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These push and pull factors also produced changes within the municipality. In 1961 over 50 per cent of the population in Rhineland still lived on the farm, but by 1966 this had dropped to 46 per cent. More than half of the residents of Rhineland now lived in Altona and other smaller villages and towns. This type of urbanization is understandable when one realizes that in 1970 the average resident of Altona had an income of over a thousand dollars more a year than the average Rhine­ land farmer.' Out of a total income of approximately $3,000 this represented a large differential.

Fig. 31 Population of the R.M. of Rhineland and Area Towns

1961-1981

Altona

1961 2026
1966 2129
1971 2122
1976 2480
1981 2757

Source: Census of Canada.

Gretna 575 561 522 510 545

Plum Coulee 510 531 480 477 597

R.M. Rhineland 6003

5339

4776 4550

4525

Total 9114 8560 7980 8172 8424

Modernization was also evident in the educational and political developments in Rhineland. In 1954 Rhineland residents had turned down the multi-district plan for secondary schools, but in the early 1960's this question again came to the fore as high school enrollments began to climb. Those districts offering high school classes in Rhine­ land were experiencing serious overcrowding and began considering restricting enrollment to non-residents."

Altona trustees, in particular, were convinced that the increased grants and larger tax base of the school division plan were necessary to provide adequate school facilities.' In this they were supported by the Rhineland School Trustees Association and the Altona Echo. The Rhineland School Trustees began holding meetings to investigate the possibility of asking for a second vote regarding the division plan.

The arguments presented in favour of the multi-district dealt with both monetary considerations and the quality of education. Under the divisional plan, it was argued, the area would be eligible for signifi­ cantly more government grants lowering the cost of education in the area and expanding the high school curriculum. This new plan, the Echo editorial argued, was essential for the educational progress in the area. 8

By August of 1962 the Rhineland Trustees Association had col­ lected the necessary signatures to hold a second vote concerning the division plan and on March 29, 1963, the plan was approved by a vote of 1,417 to 880. While a number of polls had small majorities, only three

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