Heritage Saint Norbert
Annual General Meeting
August 15th, 2018
Welcome to the Heritage Saint Norbert annual meeting for 2018. It is now 39 years since HSN was founded by Jeanne Perreault. Jeanne would always begin this meeting by reading the objectives of HSN as presented in our constitution – in French and English . I will confine it to English only.
The objectives of the corporation shall be:
(a) To promote and preserve the identity and the historic aspects of the community of St. Norbert.
(b) To guide and assist in the future planning and the development of the St. Norbert area.
(c) To promote, implement, organize and manage projects, activities, programs and facilities consistent with the above objectives.
(d) To work in co-operation with any organization with similar objectives.
It has been a good news, bad news, story this year.
The best news has been the addition of two young persons to the Board . They bring new energy and ideas to our activities. Originally our activities centered around saving structures that represented the past. More recently emphasis has shifted to telling the story of Saint Norbert’s, Manitoba’s and even Canada’s history as it was impacted by events that took place here. We do that through maintenance of physical assets but more and more through electronic media. Looking forward I hope our efforts can have an impact on raising an understanding of the injustices that followed Manitoba’s entry into Confederation. Even today the Supreme Court of Canada is repeatedly ruling on those injustices. Saint Norbert was the focal point of those injustices. Its story needs to be told and we are the ones to do so. The removal of the statue of Prime Minister John A. McDonald in Victoria highlights a new understanding of the consequences of actions based on prejudice and intolerance.
A wise man has said ‘Those who ignore the lessons of the past are condemned to repeat its errors.’There are lessons to be learned from Saint Norbert’s past. So, for these and happier reasons our main objective continues to be to have Saint Norbert declared a National Historic Site.
A happy event occurred this spring when Saint Norbert Foundation agreed to consider formalizing our use of Place Saint Norbert. We have occupied this area since the early 1980s. All the structures were the result of efforts of Heritage Saint Norbert and HSN has maintained all but the Boucherie which is operated as a day care centre. When the Market decided to place their washrooms on what we consider our area, we recognized what was quite obvious for
some time, we are very vulnerable to the whims of the Market and our own creation, the Saint Norbert Foundation. We are now about to begin detailed negotiations with SNF that hopefully will lead to our confidence that we can carry without interference.
We were again disappointed by the Market’s new structure. It does not live up to the standards expected of a development plan for this area established in 2010 nor does it meet requirements of the City on Winnipeg Act. Nevertheless it was approved by City Council. So we will live with that eyesore for twenty years likely.
This summer we have three students partially funded by a federal program. They are working
on a variety of projects involving research and web site improvements.
For the second year Tourisme Riel have used McDougall House as a Tourist Information site.
We have been awarded a grant by the Province to add a summer kitchen to the McDougall House. The original home had such a structure. Plans are being prepared and construction should start this fall. The project is intended to include lighting of the Oxcart house and the Monument to the Barriere.
Plans have been proposed for improvements around the monument. That will be a next year project.
We are advocating for école Noël Richot and the new Co-Op store to design their new structures to complement the ‘Saint Norbert look’ that is being established by other recent buildings along Pembina Highway.
We have underway a series of framed displays that can tell visitors of locations of interest in Saint Norbert.
So it has been a busy year for our group of volunteers. But there is lots more to do. Our chief project is that we obtain National Historic Site Designation for Saint Norbert.
Thank you very much to all of the Board members for their talents and hard work.
Bill Loewen, President.
Heritage Saint Norbert.