St. Vital community correspondent
Bob Holliday is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at email@example.com
Recent articles of Bob Holliday
After Seven Oaks, St. Vital is the oldest settled area of Winnipeg.
St. Vital began in 1820 with the arrival of Métis hunters and traders from Fort Pembina, N.D., who moved north to escape the unrest of the Sioux nation. The Métis settled along both sides of the Red River between what is now Bishop Grandin Boulevard and the south Perimeter Highway.
In 1860, the Métis wanted to name their settlement after St. Alexander, the patron saint of Bishop Tache. Tache suggested the name St. Vital after the patron saint of Father Justin Grandin (later Bishop), the Oblate priest, who worked in their midst. The parishes were known as St. Vital East and St. Vital West.
Descendants of the Métis settlers formed the majority of Louis Riel’s provisional government leading to the formation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870.
In last month’s column, I wrote about my clashes with certain St. Vital Police officers in the 1970s.
I didn’t mention names, but it appears a number of other residents also had unpleasant interactions with the same cop as me, who should never have been allowed to wear a uniform. I’m told he was one of the first to be let go after all Winnipeg-area police departments were amalgamated in 1974.
Following is an email from a former member of the St. Vital Police Department:
“Great article Bob,
Racism and brutality in police services is not acceptable at any time, and any cop who exhibits behaviour of either type should be fired, no ifs, ands or buts.
In the early 1970s, as a rookie reporter at the St. Vital Lance, I was harassed by a couple of members of the St. Vital Police for something I had written. One even let the air out a tire on my car. As was I changing the tire in pouring rain, a cruiser pulled alongside and a cop said “Too bad about the flat, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving (expletive deleted).”
I received harassing phone calls from the cop’s girlfriend, her mother and even a couple of rookie officers who’d fallen under the veteran’s spell, the same cop who stopped me for “speeding” repeatedly — which I always beat in court.
I was finally able to stop the harassment by complaining to a couple of sergeants.