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Church for its building site, at a time when there wasn't a church west of Portage. (This old building is still standing.) He purchased a block of land in the centre of Portage (around where the Collegiate is situated) and gave it to the Portage la Prairie Agricultural Society who held the first Agricultural Fair in this area on those grounds. He was a public spirited man and gave freely of his time and efforts whenever needed and won recognition as an M.L.A. - a post he held for several terms. When Kenneth McKenzie passed away in 1910 he was borne to his last resting place in the Burnside cemetery, the cemetery for which he had donated land also.
Actually, before he donated land for a cemetery there was one on the Matt Ferris farm which later became the Galbraith farm (on the Edwin road sou th of the C.P.R. tracks). It was abandoned in favour of the one on the McKenzie land, which is still being used - on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway.
School classes were held in Mathew Ferris' home until a school was built. Miss Emma Ferris was the teacher.
The school building was made of hewed logs according to J.
H. Metcalfe in Tread of the Pioneers. Records show that 600 ft. of lumber for $12.00, nails, whitewash, stove-pipes and a stove (box) were purchased for $24.00, plus 30c worth of paint. A lock and some windows were also mentioned. No doubt the lumber was used in the interior of the schooL
On Nov. 12th, 1875 it was reported that Miss S. 1. Harvey had applied for the position of teacher; also, that by the end of the year $116.88 was the total tax collection. The record book for that year was signed by Wm. Kitson, Sec.-Treas.
Miss Harvey became the first teacher in the newly built school at a salary of $260.00 per year.
Expenses were paid as the receipts came in and the teacher's salary was very often in arrears - so they had to give her a note until such time as they could afford to pay her. In fact they sometimes borrowed from the odd settler to keep the school opera ting!
In 1879 there was a Mr. Edwards teaching who was paid $40.00 in March. At this time they were still paying Miss Harvey back wages. (She had accepted a position in Winnipeg.) As an indica tion of resourcefulness, in Jan., 1880, they gave Mr. Edwards a payment of value in beefl
In spite of the hardships of teaching in those days, such as no indoor plumbing, cold floors in winter and poor ventilation in