a Morse code operator.
In 1939, McGuinness enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in Winnipeg and served as a wireless operator on the HMCS Alachassee. On 23 September 1940, McGuinness was seriously injured in a naval accident when his ship ran aground; McGuinness’ leg was broken when the ship’s tow cable snapped and he spent the next 11 months convalescing at Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While in hospital McGuinness contracted scarlet fever and diphtheria and developed osteomyelitis as a complication of his femur facture. McGuinness returned to Winnipeg to continue his convalescence at Deer Lodge Hospital and was ultimately discharged from the navy in 1941.
Fred McGuinness’ newspaper, public speaking, and broadcasting career began after he enrolled at St. Paul’s College in 1941. At St. Paul’s, which was affiliated with the University of Manitoba, McGuinness was able to complete his high school equivalency and university preparation courses. Additionally, in 1942, he served as a Sports Editor for St. Paul’s College Crusader student newspaper.
In 1943, McGuinness began his undergraduate university career at United College, which was also affiliated with the University of Manitoba. From 1943 to 1946, McGuinness served on the student union’s Public Relations Committee; in 1945, he became chairman of the Radio Subcommittee working as the Director of the University Radio Series where he was responsible (i.e., writing, casting, directing) for a half-hour Saturday afternoon radio programme. During this period McGuinness also uitilized his pervious military experience to work as an Assistant Veterans Counsellor in the univeristy, and, following a recommendation from the President of the University of Manitoba, as a speaker for the War Finance Committee in the Winnipeg Area.
In 1946, McGuinness moved to Port Arthur to work in public relations with the Wartime Prices and Trade Board. He married Christine Thompson (d. 14 August 2009) in Port Arthur, Ontario on 29 June 1946. Married for 61 years, the couple had four children together: Colleen, Fred Jr., Gallagher, and Timothy.
In 1947, the couple returned to Winnipeg when McGuinness took a job as a Public Relations Officer for the National Employment Service’s Unemployment Insurance Commission (UIC). During the 1950 Winnipeg Flood the UIC offices served as a communication base between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments and McGuinness received commendation from the military for his assistance during the disaster. While employed with the UIC, McGuinness also travelled the summer fair circuit with displays promoting the UIC and its benefits. During that time, Royal American Shows also hired McGuinness as its Director of Publicity and Exploitation while the show toured with the fairs on the Canadian prairies. As part of his responsibilities McGuinness had to submit weekly reports to Billboard Magazine on the Royal American fairs. McGuinness also sold his first manuscript to the CBC in 1947, recording a 14-minute broadcast titled the “Class A Circuit” about the Royal American tour, after his summer fair schedule concluded.
McGuinness continued his work with Royal American and the UIC until he accepted a position with the Saskatchewan government in 1952 to promote its upcoming 1955 golden jubilee. McGuinness worked closely with Tommy Douglas during the jubilee preparations, driving the premier to sites throughout the province. His experience with the Saskatchewan Jubilee preparations lead to McGuinness being appointed as a provincial representative to the Canadian Centennial Commission in 1963.
Fred McGuinness worked with The Medicine Hat News for 10 years, starting in 1955, when he was hired as an assistant to the paper’s publisher. In 1958, he was promoted to publisher of the newspaper. At the same time McGuinness was also appointed vice-president of Southam Company Limited. In addition to his administrative and editorial work, McGuinness also authored a column titled, “The Lighthouse” while employed by The Medicine Hat News. During his time in Medicine Hat, McGuinness was heavily involved with the Chamber of Commerce and community service organizations. His position within the community had him delivering talks to many local groups and working in tandem with the Chamber to actively solicite businesses to the City.
In November of 1965, McGuinness resigned as publisher of The Medicine Hat News and moved with his family to Winnipeg where he was appointed manager of the New Personnel and Information Division with James Richardson and Sons. At that time McGuinness began developing broadcast scripts for the CBC in earnest.
In November 1966, McGuinness was hired as associate editor and vice-president to the Brandon Sun. He moved to Brandon with his family and had a career with the paper until his death in 2011. During that time McGuiness also had an extensive career as a freelance writer and journalist for the CBC, Reader's Digest, and prairie weekly newspapers, as well as authoring several books. By the 1970s, McGuinness was writing copy for CBC’s Radio Noon and Information Radio, as well as producing Ashgrove Farm, a CBC radio drama.
During his years with the Sun, McGuinness wrote a tri-weekly “Sunbeams” (sometimes spelled “Sun Beams”) column using the nom-de-plume F.A. Rosser. The F.A. stood for “Fifth and,” and referenced the fact that the Brandon Sun offices and publication plant occupies the city block between 6th Street and 5th Street along Rosser Avenue, and McGuinness’ office overlooked the intersection at 5th Street and Rosser Avenue. The Sunbeams column was similar in style and content to McGuinness’ “Lighthouse” column for The Medicine Hat News; commenting on a variety of current events, Sunbeams also included book reviews, local events, and reminiscences.
In 1979, McGuinness started writing the syndicated weekly news column “Neighborly News.” He would write the column for 22 years until his age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diagnosed in 2001, became an impediment to his research, writing, and editing abilities. The column initially began with a dozen subscriptions from prairie weeklies and grew to publication in 55 weeklies.
The “Neighborly News” column evolved from the interest in and the impending cancellation of McGuinness’ CBC Radio broadcast “Neighborly News from the Prairies,” that he hosted from 1980 to 1983. The show was cancelled in 1983 but was picked up by Altona broadcaster CFAM later that year with McGuinness at the microphone. The radio show ended its run in the summer of 1987. McGuinness continued working with the CBC, however, and is popularly known for his work as the prairie essayist for CBC Radio’s Morningside with Peter Gzowski, a position he held for 17 years.
Many of McGuinness’ Morningside essays were autobiographical in nature. He often reported about life on Christmas Tree Farm, a section of land where the McGuinnesses built their dream home in the late 1970s. The couple planted a Christmas tree farm on the property and Christine maintained an extensive kitchen garden, while Fred tended honey bees. Life on the farm made its way into radiobroadcasts, Neighborly News columns, and the book Letters from Section 17: A Collection of Morningside Essays.
Upon his retirement in January 1987, McGuinness was made publisher emeritus of the Brandon Sun. A week after his retirement, he began writing a new column for the Sun called the “Diary.” McGuinness continued writing the “Diary” until his hospitalization in 2010. The Diary column was primarily a historical retrospective of Brandon, although it also touched on broader topics of interest to McGuinness during the time period.
During the 1980s and 1990s, McGuinness co-taught an undergraduate journalism class at Brandon University with English Professor John Blaikie. Around that time, he also partnered with Brandon University History Professor Ken Coates and published a number of popular books on Manitoba social history. McGuinness also delivered community workshops on memoir writing, a past time he continued until shortly before his death.
McGuinness took an active roll in the community and cultivated his interest in local history. Consequently he was invited to guest speak and chair sessions on local history, rural development, and the economy while providing his personal insights as a newspaper publisher. His previous experience with the Saskatchewan Jubilee and Canadian Centenial Commission made him a desirable committee and board member for many local organizaitons and planning committees. McGuinness’ lifelong commitment to prairie social history, earned him numerous awards and recognitions including an honorary doctorate from Brandon University, the Order of Manitoba, and the Order of Canada.
Fred McGuinness died on 22 March 2011 in Brandon, Manitoba.
Records in this collection were acquired by the S.J. McKee Archives in four accruals. Prior to their donation to the Archives the materials were in the possession of Fred McGuinness.
Accession 18-2002 contains records created and collected by Fred McGuinness until the publication of Only in Canada, a history of the Kinsmen Club Association in Canada co-authored with BU history professor Ken Coates. During the research and writing process for the book, originals and copies of Kinsmen Club of Canada records were amassed at the McKee Archives. Coates and McGuinness added their research materials to these records circa 1987. The Kinsmen records have since been deaccessioned by the McKee Archives and transferred to Kin Headquarters in Ontario.
Accession 6-2008 contains records created and collected during the writing of the Provincial Exhibition book, Pride of the Land. Fred McGuinness, who co-authored the book with Ken Coates, donated these records to the McKee Archives circa 1988. The materials in the accession relating to Souris, Manitoba, were given to McGuinness by Kay Sullivan in August 2007, and were subsequently deposited in the Archives. The material in the accession related to Kemnay, Manitoba, was given to Colleen McGuinness (Fred’s daughter) by Mona McKinnon (nee Corkish) in the fall of 2007. Colleen then passed the materials on to her father, who in turn donated them to the S.J. McKee Archives.
Accession 20-2009 contains records created and collected by Fred McGuinness over the course of his career as a newspaper journalist and during the research and writing period of the Brandon history book, The Wheat City. Records remained in his possession at his home until their transfer to the McKee Archives on July 28, 2009.
Accession 1-2015 contains records created and collected by Fred McGuinness over the course of his career as a newspaper journalist and freelance writer. The Estate of Fred McGuinness donated the materials to the S.J. McKee Archives in March 2011. The Archives accessioned the records in 2015.
Scope and Content
The records in this collection touch on every aspect of Fred McGuinness’ life. From his childhood, his education, his war experience, his newspaper and freelance career, his work in radio and public speaking, and his family the collection covers both his personal and professional life. In addition to the records created by McGuinness, there are also records created and collected by a variety of his relatives (on both sides of the family), as well as correspondence from his readers. The collection includes newspaper clippings, research materials, letters, certificates, scrapbooks, photographs, books, periodicals, pamphlets, sound recordings, artifacts, maps, newsletters, magazines, teaching materials, workshop materials, and financial records.
Because of McGuinness’ wide-ranging interests, the records include a significant number of subjects, both within his own writing and correspondence, but also within his library. They would be of particular interest to researchers who share McGuinness’ passions for local history and rural topics.
The scope and importance of McGuinness’ work in the prairies also resulted in a number of noteworthy honors, in particular the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada. The collection contains materials related to both.
The Fred McGuinness collection consists of nine (9) series further divided into subseries, including: (McG 1) Personal papers; (McG 2) Newspaper career; (McG 3) Freelance; (McG 4) McGuinness research materials; (McG 5) Monographs; (McG 6) Broadcasts, lectures, workshops; (McG 7) McGuinness artifacts and sound recordings; (McG 8) McGuinness library; and (McG 9) McGuinness photographs.
See the Arrangement Note for a more detailed breakdown of the collection’s arrangement.
The description of the Fred McGuinness collection was made possible by financial assistance from: The Manitoba Government Department of Tourism, Culture, Heritage Sport and Consumer Protection through the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program & The Fred McGuinness Endowment for Rural Archives, Brandon University
Information for the history/biography was compiled by the Archives and can be found in the Fred McGuinness timeline containing footnotes (see the S.J. McKee Archivist). Additional information was taken from his book, Letters from Section 17: A Collection of Morningside Essays, which is autobiographical in nature
Description by Suyoko Tsukamoto and Christy Henry (2015)
A file level inventory is available for each subseries, see subseries descriptions
Provincial Exhibition Association of Manitoba fonds
Lawrence Stuckey collection
Jack Stothard collection
Trillium Business and Professional Women’s Club records
Oriole Vane-Veldhuis collection
William Wallace papers
Fred McGuinness local history collection (John E. Robbins Library)
CBC Radio Archives – Morningside
Trent University, Peter Gzowski fonds (99-015)
Kin Headquarters, Mississauga
The arrangement was artificially created by the Archives with the intention of grouping like materials. Records within files were placed in chronological order wherever possible. An inventory of the prearranged materials is available (consult the Archivist)
McG 1 Personal papers
McG 1.1 McGuinness family papers and letters
McG 1.2 Fred McGuinness correspondence
McG 1.3 Fred McGuinness Ltd. business documents
McG 1.4 Fred McGuinness certificates and scrapbook
McG 2 Newspaper career
McG 2.1 The Medicine Hat News
McG 2.2 The Brandon Sun
McG 2.3 Neighborly News
McG 3 Freelance
McG 3.1 Reader’s Digest
McG 3.2 Miscellaneous freelance
McG 4 McGuinness research
McG 4.1 Local history research materials
McG 4.2 Newspaper clippings
McG 5 Monographs
McG 5.1 Pride of the Land (1985)
McG 5.2 Only in Canada (1987)
McG 5.3 Old Pathways, New Horizons (1995)
McG 5.4 Manitoba: The Province & The People (1987)
McG 5.5 The Keystone Province: Manitoba Enterprise (1988)
McG 5.6 The Wheat City (1988)
McG 5.7 Chronicle of Canada (1990)
McG 6 McGuinness broadcasts, lectures, workshops
McG 6.1 Radio broadcast scripts
McG 6.2 BU Journalism course
McG 6.3 Talks and workshops
McG 7 McGuinness artifacts and sound recordings
McG 8 McGuinness library
McG 8.1 Books
McG 8.2 Booklets
McG 8.3 Maps, newsletters, and periodicals
McG 8.4 Pamphlets
McG 8.5 Magazines and newspapers (oversize)
McG 9 McGuinness photographs