1951-52 Genevieve Grudeski . . . . . .. $163.80

1953-55 Eileen Lupier . . . . . . . . . . . .. $213.44

1955-56 Cyril Howard . . . . . . . . . . . .. $231.50

1956-58 Alice Puddicombe . . . . . . . .. $218.40

1958-59 Elsie Garton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $190.00

1959-63 Margaret Graves . . . . . . . . .. $281.57

1963-64 Elizabeth Dunning . . . . . . .. $300.00

On different occasions, the Canadian Sunday School Mission held services in the school during the last class of the day, and also held Vacation Bible School during the summer holidays.

In June of 1964, enrollment had dropped to ten, making it impossible to operate. Plans were made to operate as a “Closed School” and the remaining pupils were transported to Kelwood by van, operated by Rod Coutts. This took place until June, 1966 when the school was officially closed. In November the school was sold for $71 to Ed Hiller of Glenella. The piano was sold for $50 and the teacher’s desk for $5. The land was sold back to the adjacent farm owned by Mr. Alex Suski at the time.

Thus the end of a learning experience, a lot of good times, fond memories, treasured friendships, trying times and another era as history has been made.


It was in 1953 that I began to teach at the Roskeen School in Rosedale Municipality. I already had had teaching experience in other parts of Manitoba and British Columbia. Manitoba had weathered the depression years and the economy > of the farm communities was gradually improving. But when I first began my teaching career some eighteen years previously in the McCreary Municipality, the municipality which borders Rosedale On the north, the depression had affected all aspects of community life in Manitoba, and none more than that of the schools.

The times were hard; it made little difference in which municipality the school was located. Many school districts had been in financial trouble and had been taken over by the Department of Education. The other districts

continued to operate with their own school boards. In those districts under the administration of the Official Trustee, the school year was eight months instead of the usual ten months.

School life was pared to the essentials, and there was only the barest of necessities to work with the text books, a few library books, a roll-up map, a globe, the desks, the blackboards, a pointer, a bell, a clock, a stove, a flag, a few school supplies, a wash basin and a pail. The Department of Education provided some drawing paper, and parents bought the scribblers, pencils and crayons needed by the children. A child was fortunate if he had a box of eight crayons. So much depended on the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the teacher, and the great amount of work that the teacher would prepare after school hours and put on the blackboard for the next day.

Fortunately for the teachers, the majority of the pupils were eager to learn; they had an insatiable curiosity. They walked to school summer and winter, some coming distances of three and a half to four miles. They did not miss any school days except for illness. They brought their lunch to school in tin pails, usually a Roger’s syrup pail.

At this time in Manitoba (1935) there were over a thousand teachers out of work. School boards were able to hire teachers who had experience. Some of the teachers graduating from Normal School worked in out-of-the- way places for little more than their board to gain that first year’s experience.

By the time I returned to teaching in Manitoba (1953) the economy was on the upswing. Money was still scarce and school boards had to carefully plan their expenditures, but improvements were gradually being made. -

At the Roskeen School, the school had been wired for electricity so that there were electric lights when they were needed.

The children walked to school, but in very wet or cold weather their parents would drive them to school in a car or truck.

The school was still dependent, however, on one of the older boys to light the fire in the stove each morning. On cold winter mornings the pupils near the stove were very hot; those away from the stove did not get warmed up until later in the morning. This also included the teacher whose deak was away from the stove. Snow which had tracked into the-room on the floor near the blackboard would still be there until late morning. In spite of the cold, classes proceeded as usual except for a few of the very coldest mornings.

In the winter time the school provided tins of canned soup, which the teacher heated on the stove, so that the children could have something hot with their sandwiches at noon. The children enjoyed the different varieties of soup, but there was one exception - they did not like cream of mushroom soup.

Water was always a necessity and children took turns in getting it from a neighboring farmer’s well.

As in most rural districts the outdoor toilets were the

only facilities available. In the cold weather the teacher

did not have to worry about a pupil loitering outside on the way to or from an out-house building.