President's Message

Article excerpt

This is my first message to Time Lines as President of the Manitoba Historical Society. I think it would be appropriate for me to introduce myself to the members, many of whom may not know much about me. Before doing that, however, I would like to express the Society's thanks to Dr. Harry Duckworth for his excellent service over the last several years, particularly during his time as President. Fortunately, we will not be losing his expertise, which will be available to us in his new role as Past President.

My first association with the MHS began in the winter of 2008. I was asked to assume the role of Second Vice-President, a position which was vacant at the time. Subsequently, I was elected First Vice-President at the 2008 AGM, continuing in that position until I was elected President at the most recent AGM, June 2011. Elected with me to the Executive Committee were the following: James Kostuchuk, First Vice President; Samuel Matheson, Second Vice-President; Gwyneth Jones, Treasurer; Gordon Goldsborough, Secretary; Dennis Butcher, Member-at-Large; Joyce Wawrykow, Member-at-Large. They are an energetic group who will bring a variety of strengths and skills to the Executive Committee. Thank you to all of you for your willingness to volunteer for this task and I look forward to working with you.

I am currently retired and so have time to devote to the interests of the MHS. I did, however, have a long career as an educator. I began as a teacher in New Brunswick teaching science at the junior and senior high levels. My public school teaching career continued in Burlington, Ontario until I decided to return to the University of Toronto to complete graduate work in Educational Administration. I subsequently moved to Manitoba where I assumed responsibility for the pre-service teacher education program at the University of Winnipeg. I remained there for the rest of my career and now work with the university's teacher education students on a part-time basis.

I have had a variety of volunteer experiences over the years. They have ranged from door-to-door collecting for various charitable groups through to serving on numerous boards of charitable and non-profit organizations. I enjoy working in a volunteer capacity and appreciate the successes and challenges presented by that environment. Further, like the other members of the MHS I have a deep and abiding belief in the value of history and the lessons to be learned from it, the importance of knowing where we have come from and how that shapes and informs where we need to be going. These two factors together motivated me to accept a position on the Society's executive in 2008 and, more recently, encouraged me to assume the Presidency.

The length of my term is a year and it will go by very quickly. I have set goals for this year, some of which are more readily attained than others. I am very much aware of the extent to which volunteers are one of the major mainstays of the Society's activities and constitute its strength. One of my goals is to increase the Society's volunteer capacity and I look forward to working with current volunteers and other society members to achieve that end.

Related to this goal is my intention to attend at least one meeting of the various committees and groups, which define the Society so that I can more fully understand their operation. This will also help me to achieve a related goal, which is to come to know as many of the volunteers as possible, all of whom contribute so much to the day-to-day operation of the Society. It is my intention to list the membership of our various committees in future editions of Timelines so that all of our hard working members will be recognized.

I have already had one very pleasant evening attending a meeting with the Program Committee. They are clearly a committed group dedicated to providing the Society's membership with a range of activities spread across fall and winter of each year. …