Main content of the website

  • font size :A
  • A
  • A

History: Volume 2

Part 1


In May 1913 Father Beauregard returned from a visit to Quebec with a young Doctor Henri Gosselin who was married to his niece. Dr Gosselin was to stay in Ste Rose until 1930. Besides being the only doctor in the area; Dr Gosselin, his wife and two daughters, Lucienne and Cecile were all musically gifted. His talents as a musician ranged from violin playing to orchestra leader; while the wife and daughters took their turn at the organ for church services. In 1924 Dr Georges LaFleche came to replace Dr Gosselin who was ill, but only until January 1925 when Dr Gosselin returned feeling very much better. Mrs G. LaFleche was a talented singer and musician also and she contributed to various parish activities also. In 1930 Dr Gosselin was replaced by Dr R. L. Gendreau.

Part 2

G. R. C. or RCMP

The Ste Rose du Lac Detachment was opened April 9th, 1932 by Constable G. C. Harpell, as part of the Dauphin Sub/Division. Quarters were rented from Mrs. Ada Allard of St Boniface and located on 2nd Ave East. The house served as the detachment as well as Constable Harpell's home. The detachment was closed August 27th, 1932 and re-opened August 1st, 1937, with Constable Harpell again in charge. The detachment location remained the same.

On February 1st, 1948 the detachment moved to Central Avenue where they occupied a suite on the top portion of Lion's Cafe. These quarters again served as home and office. The building at the time was owned by Dr R. L. Gendreau.

Three years later, construction of a double type detachment building was commenced on the corner lot of Gendreau Street and Third Avenue. Occupancy of the detachment was taken on January 21th, 1954. This detachment was the first to have an office separate from the living quarters.

The present detachment located at the north end of Central Avenue was constructed in 1979 and occupied April 2nd, 1979.

Clarence & Mary Harpell (Donated by 
granddaughter Susan Harpell and
husband Steve Mitchell ,Sarnia, Ont.)
Clarence Harpell


R.C.M.P. -- Ste Rose.

Ste Rose has already seen fifty years pass of devoted service by the Force. This memorable occasion was celebrated with a formal dinner and dance at the Community Centre on June 19th, 1982.

Our community has seen many police persons transfer in and out of our fine town. To date their has been approximately 70 members who have been stationed here, and of course their a re always some members that the community will never forget, such as; L. C. (Les) Woods, D.G. (Doug) Byers and R.M. (Bob) Tramley.

  The detachment started as a ""one man"" posting and is now a ""seven person"" posting. Members, at one time, did all their own clerical work. In 1972 a part time steno was hired, and as of 1976, has been working full time.


Part 3

Sports and Entertainment

The people of Ste Roseand area have shown their generosity and cooperation throughout the years. they joined hands and heart to develop sport and cultural facilities. The first curling rink was built close to the old stock yards on property donated by Jos Delveaux, our village secretary. Ivor Thurston, the United Grain Growers agent, was our leader and Dr Gendreau was very generous financially. Much free labor was given which resulted in a paid up facility.

Music in our open air skating rink was paid for and installed in the dressing room, thanks to a couple of donors. The rink was installed to the north of the livery stable which acted as a windbreak and room for spectators to watch hockey games.

A group of local amateur actors known as ""Le comite d 'amusement"" would present a play at least once a year in the first floor of our present Maison Dollard House. Card parties and other social activities were held regularly in this hall. House parties were popular too. Everyone tried to hold one during the winter months. The musicians were not paid but were offered a drink or two to help them keep their energy and rhythm. Later when houses were to small, larger homes built by noble families from France who had come to settle in the area with their hired staff, were used to hold parties. One was situated on the north side of the highway, west of town, near Camille Lamy's residence, and the other, at Jos Montsion's north of town. Booze was available at the boot legger.

The parish picnic was held once a year. Horse racing and the Liberals taking on the Conservatives in a baseball game would attract a large crowd.

The need for a covered arena finally came to a reality in 1965 - 66. We began to use it in 1967. It was our first covered arena and the general interest was very high! Louis Molgat collected over $25,000 towards its development, and a large number of community-minded people gave many free hours of labor towards its success. The federal government made an initial grant, plus summer and winter works programs during the three year period required to complete it. It is administered by the interested public, organized at an annual meeting. Operating funds came from the proceeds of the canteen, season tickets, annual carnival and a portion of the gate receipts of the Royals' Hockey team.

A general caretaker is responsible for its daily operation and maintenance. Beside the Royal Hockey team, we have minor hockey, a figure skating club and a house league under the leadership, of the Old Timers' Hockey Club.

The Knights of Columbus and the Kinsmen have joined forces to help the development of the Agriplex. It is a three phase project. The first phase, putting artificial ice in the arena with a plant big enough to take care of the artificial ice in the curling rink which is the second phase of the program. The first phase is done. The second phase will begin after the first of the year. Both the Knights and the Kinsmen have pledged $15,000 to each phase.


Part 4

The Maison Dollard House

We named our cultural centre ""Maison Dollard House"". The idea was to have a bi-lingual name and at the same time honor one of our great heroes of New France, Dollard des Ormeaux, who helped save the settlement now known as Montreal, in 1660.

This building was erected in 1918 and served as a public school for over 50 years. In the early years instruction was given almost entirely in French. In those days, few students went beyond grade 8, but in time the school offered secondary education to grade 12.

When new elementary and secondary schools were built, this building became vacant. The Village Council, along with the Knights of Columbus, asked the Federal Government to declare it as a historical building worth saving. The Federal Government agreed and gave a grant of $56,000 as a winter works project. The Knight of Columbus accepted the responsibility of supervising its development.
Brother Louis Molgat was asked to canvas Ste Rose and district to raise $70,000 needed to make it possible. More than $90,000 was collected thanks to the generosity of the public. The Village Council contributed $10,000 and the Rural Municipality $3,500, the Knights of Columbus Club $8,000. The Provincial Government made a special cultural grant of $20,000 towards the development and preservation of the French language and culture in the Ste Rose area, and a grant of $50,000 to incorporate the Regional Library in this building.
The Federal Government, through summer works programs, and in the form of a grant to the Golden Age group ""The Jolly Club"" made an additional contribution of over $50,000. The centre is now completed and fully paid for. It is the property of the Village of Ste Rose and is operated by the Knights of Columbus. They have to give a yearly report to the five occupants, namely: The Regional Library, the Fifty and Over Jolly Club, the Village of Ste Rose, the Knights of Columbus, the Musee Ste Rose Museum. Each of them contributed $150 a month to cover costs of operation and maintenance. Now $200 a month in 1987.

The Fifty and Over Jolly Club has a membership of 150. Schedules are drawn for carpet bowling, table shuffle board and billiards. Their is bingo every Tuesday and card parties every second week. The club-room is available to members in the mornings and the afternoons are for schedule games, Mondays to Fridays. The Regional Library occupies the north half of the main floor. The Knights of Columbus hold a weekly bingo on Thursdays. The proceeds go towards youth projects whether religious or sports and the promotion of community projects.

The Village Office, on the third floor, is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The Multipurpose Room located on the first floor is available to the community at a minimal charge for bingo, lunches after funerals, meetings, etc.


Part 5

First Group of Archers -- submitted by Judy M Maquet

It will be of interest to the readers in general and to the future generations to devote this introduction to the early Belgian immigrant settlers who came to Manitoba to settle around and near what is known as Ste Amelie in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

No accurate records appear to be available as to exact time and numbers who emigrated to Manitoba, but they brought with them their many skills and trades, also their favorite sports, such as Pigeon Racing, Belgian lawn bowling, Belgian darts, Pipe smoking contest, bicycle racing etc. They were the people who brought to Ste Amelie the sport of Poll Archery.

The first settlers arrived in Ste Amelie in the year 1889. Ernest Beheyt, Pierre Brabant, Frederick Callewaert, Fred Claeys and Jules Debeuckelaere; all Belgian descent. Many other nationalities arrived also and the parish of Ste Amelie was founded in the year 1896. Their first resident priest came in 1903 by the name of L'Abbe Joseph Alderick Bastien.

As the parish was formed a Mr. Alexander MacDonald donated five acres of land; the St Boniface Archdiocese purchased another five acres and soon after a home chapel was built. Many more Belgian families arrived. From 1906-1911, August Knockaert, Constant Lepla, Desire Van De Poele, Jules Vandenbosch, Germain Morriau, Arthur Verhaeghe, and Alphonse Inglebeen in 1912 to 1921 -- Henry Denys, Henri Petillion, Albert Pauwells and others. The first recreation hall and meeting place was built by Germain Yonkman. This hall was destroyed by fire. These are some of the main events which led to the forming of what is known as Pole Archery.

In the late and early parts of 1925 and 1926 a group of Belgian descent people called a meeting in which it was decided to form an Archery Club. All necessary equipment such as birds, arrow and Belgian long bows (which are about 7 feet long) were ordered from Belgium. Meanwhile a board was elected -- Albert Pauwells, president, Ernest Beheyt, vice president, Jules Monteyne -- secretary treasurer, Germain Morriau and Jules Vandenbosch as directors and on the farm of Ernest Beheyt a site was chosen to erect a pole.

Three of the pioneers traveled the Riding Mountain National Park to find logs big enough and at least 65 feet long for the shooting pool. Ed Lahaie, David Neault and Jules Monteyne volunteered to bring the logs by wagon and horses to the site. Talk about difficulties. They had to turn at the square corners on narrow roads. Mr Jerome Lepla being a blacksmith and Frank Beheyt assembled and spliced and braced the logs in order to obtain the necessary height of 110 feet.

Shooting tool place every second Sunday afternoon and a get together after shooting where refreshments were served. At the time it was quite an honor to be admitted to their gatherings. Non shooters were totally barred from attending.

As the club grew in membership, the homes were to small to accommodate all the members, so a few of the members constructed a floor which could be dismantled in sections and erected. A large canvas tent which was loaned by another member. Later, Frank Beheyt having a large granary used it as a meeting and get together location and then as the crowds got bigger a new place was found. Jerome Lepla -- having constructed a large barn in 1931 with a drive in ramp to the left was an ideal location. (I remember someone saying that they saw a Model T Ford driving around the dance floor on one occasion and as we say now ""What will become of these teenagers?"" was heard from some of the old biddies.) Dances and get togethers were held in this location till 1945 then with the risk of fire, the parties were held at George Verhaeghe's in Ste Amelie and the new hall in Ste Rose which had been built in 1932 was used.

After a few practice shots in 1926, a group of 50 shooters competed for King shooting. Albert Pauwells was the top shooter, being the first King shooter. In that same year July 11th, 1926, Edmond Lepla and Pierre Brabant were sent to St Boniface as delegates to meet with the St. Sebastian Archery Club which also had been formed to organize Inter Club competitions. The first group of shooters who went to compete in St Boniface in 1927 were Albert Pauwells, Jules Vandenbosch, Henry Denys, Fred Claeys, David Neault and Remi Petillion. From that time on, it has been an annual event. (My mother often told me about the good times had at the Belgium Club in St Boniface, the Brewery etc. 3 and 4 days at strict meetings, shooting competitions, jokes, songs, sore heads and tricks. I remember mother telling me about the time my father pulled the fire alarm at the Tourist Hotel and catching the ladies coming down the fire escape while she was trying to shut it off by jamming her finger in the broken glass.)

In the year of 1929 another club was formed called the Ste Rose Archery. Their first officers were; Mr L'Abbe Theoret, honorary president, Pierre Brabant, president, A. Shayer vice president, Emile Lussier, secretary treasurer, Basil Tucker, J. A. Bissette, Arthur Hurst, directors.

The Ste Rose Club was in formation till 1934. At this period of hard times, the Ste Amelie and Ste Rose Archery Club amalgamated and is known today as the Ste Rose - Ste Amelie Pool Archery Club. The first board of the said club was Julien Cottyn, president, Onesime Pinette, vice president, Didace Burgeois, secretary treasurer, Albert Pauwells, Isidore Petillion and Jules Vandenbosch as directors.

Prior to this time -- 1929 -- the Manitoba Archery was formed. Its purpose was to popularize and foster the sport of Pole Archery in Manitoba and draw up a constitution of by-laws and rules in competitive shooting etc. A board of officers is elected once a year in which members of affiliated clubs are elected to represent the Association, to review and amend resolutions put forth by the different clubs, some of which are now the St Sabastian Club of St Boniface, Robin Hood Club of St Boniface, Ste Rose - Ste Amelie Club, Ste Rose Ladies Target Club, Sebastianettes Ladies from St Boniface, Dryden Merry Men's Club and the Merriettes Club from Dryden, Ontario affiliated members.

In 1941 the wooden shooting pole was moved onto the Agricultural grounds where in 1959 a new steel pole was erected with many members contributing to the building of the still existing pole.

The pipes were brought in from ""Westeel"" at cost. Thanks to Archie Delbaere, a strong competitor in pole archery. Mr. Steve Delaurier donated the welding. Noel Bourbonniere designed and welded the fork, Oli Dufault supplied paint and sprayed the pole. Emile Lepine transported the pole to its original site and rented a crane from Harris Construction to erect it. All this was Gratis to the club of which all were very grateful.

The Archery Club can thank the late Gerard Debeuckelaere, the late Gustave Debeuckelaere, Frank Beheyts, Gaston Knockaert, the late Julien (Pete) Vandenbosch, the Verhaeghe families, Gosselin family, the Lepla and Julien Altenburg families for their attendance at the shootings on Sundays. With them no doubt the club would not have survived. On the fiftieth anniversary 1976 a contingent of Belgian Archers came from Belgium to help the club celebrate. One of the first and still outstanding resolutions past by the first board was that a mass be said for deceased members annually.

Note: This appeared in a booklet prepared for the anniversary celebrations 1976.

In 1986, the Clubs 60th anniversary, a plaque was presented to Frank Beheyt for having the pole first in his father's yard then in his yard.
Now it is 1988 and the club is still running smoothly.


Part 6

A Brief History of Ste Rose General Hospital by Sr. Yvonne Prevost, s.g.m.


In April, 1937, Fr. Anatole Theoret initiated a process which would eventually culminate in the foundation of a hospital in Ste Rose du Lac. Rallying the support of the Oblate Fathers, and with the approval and support of Archbishop Sinott, Sister Ste Emilienne, the Provincial Superior of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (Grey Nuns) was encouraged to found a hospital to attempt to answer the needs of the area. Dr Lionel Gendreau was already in practice and strongly supported the project. The Grey Nuns were at the point transferring the sponsorship of St Joseph's Orphanage in Winnipeg to the Sisters of Providence and fortunately were able to consider founding a Hospital in Ste Rose du Lac. The firm of Green, Blankstein and Russel prepared the plans for a forty bed hospital with 12 bassinets. September 15, 1938, the contractors Couture and Toupin began construction. From November, 1938 to official opening, the first Sisters were assigned to Ste Rose and arrived: Sr Berthe Menard, Superior: Sr B. Demers; Sr Ste Euphemie; Sr A. Marcoux; Sr A. Hopcraft; Sr A. Gosselin; and Sr E. Bilodeau.


February 7, 1939 Hospital Opening

The official opening was a great event for the community. On February 7, 1939, Archbishop Sinott opened and blessed the facility. Numerous Grey Nuns from St Boniface, many Oblate Fathers and officials of surrounding parishes attended. The various levels of government were present: the Honorable M. Griffiths (Minister of Health), the Honorable Mr. Hawkins (Speaker of the House), the Honorable Mr. A. Marcoux (Minister without portfolio), Mr. McCarthy (MLA for Ste Rose) and Mr. O. Archambault, the Reeve of the Rural Municipality. Father Theoret presided at the ceremonies. It was a memorable day coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Ste Rose du Lac.

The first patient was a Mrs. Dolly Polisnook of McCreary for confinement, admitted on February 3, 1939 at 5:30pm -- four days prior to the official opening. The second patient was a Miss Alvine Fredette. The first baby was a baby girl born to Mr. and Mrs Erlandur Johnson (parents from Moosedale, MB) on February 8, 1939 at 5:15am -- the 12th patient of the facility. February 1939 saw a total of 41 patients and by January 31, 1940 a total of 926 patients had been admitted. The first years were very difficult. The economic circumstances were poor and the Sisters had to work hard. Large gardens were cultivated, wild berries were picked and canned, chickens were raise for eggs (and chicken dinners). The original water was hard and too salty and corroded pipes, sewers and machines and was not even acceptable for laundering the linens. Through the effort of Dr Gendreau and Ste Rose residents, water was obtained from an artesian well almost a mile away.

Sr. Yvonne Prevost created and guided the Ste Rose School for Practical Nurses during the period of 1944 to 1948. This was the first school in Manitoba to graduate License Practical Nurses and during its existence prior to its amalgamation with St Boniface Hospital and St Boniface Sanatorium, graduated some 40 LPN's. This activity is carried on to this day, as Ste Rose is a part of the St Boniface Hospital School of Practical Nursing, providing senior experience for numerous LPN students every year.

The demands on the hospital continued to grow with Dr Gendreau's reputation and that of the compassionate and individualized care provided by the Sisters. In 1949, the Sisters moved to what is now the second story of the powerhouse, freeing up space for 13 more beds in the hospital. By the mid fifties, the original hospital no longer met fire standards, lacked space for special services and there was a need for more beds. Representations were made to the government and in August, 1955, the government approved a new facility for Ste Rose. Plans were drawn up and Peter Letch Construction began work in May, 1956. Through the winter, construction and renovation continued.
The official opening and blessing of the current facility took place on July 4, 1957. Many dignitaries were present, including the Superior General, Sr. H. Huntington; Sr. C. Fortin, the Provincial Superior; Archbishop Pocock; the Premier of Manitoba, the Honorable D. Campbell; Mr. Gildas Molgat, MLA for Ste Rose; Mr. P. Delaurier, Reeve of the Rural Municipality; and Mr. G. Arnal, Mayor of Ste Rose. Father Desautels spoke on the value and need for the Hospital. Dr Gendreau performed the official ribbon cutting Ceremony for the new facility. On July 11, 1957, all Patients were relocated to the new building and plans were immediately drawn up to renovate the old Hospital as a residence and support services area. The two buildings are in service today, the Hospital itself being still extremely functional in design and layout.
First Grey Nuns

In 1959, the Grey Nuns appointed the first Advisory Board composed of local residents to advise the Sisters in financial matters and to assist in dealing with the Provincial Government. The first Chairman was Mr. William Masson of Makinak. In 1960, the Hospital was incorporated by an Act of the Manitoba Legislature and all its future affairs would be dealt with this Corporation. The Advisory Board continued to function until it was disbanded in 1977 and replaced by a Board of Directors formed of lay members and religious members. As in the past, the interweaving of skills and good will between the people of the region and of the Grey Nuns provides a strong direction to the facility.


Dr. Rene Lionel Gendreau.

In 1964, Ste Rose General Hospital celebrated its Silver Jubilee. In 1968, Dr. R. L. Gendreau retired from practice due to his failing health. In 1973, after major surgery, Dr Gendreau passed away on April 18th. He left a legacy of commitment, dedication and self-less concern for others. His diagnostic skills and abilities assured the residence of quality care. Many have followed in his footsteps, but no one has or probably ever will fill his shoes. After his retirement, medical recruitment became a major concern and pursuit of the facility and community. In 1968, as it is today, it was difficult to attract physicians to practice in a rural setting.


June '79 Commemorative Plaque to Dr. Gendreau in lobby of Ste Rose Hospital.

Accreditation has always been recognized by the Hospital and it was initially achieved in January 1975, and is continually maintained to this date. It is recognition by and independent body that the Hospital is reaching those standards and guidelines which are adhered to in quality institutions.

In June of 1979, negotiations with the support stall failed and our one and only strike occurred from June 19 to July 13. Amidst the tension and staff shortage, volunteers and Sisters provided a continuity of care to those in need. In the same year, a commemorative plaque of Dr Gendreau was unveiled in the Hospital lobby. The concern over medical manpower continued.

In 1983, the Grey Nuns appointed their first lay administrator in Ste Rose, Mr. Ronald Simard. On August 1, 1983 he assumed his duties, and on August 22, 1983 a missioning ceremony was held in the Hospital Chapel. Late 1983 saw the completion of the renovation for fire safety and the new internal appearance of the facility complete with wall graphics. In 1984, the Board of Directors recognized a need for improved public relations and annual visits to the municipalities and reserves were instituted. Physician manpower continued to be a major concern, with a low point in late August 1985. Since then, renewed efforts and the pursuit of various alternatives have suffused a new hope and growth to the facility. The Hospital is once again busy and an air of confidence and expectancy of new and better things continues.

The future is not a defined path, but a road built by those who strive to reach their goals. The Grey Nuns have served faithfully and strongly in Ste Rose following their mission of charity to the poor and needy as typified by their founder, Marguerite d'Youville over 250 years ago. The future of Ste Rose General Hospital is clear -- it will continue to serve in a spirit of Christian charity addressing the need of the population and adapting as it has in the past to the changes brought on by regulation and evolution.

Administrators of Ste Rose Hospital

Sr. Berthe Menard 1935-45
Sr. Louise Dupuis 1945-49
Sr. Gertrude Moreau 1949-52
Sr. Regina Trottier 1952-58
Sr. Rose Bourbonniere 1958-59
Sr. Gilberte Tetrault 1959-62
Sr. Melina Trottier 1962-65
Sr. Rejeanne Prieur 1965-68
Sr. Lucille Damphousse 1968-77
Sr. Marguerite Caron 1977-79
Sr. Gabrielle Cloutier 1979-83
Mr Ronald Simard 1983


Part 7

Licensed Practical Nursing in Manitoba its origin and History in Ste Rose du Lac, MB.
By Sr. Yvonne Prevost, sgm.

In 1939, Ste Rose General Hospital commenced its care of the sick of Ste Rose du Lac and the surrounding community. The legendary Dr Lionel Gendreau soon had such a large practice that the Hospital was occupied to capacity and extra beds were added to meet emergencies. Unfortunately, ever since its opening, the Hospital encountered staffing difficulties, especially in Registered Nurses. The professional nursing staff consisted of only three Sisters, one on days, one for the Operating Room and Labor Room and one on nights. The shortage was partly due to the climate of the times (World War II being a factor) and to the rural setting of the Hospital.

In mid 1945, Sister Louisa Dupuis, Superior and Administrator, and Sister Yvonne Prevost, Nursing Supervisor, decided that action had to be initiated to assure good nursing care and to cope with increasing needs. It was decided to recruit young women interested in becoming trained Nurses Aides. A program was developed locally and by the end of September 1945, 10 young ladies began the course of study. Although their was still an acute shortage of nursing staff on the units, it was essential that these students be involved in patient care. Help was sought from other departments to allow the students time in the classroom. Staff from Business Office, Laundry, Dietary and Operating Room distributed the patients' breakfast trays, assisted in feeding and return the trays to the kitchen. While all this was going on, Sister Yvonne Prevost would lead classes, provide demonstrations in practical procedures with the students. The desired outcome was achieved -- the students appreciated the opportunity and obtained valuable skills; patience received improved care and attention; and the whole Hospital rejoiced in this new venture.

Unbeknownst to anyone in Ste Rose, an act was passed in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly in March 1945: ""An act to provide for the training, examination, licensing and regulation of Practical Nurses"". The Licensed Practical Nurses Act of March 5, 1945 was the first such mandatory act to be in forced on the North American Continent. The Act contained a waiver (grandfather) clause which permitted the licensing of persons who had worked as a Practical Nurse in Manitoba for a least 2 years prior to 1945. Miss Frances Waugh was appointed Registrar and first Director of a Central School to be located in Winnipeg.

In March 1946, Sister Yvonne Prevost applied to the school in Winnipeg to have her 10 student nurses considered for furthering their studies in order to qualify for licensure or to be given some consideration in their future classes. Upon receiving this request from Sister Prevost, Miss Waugh came to visit Ste Rose Hospital. She reviewed the program taught to the students and interviewed each student. On evaluation all were found eligible to receive their license immediately. This original group consisted of: Marie Delalleau, Laurier, MB; Gabrielle DeMoissac, St Claude, MB; Eileen Dubnick, Winnipegosis, MB: Olga Dobchuk, Kelwood, MB; M. Louise Monteyne, Ste Rose du Lac, MB; Lorraine Neault, Ste Rose du Lac, MB; Alice Pinette, Ste Amelie, MB; Simone Pinette, Ste Amelie, MB; Sloange Pinette, Ste Amelie, MB; Rita Rossier, Laurier, MB.

Graduation of this special group tool place in September, 1946, once they had completed the required one year of study. All personnel rejoiced over this success and participated in recognizing the first students to graduate as Licensed Practical Nurses under the recent Act passed by the Manitoba Legislature. No doubt the happiest persons celebrating this achievement were the school's foundresses, Sister Yvonne Prevost and Sister Louisa Dupuis.

 The graduation of Practical Nurses at the Ste Rose Hospital, 1946-47
Front, L-R: Rita Rossier, Marie-Louise Monteyne, Alice Pinette
Middle Row: Simone Pinette, Lorraine Neault, Solange Pinette
Back Row: Eileen Dubnick, Gabrielle Demoissac and Marie Delalleau
Constance Belanger (Therrien)


In early November 1946, Sister Yvonne Prevost and Sister M. J. Tougas of the St Boniface Sanatorium were appointed to the Advisory Council for Licensed Practical Nurses with meetings to be held in Winnipeg. Both Sisters were also asked to prepare an examination paper on Obstetrical Nursing and Pediatrics which would be the final examination for all Manitoba students.
Two weeks later in November, Sister Prevost received a request from Miss Frances Waugh, Registrar, to operated a school for Licensed Practical Nurses in Ste Rose and to incorporate students from the Neepawa Hospital where the Registered Nurses School had recently closed. After some consideration, it was decided to approach the Neepawa General Hospital and request their teaching equipment and materials for the RN School. An agreement was reached and Ste Rose Hospital received 8 school chairs, anatomy maps, reference books and a mannequin for demonstration at no cost, providing that we except 2 students per class from their Hospital for the three month theory component only.

The School was them prepared by renovating an existing carpenter shop and installing heat and water. The interior was decorated by painting and window dressings. Pictures were hung and all was ready for the regular class to begin. January 8, 1947 was the official opening and a class of nine in a recognized school. These students were: Lorriane Cancade, Findlay, MB: Margaret Derrick, Dauphin, MB: Mary Fyczyoz, Dauphin, MB: Doreen Hornfelt, Margo, MB: Mary Jones, Elkhorn, MB: Mary Millan, Hadashville, MB: Mary Ruth Millan, Ethelbert, MB: Mary Pazuik, Ethelbert, MB. Mary Jones and Mary Millan were students from Neepawa Hospital who pursued their theory component in our school.

The students completed the majority of their practical experience in Ste Rose Hospital, except for 2 months at the St Boniface Sanatorium in Winnipeg.

By April 14th, the class which started in January had completed the theory component and were ready for their practical experience at Ste Rose, St Boniface Sanatorium and Neepawa. Sister Prevost now had her time taken up as a clinical teacher, guiding the students on the nursing units, and providing hands on experience.

The second class was registered and began on September 2nd, 1947. It was made up of 12 very promising students. In fact, this was really the third class, considering the class we had initially prior to the official opening of the school. The names of the September, 1947 class were: Therese Berard, St Pierre, MB; Irene Bisson, Dunrae, MB; Anna Blackmom, Westbourne, MB; Stella Bouchard, Elie, MB; Clair Bouvier, Beaconia, MB; Freida Foster, Paradise Hill, SK; Corinne Gagne, St Pierre, MB; Marie Gendre, La Salle,MB; Emma Jubinville, St Leon, MB; Irene Muloin, St Adolphe, MB; Fernande Parent, Letellier, MB; Angele Ritchot, St Pierre, MD.

November 26, 27 & 28th, The students of the second class, wrote their final theory exams before beginning their practical experience. The course outline had been increased by two weeks to give the students two weeks experience in dietary to learn meal preparation and serving as well as formula preparation for the babies.

January 6, 1948 saw the first official Graduation of the School. It was a great day for the community of Ste Rose, for the Hospital, and especially to the graduating class and their instructed, Sister Yvonne Prevost. This was the first class to be recognized publicly and the whole region considered it a very special event. The event was held at the Community Hall of Ste Rose. As usual Sister Louisa Dupuis, Superior Administrator and Sister Yvonne Prevost arranged all of the preparations for the occasion, including Diplomas and a suitable program.

Dr R. L. Gendreau, presided at the ceremonies and agreed to be guest speaker too. Other guests included Miss Frances Waugh, Registrar from Winnipeg, Mr D McCarthy, MLA, Mr Emil Duhard, Mayor and Rev E Paquette, as well as Grey Nuns and relatives and friends of the graduates. Miss Frances Waugh had the honor of presenting the diplomas to the group. The graduates were: Phyllis Andrew, Kelwood, MB; Margaret Ayotte, Radville, SK; Lorraine Cancade, Findlay, MB; Lucille Decosse, Sommerset, MB; Margaret Derrick, Dauphin, MB; Annette Dupuis, Sedley, SK; Mary Ficzycz, Dauphin, MB; Mary Giesbrecht, Lorette, MB; Doreen Hornfeldt, Margo, SK; Mary Jones, Elkhorn, MB; Loretta Loree, Carman, MB; Mary Millan, Hadashville, MB; Mary Pasuik, Ethelbert, MB; Verna Story, Morden, MB.

Doreen Hornfelt and Lorraine Cancade received the award for outstanding bedside nursing, presented by Dr Gendreau. Miss Mary Jones was the recipient of the award for highest marks provided by Sister Louisa Dupuis and presented by Mr. D McCarthy. Miss Lucille Decosse was the valedictorian and in her address she expressed the gratitude and appreciation of all the graduates for their teachers, parents and to the Hospital for the experience and opportunity. A musical program and reception rounded out a very special day.

The School was in its third year of operation when indications arose that it would not be possible to continue much longer in Ste Rose. Teachers with specialty certification were required as well as larger affiliations. Meetings were held with the Grey Nuns Provincial Council, the St Boniface Sanatorium and Sisters Louisa Dupuis and Yvonne Prevost from Ste Rose. The consensus was that Ste Rose School for LPN's and the St Boniface Sanatorium School for LPN's should amalgamate and be located at the Hospice Tache in St Boniface. This school was approved by government in 1948 including affiliation with Ste Rose Hospital for surgical, obstetrics and pediatrics experience. Despite the difficulty we experienced in accepting these changes, it was assuring to know that we had been instrumental in establishing this particular category of nursing, which is very necessary to health care, and particularly so in rural areas.

On September 1st, 1948 the third and last graduation took place. Once again Dr R. L. Gendreau presided at the evening ceremonies. Mr. M. R. Hawkins, MLA from Dauphin addressed the graduates in English and Rev Father A. Sabourin from St Pierre, Manitoba developed in French the Motto of the School -- ""Charitas Urget Nos"". Rev R D Jubinville OMI gave a special message to the graduates alluding to the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan.

The Registrar was unable to attend and Miss W Barrat from Winnipeg presented the diplomas to the graduates. Outstanding bedside nursing award went to Miss Stella Bouchard and Irene Bisson received the award for highest marks. A beautiful program of signing was provided by Miss Clothilde and Marie Guillas, M Plamondon and Lucille Archambault. As valedictorian, Miss Stella Bouchard expressed the gratitude of the class. An evening reception with the graduates and their guests followed. The graduates were: Therese T Berard, C Parent, A Ritchot, Irene Bisson, Irene Muloin, Stella Bouchard, F Fester, M Marion, H Bibidorf, L Somolysk, K Demynchuk, D Clark, G Ferrand, B Bray.

Group of Homemaking Course given in Ste Rose
Front Row, Left: Leonie Brunel, Juliette Desjardins, Rose Lagassee

Our School closed and became part of the St Boniface School for Practical Nurses with students completing part of practical experience at Ste Rose. It is very satisfying to note that from 1945 to 1948, 40 Licensed Practical Nurses graduated from Ste Rose Hospital. They were among the first to graduate in the Province. Ste Rose Hospital holds this particular and vital niche in nursing education and is exceedingly proud of its contribution.