Plainview Colony student among Man. best

To say the least, the covid pandemic has been disruptive to so many events in our world and the annual Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Literary and Poster competition was no exception. However, thousands of students across the country took part in the event despite the many delays that were faced.

Plainview Hutterite Colony, west of Elkhorn has been actively involved for many years with its students being selected as winners in all grades. Recently, in the intermediate category a black and white poster done by a colony student went to the legion’s Provincial Command for judging.

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This an impressive feat, considering the school only has 41 students from K to Grade 12 and a staff of seven part-time and full-time members. In fact, over the past few years the school has had 27 first and second place winners at the local level. 

A special presentation was held at the school for Grade 9 student Cristina Waldner, a provincial level winner. To reach this stage her art work was judged at the legion branch level, moving on to zone, district and then provincial level.

The provincial level included entries from all over Manitoba and Northwest Ontario. If she had been successful at the provincial level, the next step would have been the national level, with the winning submission printed in the legion’s national magazine and her work hung in the National War Museum in Ottawa for one year. 

The presentation was held on the front lawn of the old school and was attended by local school trustee Margaret Walker, who brought greetings from Fort La Bosse School Division and congratulations to all the students who took part in the competition.

The MC for the event was legion member Margaret James, area coordinator for the legion event. Also in attendance were Zone 26 Commander Mike Ramsden and Joan Wright, District 2 Commander.

Cristina was presented a certificate of recognition and a gift card by comrade Wright.

New school building

After the ceremony, school principal Michelle Shaw took us for a tour of the colony’s new school that’s being built.

The school has been under construction for a few years now since most of the work is done by the colony members, except for some technical aspects of the build. It’s been a long process as the members of the colony have to continue with their farming, egg and hog operations, but the build is nearing the end.

In a tour of the building, the first thing that caught my eye was the large gym with its acoustic baffles and room for a possible permanent or portable stage. The old school did not have a gym, so this gym will be a great addition to their annual Christmas school concert, that in non-covid times brings in friends and neighbors from far and wide.

On an upper area of the school is located all the mechanical infrastructure, out of site and out of the way. The new school will include an air exchange system, air conditioning, computer and WIFI connections.

In each of the washroom areas there’s a special accessibility section and student cloakrooms, staff room and teacher prep room. The class rooms are all very big with windows looking out over the prairie fields and grassland.

The school will also include a class room for the German language program that’s carried out each day after the regular classes are over.

Mrs. Shaw said she understood why the project was taking time, as the life on the colony is so busy in many other ways. But she hopes it will be finished before she retires and she’s very happy with the promise of all the improvements it will have to offer students and staff.  

© Virden Empire-Advance