The Accomplishments of Heritage Saint-Norbert
Heritage Saint-Norbert is a non-profit charitable organization formed in 1979 to preserve and promote the historic aspects of the community of Saint-Norbert, Manitoba. Our objectives and accomplishments are described below. We hope you will find our work and our community of interest to you.
The origins of Heritage Saint-Norbert can be considered to be with the issue of the Français school in Saint-Norbert which created a division among residents in the 1970’s. A few citizens got together to meet with representatives of both sides of the argument.
A major issue was immediately before us. The Trappist Fathers had vacated their monastery to move to Holland, Manitoba. The growth of Saint-Norbert had impacted their way of living that was strongly orientated towards a quiet existence. Their very imposing structures needed a use.
Canada Day Celebrations
For a number of years Heritage Saint-Norbert organized Canada Day celebrations that were quite popular. They included the arrival of Captain Canada by parachute.
This photo is of Jeanne Perreault with Napoleon the ox in a Canada Day parade.
Each new development in Saint-Norbert was scrutinized to ensure that it conformed to the nature of the community. A development now referred to as Richmond lakes was proposed with plans calling for street names that were not appropriate.
St. Norbert Post Office
There was a move by Canada Post to close the Saint-Norbert Post Office. We successfully lobbied to save it. That was an important step in retaining the identity of Saint-Norbert. A significant argument was that we needed a bilingual facility.
Some of our projects were difficult, took much time and required substantial funding. Now and then, something good happened with virtually no effort. After mentioning to City officials that we wanted Saint-Norbert more clearly identified they quickly came forward with a plan for a tall standard to do just that.
Bridges of St. Norbert
Heritage Saint-Norbert provided input into the bridge project including providing for the naming on the bridge – Les Ponts de Saint-Norbert.
Henry Boux Park
We requested a bench be named for Henry Boux, a longtime member who was instrumental in establishing the market among other community work. In fact, we got the small park overlooking the La Salle River, a very fitting tribute to a respected member.
When the Oblate Fathers decided not to sell their property to a developer, they needed some more satisfactory arrangement to dispose of it. X Kalay badly wanted to remain there but could not meet the Oblates’ financial requirements.
The gate was built to provide an identity to the property and to further identify Saint-Norbert as a place of special importance to Manitobans and Canadians. It has provided a place where the Saint-Norbert story can be told.
This monument consisting of a cross and plaques commemorates the Métis resistance in 1869 to the entry of troops from Eastern Canada who were expected to arrive via Pembina Highway. Word was sent to the troops that they would meet resistance if they were to come as far as Saint-Norbert.
In celebration of Canada’s 100th anniversary, a Saint-Norbert resident, Normand Tellier, built an ox cart, hitched an ox to it and set off for Batoche, Saskatchewan. Though he only made it partway, on his return, he had the ox stuffed and rigged up with the cart to perform in parades.
The building that had been the town butcher shop, located at de l’Eglise and Landry, was to be demolished. The building with its Mansard roof had quite a distinct character.
The McDougall family was among many Metis who relocated from the St. Boniface-St. Vital area to Lorette and other areas in Tache during the troubled years of 1868-70. Daniel McDougall, 27, found property to his liking south of the Seine River in 1869, staked his claim, and began plowing his field.
Heritage Saint-Norbert was approached by a group that wanted to start a market on the Place Saint-Norbert property. Heritage Saint-Norbert and the St. Norbert Foundation (now the Behavioural Health Foundation) joined together to created the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market.
Heritage Saint-Norbert commissioned a large mural that faces Pembina Highway traffic as it enters the village from the south.
In 2008, a scholarship was created from a bequest to Heritage Saint-Norbert by a longtime supporter. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student specializing in French language studies.
During various floods affecting the town, particularly the 1950 and 1966 floods, creation of dikes apparently destroyed many graves near the church. There remained no public record of these individuals.