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Spotlight on History: Our History ... Preserved in Ink

Posted: October 5, 2018

Our History ... Preserved in Ink
Stories from the "Heritage II, A History of East St. Paul" book
Submitted by Mayor Shelley Hart

In 1967, Principal Andy Koshelanyk, staff and students of Robert Andrews School, decided to publish a history book as a centennial project to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary. "Heritage … a story of East St. Paul” is the name of that project. 
The book contains congratulatory letters from government officials of the day including, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin, Member of Parliament Ed Schreyer, Member of the Legislative Assembly Sam Uskiw, and East St. Paul Reeve N.C. Jackson.
The publication of Heritage was an instant success and demand for the book exceeded expectations.  The initial publication of 500 copies was sold out before the first edition was printed.  A second edition of 500 copies was sold out immediately after delivery to the school.
In 1990, Andy Koshelanyk, now an East St. Paul Councillor, suggested that Heritage should be updated to commemorate the 75th anniversary of East St. Paul in 1991.  He convinced Council to pass a resolution to form a citizens committee to investigate the possibility of realizing this project.  After a number of meetings, this committee disbanded. 
Councillor Koshelanyk continued to pursue the proposed publication of Heritage II, and contacted author Michael Czuboka to consider undertaking the project.  Czuboka was invited to attend a council meeting and was ultimately given the go ahead to proceed.  Working with a committee of 15 local residents, who dedicated countless hours of volunteer work, Heritage II, A History of East St. Paulbecame a reality.
In celebration of East St. Paul’s 100th anniversary in 2016, a centennial book was commissioned by council and Lorna Wenger was hired as its author.  East St. Paul Centennial 1916 – 2016, A Celebration of History, Stories & Community Spirit, is a coffee table style book filled with stories and photos celebrating the history and people of our community.  This book can still be purchased at the R.M. office for $20.
East St. Paul has done a remarkable job of chronicling its history and now we want to share our publications with a wider audience.  Earlier this year, Council submitted Heritage II, A History of East St. Paul (which includes an insert of Heritage … a story of East St. Paul) to the University of Manitoba to be digitized and placed online for public viewing as part of the Manitoba Local Histories Project.  When complete, we will communicate it via our newsletter and website.
Having our history come off the pages of our publications and into our community is a goal of Council.  Our Farmers Market honours our agricultural origins and Centennial Plaza will have five historical markers, several depicting our early industries.  For the many East St. Paul residents who do not have generational roots here, these projects will educate and foster a stronger sense of community.

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and
culture is like a tree without roots” ~ Marcus Garvey


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