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MORE FROM THE "1955 HISTORY OF BIENFAIT"
The first School of the District (called Dungy School) was a tiny
sod building on the site where Wickstroms farm is now located (1955).
Another early school in Bienfait area was situated on Archie
The first Teacher of this little sod school was Annie Smith.
One of the students was Bob Hazzard.
The first Rural school was about one-half mile north from Alton Ellis's
The building was later purchased by the school district
and moved to the present site of the little red brick school.
In Bienfait the first school was a little tar paper covered building
Jenning's garage now stands or the vacant lot near there.
The first teacher in this school was S. B. Lamonte.
When the "Little Brick School" got too crowded
A part of the Hotel
(the beer Parlour Part)
was rented and school was taught there.
A bungalow was constructed and used
as a class room while the "Big
was being built. This bungalow was later sold to Art Graham.
Big Butte School, which was situated 4 1/2 miles from Bienfait on
highway 39, is over fifty years old (in 1955).
Four years ago it was moved next to the "Little Red Brick School"
In 1951 a complete renovation of the big school took place.
Four new rooms were added to match the original building
and the four
old rooms were remodelled to match the new addition.
It was hoped
that when the big school was completed, the little brick school,
Big Butte School would not be used as class rooms anymore.
but this so far has not been the case.
The three schools have been constantly in operation and at the
are once more filled to capacity.
The problem will soon arise where the additional space is going to
as the pupil population is ever on the increase.
While remodelling was being done in the school,
the Ukrainian Library
was rented to provide the extra needed space.
At the same time the
Big Butte School
was moved in near the Little School.
extra class room space.
The Sports Equipment of the olden days was the same as today.
They had bats, balls, and leather footballs
the same as we have at
the present date.
Pencils were given to each pupil once a month
and exercise books were
given when they were needed.
The pupils paid for this at the end
of the school term.
The Salaries of the first Teachers of Bienfait were not very high.
After the first World War they were only paid about $450.00/yr.
Now they range from $2150.00 to $4250.00 per year and higher.
According to the "pld Timers" schools of fifty years ago have changed
Not so much in the nature of the building but the nature of the methods
and general attitudes.
The first permanent school buildings were equipped
with portable blackboards
or a wall blackboard situated at the front of the room.
There were benches and then double seats which were screwed to the
Slates were used at first, and when the pupil
to the pencil stage, about grade 3,
exercise books were handed out, also
pencils about once a month.
These were paid for at the end of the school year by the parents.
For games the children played such games as tag, and pum-pum-pull-away,
also marbles and skipping. For softball there were home made bats
and solid rubber balls, later there was football for boys. About
thirty years ago basketball was a prominent game for girls.
School holidays were about the same as today but attendance was not
as regular as at present. During the harvest season or general busy
season children stayed at home to help out. Sometimes a youngster
attended only three or four months of school during the school year.
There were no regular promotions or report cards. A pupil was
given a new reader when he was ready for it.
The students of the olden days envy the present day student in many
ways. They feel that learning is so much easier and more interesting
now. The appearance and atmosphere of the classroom is much more
pleasant. There are more books to study from and they are better
illustrated too. The visual aids such as the various charts and maps,
slide projectors, films, and the different laboratory equipment for science
were unheard of in the early days.
The inside washrooms are a luxury that former students did not enjoy
This should be most appreciated in the winter time!
GRADE 10, 1958
My Uncle Ed Gesell was the teacher
My Cousin Gerald Olson was his pupil
Taken in the Big White Brick School on Young st
The Old White School on Young Street
(Original Picture courtesy Bienfait Museum)
Early 1950's Postcard of the Bienfait School
From Alex Wilson collection, sent by Margaret Cuddington
Bienfait School, built 1920
Photo shortly after it was built
Bienfait School Picture ca 1916-1920
2 Photos above from Miss Ellen Deason's Album,
contributed by her Step-Grandson, Robert MacPherson, Aug 2015.
b- Jan 10, 1910 in SK
d- Oct 31, 2001 in Aurora, York, ON, age 91
she married James
Arthur Russell Jan 8, 1972, his 2nd marriage
Father- Wilfred Deason
b- Sept 1883 in Ulverston Reg Dist, Lancashire, England
Ellen's father Wildred Deason was a Drayman
Wilfred came to Canada Sept 3, 1888 on the SS Circassian
To Quebec City from Liverpool, age 4
son of James Deason and Mary Ann Thompson
Mother- Elizabeth Deason, nee ?
b- June 1887 in MB
May 1935, Ellen belonged to the Winnipeg Canoe Club
and was a long time member there.
sister- Selina Deason,
Selina married Lyall John James Clemmens,
June 10, 1946 at St. Luke’s Church in Winnipeg MB
Son of H. Clemmens of Kenora ON