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The Altona group, however, was not without recourse. This group passed a motion stating that the school location be decided by the town receiving the highest number of votes, rather than the two-thirds major­ ity called for in the constitution. When the vote was finally taken, Altona was the preferred location with 179 votes. Gretna followed with 151 votes and Winkler trailed with 119. Upon hearing these results, H. H. Ewert rose to his feet and moved that the election be made unan­ imous, which it was.

Following this vote the MEl Board proceeded to purchase ten acres of land on the west side of Altona and sent H. H. Ewert and Gerhard Wiebe to Brandon to study a similar institution, and formulate a building plan. By 1907 a decision had been made to build a three storey building costing $10,000.

This, however, did not end the controversy. The school was con­ sidered both a business asset and a sign of prestige and some Gretna businessmen had given considerable sums of money in support of the school. These Gretna leaders had never accepted the decision taken on May 22 and a few weeks after the meeting rumours were heard that

M.E.I. Altona Opening 1908.

Credit:CMCA

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