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St. Vital Fire Hall set for 100th anniversary

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As 2013 winds down, the St. Vital Historical Society is busy planning for 2014 and the 100th anniversary of the old St. Vital fire hall, at 600 St. Mary’s Road, which is home to the St. Vital Museum.

One of the highlights of the celebration will be the official unveiling of the 1939 Fargo pumper truck as the restoration work progresses rapidly.

A highlight of 2013 is the rapidly disappearing space in the museum, which has reached the "bursting at the seams" stage in just six short years. Plans are to change the current boardroom into more of a display area. Once a display unit is rebuilt, the museum’s tribute to the Métisse who settled the area in 1820 will expand and dominate a 10-foot area in what was once magistrate’s court.

More display area means SVHS directors will have to find a new meeting area which, thanks to the Old St. Vital Biz , will be next door at 604 St. Mary’s Rd.  The building that was once St. Vital City Hall was the site of this year’s SVHS annual general meeting, attended by Councillor Brian Mayes and St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover.

Twenty-seven members elected Paul Gentes and John Kendle to the board or directors and re-elected me, Don Berthman and Jim Fuller.

Prior to the election, resident historian John Dempster was made a permanent member of the board.

At the first director’s meeting, I was named president, Kerry Pedrick as vice-president and Jolene Klassen as recording secretary. Jeff Whyte is the new treasurer, replacing Lea Girman, who remains a director.

June Bell, Gordon Bell, Gentes, Kendle and Dempster make up the balance of the board.

As of this writing, the museum is 18 visitors from equalling last year’s attendance and just 28 from setting a record, so drop by on any Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and take a look at St. Vital’s rich history.

While you’re at the museum, purchase a 2014 calendar for $5 or three of $10. For a small donation, a copy of the museum colouring book, which makes a great stocking stuffer, is yours to take home.

Bob Holliday is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at docholliday90@me.com

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