Canada’s Wolf Cub Pack was born on Sackville Street

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of St. James (starting just west of St. James Street to Sturgeon Road) breaking away from Assiniboia to form their own municipality, I am doing street profiles. This column features Sackville Street. 

Fred Morris
From the desk of a gadfly

On May 27, and 28, 1928, the Winnipeg Flying Club opened an airfield called the Stevenson Aerodome. By 1931, Northwest Airlines was running Flights between Pembina North Dakota and Winnipeg. During the 1930’s, Sackville Street was the main road for cars going to the new Airport. The 1942 Henderson Directory records Sackville Street as part of Douglas Park Road. On November 18, 1941, St. James Council rejected a proposed to rename Sackville Street to Douglas Park Road. 

During the post WW2 era, Hy Rykiss and Dave Finkleman operated Canada Drugs which was a neighbourhood meeting place. Many St. James Collegiate students visited the lunch counter after school. In 2019, Amherst Park was renamed Kapyong Park (1) The Park remembers Canadian sacrifices in the Korean War Battle of Kapyong. Let us remember some of the people who lived part of their lives on Sackville.

 In 1914, Charles McPherson and Samuel Reid are the first Sackville Street residents listed in the Henderson Directory. In 1915 , Frank Thompson’s son Ron was too young to join his older brothers Frank Jr. and Don in Scouts. In response, Frank formed Canada’s first Wolf Cub Pack. 

On December 9, 1915, the Cubs’ first meeting was held in a vacant Belvidere Street house. Ron became a teacher. In 1938/39, he was part of a teacher exchange with South Africa. Between 1956 and 1966, Ron became the Superintendent for the St. James School Division. 

Joyce Frame served as the vice principal of Silver Heights Collegiate. In her later years, Joyce organized social events at Kiwanis Courts. Joyce lived to be 102. James Weir Cowan (2) was the principal of Bannatyne and Strathmillan School. Carol Ball taught French to my children. Jennifer Lawson is a University Instructor and author of a series of books called Hands on to Help Teachers. Jennifer has led the polls in the last three St. James Assiniboia School Board elections. There a two education awards named after her parents. 

The Norman E. Lawson award is awarded at St. James Collegiate to a Grade 9 student for citizenship and academic achievement. Norm was a St. James school trustee. The Isabelle Lawson Home Care Award is awarded to a student in the Continuing Home Care Program. In 1970, Patty Power was one of 70 Manitoba students in a Canadian Council of Christians and Jews exchange student program with Quebec students. 

Manitoba Hockey Hall of Famer Kevin McCarthy grew up on Sackville. In 1976/77, Kevin while playing for the Winnipeg Monarchs, recorded a then record 105 assists for a defenceman in the Major Junior Western Canada Hockey League . Kevin was player on the 1988 AHL Calder Cup Champions Hershey Bears. As an Assistant Coach, Kevin won the Stanley Cup with the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes. Gary Frost played on the 1965 Deer Lodge Bantam B Manitoba championship team. Gary Frost and Garry Yelland played against each other in the First St. James Civic Centre hockey game. Al Manley played for the 1964 St. James Jimmies team that won the Annual St. James Holiday Basketball Tournament. Al went on to play in Winnipeg’s Senior A Basketball League. In 1968, Fred Lewington, at the age of 77, scored a hole in one at the Assiniboine Golf Club.

During the early days of the Winnipeg Airport, Stanley Knight lived on Sackville and worked as an engineer and a station manager for Trans Canada Airlines. In 1938 , Stanley was involved in the first flights that carried mail. Firefighter Tom Bilous has held various positions including vice president with the United Firefighters of Winnipeg.

There are many Sackville Street human interest stories. On December 21, 1940, Donald Nisbet’s story, the Ghost of Tiny Tim, won the Prize story in the Winnipeg’s Free Press Christmas story contest. In 1950, Carol and Richard Limmert were christened in their Sackville Street home with five Great Grandparents in attendance. In 1957, the Winnipeg Free Press did a story on John and Maud Glassey attending every evening event of the Manitoba Music Festival. In 1959, Karen Tippet, age 18 months, is pictured on the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press looking into a microscope. In 1962, Albert Guichon a CPR Conductor saved a boy’s life. The boy was about to fall under a moving train. In 1969, Catharine and Robert Hamilton celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Robert, a Boer War Veteran, worked as a jeweller for Eatons. Between 1957 and 1970 Buster the family dog of the Frost family daily walked with postmen. Buster helped the postmen deal with unfriendly dogs.

Your Feedback is welcome. The next story will be about a street that has two spellings.

Fred Morris describes himself as a political activist and sometime political candidate.

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1. The Park has an Amherst Street address, but the western border is on Sackville Street

2. I used Mr. Cowan’s middle name to avoid confusion with another James Cowan who was a backbencher in the Roblin Government