About Our School

Walter Whyte Collegiate and School

submitted by Walter Whyte

Before the province introduced the forming of school divisions, the area lying north of the Brokenhead Indian Reserve to Victoria Beach consisted of eight schools all under the Dept. of Education, and the responsibility of the appointed "Official Trustees". These schools were situated about five to seven miles apart, with no transportation: Stony Point, Beaconia, Balsam Bay, Grand Marais, Dunlop, Hillside Beach, Belair and Victoria Beach.

Two of the schools, Grand Marais and Victoria Beach, offered Grades 1 to 11, with two teachers. The other six schools taught Grades 1 to 8. Any student wishing to further their education could do so by enrolling in a correspondence course, but could still attend their own school.

A number of public meetings were held within the area and the parents along with the Trustee, Walter Whyte, came to the decision to build a four room school in the most central part of the area. This school would serve those wishing to attend Grades 9 to 11. Anyone wishing to take Grade 12, could do so, and the School Board would subsidize their living allowance at any school of their choice, within the Province of Manitoba.

With the approval of the Dept. of Education and local authorities the School Board purchased 6 acres of land in 1960, free of costs, in the LGD of Alexander. The school was under construction by June of 1960, and opened for classes in the fall term of the same year.

With the opening of the school, two school buses were necessary to provide transportation for all the students from Grades 9 to 11 within the area. The school was proudly named the "Walter Whyte Collegiate" and was fully modern boasting of hydro, indoor plumbing and heating.

The Belair School was moved to the site and with renovations and some modernization soon became the Walter Whyte Teacherage.

When the Lord Selkirk School Division was formed in 1967 it was decided that Walter Whyte Collegiate should eventually cease its operation as a Grade 9 to 11 institution. With many meetings and much discussion, it was decided to consolidate the 8 area schools into Walter Whyte and that it should become a Kindergarten to Grade 9 School within the boundaries of the Lord Selkirk School Division No. 11.

The 4-room school was enlarged by adding another 9 rooms. The old portion became a Kindergarten Room, two rooms were knocked down to make one large multipurpose area, with the 4th room becoming the large change room with showers off the Gymnasium. There were 9 other rooms added, making it a most modern and up to date school.

The school had a gala opening in 1970 with all the surrounding communities taking part. When Tony Miller became Principal of the new Walter Whyte School, the teacherage was enlarged by the addition of a mobile hut to accommodate his family.

The next Principal was Terry Dann and in 1982 he was replaced by Bob Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson spent part time in the teacherage and the rest of the time commuting to his home in Selkirk. Mr. Tony Miller transferred to Mapleton School and Terry Dann to the new Lockport School. Mr. Jefferson had been at Happy Thought School in East Selkirk as VicePrincipal before taking over the responsibility of Walter Whyte.

The Walter Whyte School underwent some beautifying in 1982/83 with the addition of shrubs, trees and flowers to enhance the landscaping. The exterior received a fresh appearance with the application of paint.

When Scanterbury School burned to the ground in 1982, the Band agreed to have their kindergarten to Grade 3 students bussed to Walter Whyte. Their teacher, Charlene Fox, made the move with them and they comfortably relocated until such time as the Band rebuilt another school on the Reserve, Sgt. Tommy Prince School.

Walter Whyte School is currently a K-Gr. 9. The Gr. 7-9 students are bussed to ESMS for their Tech. Ed. and Human Ecology courses and the Gr. 4, 5 and 7 students to the LSRCSS for swimming lessons.

Walter Whyte is an excellent school that services the northern part of the Lord Selkirk School Division. It is a most integral part of the educational system and much of its boundary contains some of the most beautiful seasonal and recreational area in the province.