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WHS receives third award from Association of Manitoba Museums

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Three times is the charm for the Winnipegosis Historical Society (WHS). The WHS board received an Award of Excellence from the Manitoba Association of Museums at a banquet in Winnipeg, Sept. 23.
“This is a recognition of our contribution to Manitoba museums,” explained WHS president Pauline Riley, noting the group won similar awards in 2013 and 2014.
The award is for the restoration and preservation of Medd House, she said, along with preserving the stories of Dr. Medd and his family.
“It’s a feather in our cap. We now have two award winning museums in our community of less than 700 people. So we’re very proud of it,” Riley added.
Medd House is one of the last grand wooden homes in Winnipegosis, she said, which was built at the inception of the village.
Built in 1900 for George Bellamy, it was purchased by Dr. Medd in 1914, when he married Mary Agnes McArthur.
The couple had five children and the home served as the residence for the Medd family and as the doctor’s office.
It was also the first hospital, as operations were performed on his dining room table or kitchen table until 1927.
“He lent significant contribution to the community, because he wasn’t only the doctor. He was very involved in the community and its activities and so was his wife,” Riley explained.
Medd family members lived in the house continuously until the 1970s, she said, and it was then kept as a summer residence.
Medd served as doctor for five nearby First Nations communities, was chair of the local school board, the medical examiner, plus a member of the Masonic and Elks Lodges.
“And in 2011, the family donated the house to be used as a museum,” Riley said, noting they left some of the original furniture and personal effects, as well.
There have been many renovations to the building, she added, to maintain its integrity and the most recent work was in the kitchen.
Riley is pleased with the recognition, noting the small community has a lot of history to offer visitors.
Winnipegosis does not get as many tourists travelling to the community, as Riley would like, and WHS is busy trying to pull them in.
“And hopefully that (award) will add to the amount of visitors we get,” she said, adding tourism is an economic development opportunity for rural communities.
The group won an award of excellence in 2014, Riley said, for the conservation and preservation of the Winnipegosis Museum in the 1897 CN Railway Station, plus an award of merit in 2013 for Riley’s fund-raising activities.
The current award comes from the 142 members of the AMM, she said, noting the board is honoured to receive it from its peers.
“It’s recognition of the work that the board has done,” Riley said, adding WHS has a board of 10 volunteers.
Most rural museums are run by volunteers, she said, pointing out it requires a lot of work, but it is nice to be recognized.
There are 200 museums in Manitoba, Riley explained, and 13 are in the Parkland, while 40 are in Winnipeg.
For more information call Riley at 204-656 4273.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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