Sadly MGS has learned of the closing of the Swan Valley Branch due to declining membership. The branch started in 1988 with Glen McKenzie as the first president. Eric Neufeld became the president in 1992 and has remained president ever since, a time span of 24 years. Donna Fox has served as branch secretary since its beginning and Helen Ellingson has been the branch treasurer since 1993. Both Eric Neufeld and Donna Fox have received the Eric Jonasson Award from MGS.
One of the main contributions of the Swan Valley Branch was preparing and submitting to MGS annual indexes of obituaries from the Swan Valley “Star and Times” newspaper. Helen Ellingson did much of this work from 1983 – 2014, with assistance from Donna Fox. The Branch also prepared cemetery transcriptions, held monthly meetings, and had a small library in the Swan River Library, including books and an early settlers’ map. The Branch will be holding a meeting on April 12 to wrap up their affairs. Some books will be donated to the Swan River Library and some to the MGS Library.
MGS will miss the Swan Valley Branch and its members. It feels like we have lost a branch off of our “family tree”. Former Branch members are invited to continue with the MB Genealogical Society to receive the many benefits of membership including free access to the new MANI database for searching ancestors, borrowing privileges by mail from the MGS Library, and copies of the journal “Generations”.