|I dedicate this page to all the students who have ever attended St. John’s Cathedral Boys’ School of Manitoba in Selkirk, Manitoba. This includes two members of the Bédard family, Marc (#1011) and Pierre (#722). Like ex-cons, we were defined and identified by our laundry number.
Years ago, I started my unofficial page and started putting up content. Quirky, odd, bizarre, anachronistic are four adjectives you can use in talking about the school, and the posted artifacts do nothing to dispel this. The documents you will find here are an excellent record of a time past.
The first of three uniquely Canadian boarding schools founded in the early 1960s by Ted Byfield and Frank Wiens, St. John’s of Cathedral Boys’ School of Manitoba operated until the early 1990s. Sister schools emerged in Stony Plain, Alberta, and then near Toronto, Ontario. St. John’s School of Alberta closed down a few years ago. The old staff maintains an excellent website with updates and news. I recommend it. This site supplements and does not replace it.
Buttressed by two Canadian fundamentals – canoeing and snowshoeing, St. John’s Canadian-Anglican foundation, spiced with a Canadian-modified pseudo-English Public School system of corporal punishment would have made Harry Potter an homme du nord. The school retraced many fur trade routes as part of its extensive outdoors program.
Students at the school participated in its running. During my years at the school in the ’70’s, boys kept the school operational. We had to clean dog kennels, the chicken barn, cook and serve food, produce back bacon, chicken, and pork sausage (and pepperoni!), perform janitorial duties, and/or raise malemutes and huskies.
Everybody hit the streets of Winnipeg in winter with a basket of back bacon, frozen chicken, and frozen pork sausage. At -40 below (the temperature where Celsius equals Fahrenheit), there was never any waste due to thawing. But I digress.
My aim is not to editorialize. I could care less. I just want the documents I’ve scanned, saved, annotated, and commented on to live on. What is the web without content? And there is such good content from a boarding school with its own reason for being and such clarity of mission (at times). Yearbooks, welcome kits, letters to the editor, book reviews, and so on. I’ll make them available as I re-roll them out.