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, MLA St. Vital
April 19, 2013

St. Vital Historical Society Inc.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the St. Vital Historical Society Inc. This non-profit organization works to preserve and promote the history of the old city of St. Vital. It was established in 1994 by a small group of St. Vital citizens, passionate about their collective history. Led by Gordon and Isabelle Hancock, the group grew in size and became officially incorporated the following year.

In order to share their stories, the Society opened the St. Vital Museum in 2008. It is located in the former St. Vital police station and fire department building, a 99-year old designated heritage site. This museum houses over 5,000 artifacts from the St. Vital area. They date as far back as the late 1800s. Archival materials include all eight Guess Who gold records donated by bassist Jim Kale, manuscripts, cartography and drawings. Some prominent artifacts include the St. Vital Fire Brigade's original 1939 Fargo Pumper truck and a copy of the handwritten diary belonging to Victor Mager, an attendee at the execution of Thomas Scott. The museum highlights the history of notable pioneers of the second oldest settlement in Winnipeg after Seven Oaks, including Marie and Joseph St. Germain, Mary Ann and William McDowell, Abraham Guay, Peter Tod, Fredrick Hutton and, most notably, the founder of Manitoba, Louis Riel.

Also on display are decorative arts such as costumes, household furnishings, ceramics, metalwork and photography. Artifacts are displayed on a rotational basis. In order to cater to a variety of groups, the museum provides educational and research services, tours and presentations.

Mr. Speaker, it's plain to see St. Vital is fortunate to be home to people who are extremely passionate about their community and its history's preservation. Without the good work of the St. Vital Historical Society, many of our stories would be lost. For their commitment, I thank all the volunteers who are involved with the St. Vital Historical Society. You are phenomenal constituents who make St. Vital one of the best parts of this great province.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.