Category Archives: MGS News

2018 Annual General Meeting


  1. Reports from the Executive and Standing Committee Chairs
  2. Approval of Financial Statements
  3. Approval of MGS Constitution Revisions* (will affect election of executive)
  4. Report of Nominations Committee – Election of Officers for 2018-19
  5. Presentation of Volunteer Awards: Eric Jonasson, Florence Cox, & Joan Whiston

Proposed Constitution Changes – Summary

  1. Add 2 Members-at-Large to Executive
  2. Add 2 new Standing Committees-Social Media, MANI Operations & Management

Please see document outlining proposed revisions.

Call for Nominations – Executive Positions

  1. Elected Positions
    These incumbents’ 3-year terms have expired:
  • VP Administration
  • VP Communications
  • VP Finance
  • VP Information Technology (presently vacant)
  1. New positions (if Constitution revisions are approved)
    2 Members-at-Large

Note: Elected positions are 1-year terms, renewable for 3 terms

  1. Appointed Positions– we need expressions of interest for:
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary

Please see Job Descriptions for list of duties.

Call for Expressions of Interest – Standing Committees

MGS is completely operated by VOLUNTEERS. We presently have many hard-working program volunteers but fewer administrative volunteers. We need 13 Standing CommitteeChairsto keep MGS running. MANY of the current committee chairs have served in their positions for many years. We need some NEW people to take on leadership roles.
Note: These positions are not elected by the membership but are appointed by the MGS Executive. In order to do that, we need to know who is willing to serve. How about YOU?
Here is a complete list of the 13 Standing Committee Chairs, separated into 4 departments that correspond to their respective Vice President.

            Administration Department

Library            Research

Membership Services      Special Projects

Office Coordination Vacant

      Communication Department

Education and Outreach      Publicity

Journal      *Social Media (new)

             Finance Department

Fundraising      Grants and Applications Vacant

      Information Technology Department

Computer and Network Operations Vacant

*MANI Management and Operation (new)

Please see Job Descriptions for list of duties.

Winnipeg Public Library Presentation

Wednesday, May 30: 6:30-8:30 pm
Even if you can’t read French, researching French Canadian ancestry can be easier than you think. For most people, French Canadian ancestry can be traced back fairly easily due to records that were well documented and preserved.
The workshop will explore church records, répertoire (indexes), various databases (free and subscription) and ‘DIT’ names. Free. Registration required.

100-131 Provencher Boulevard
Phone, visit or go online at to register.

Presented by Jayne Paradis, founding member of the Manitoba Genealogy Society and active Society volunteer for the last twenty years.


Upcoming MGS Outreach Activities

MGS will be hosting informational and promotional displays at two events this summer, organized by MGS Outreach Chair, Bill Curtis. Volunteers are needed at both events to help inform the public about MGS. If you can volunteer for a couple of hours, please email: You may know of other events that would be appropriate for MGS to attend. If so, let Bill now. We are always looking for opportunities.

Manitoba Highland Gathering

Saturday/Sunday June 24-25, Legacy Park, East Selkirk, R.M. of St. Clements, Hwy. 59 and PR # 212.

Folklorama – Pavilion of Scotland

Sunday, August 13 to Saturday, August 19, Glenwood Community Club, 27 Overton St.

Many of our volunteers have worked tirelessly at these events for many years (some as many as 40 years). It is time to add some new people to our volunteer pool.


2017 MGS Volunteer Awards

Two awards were presented at the MGS AGM on June 3:
1. The Eric Jonasson Award of Merit is the major award given by MGS. It was created in 1999 to honour Eric Jonasson for his contributions to MGS. He was one of the founding members of the Society in 1976 and was the first President, serving until 1980. Eric wrote his first genealogical guide “Tracing Your Icelandic Family Tree” in the 1970’s, followed by “The Canadian Genealogical Handbook” in 1976. In 1983, he published “Untangling Your Family Tree”. The 2017 winner is Virginia Braid from the SE/Winnipeg Branch.

2. The Florence Cox Volunteer Service Award was created in 1999 before Flo passed away in 2000. Flo was a member of MGS from 1979. She was an active volunteer in the Library and helped out in the indexing of many Manitoba cemeteries. Flo donated a new photocopier in her will to the Society, for which we were all very grateful. The Florence Cox Awards are presented in acknowledgement of exceptional service to MGS. More that one award can be made each year. The 2017 winners are Sheila Shearer and Stacey Shackel from the Southwest Branch, and Sheila Woods from the SE/Winnipeg Branch. Congratulations to all the recipients.

2017 MGS Annual General Meeting

The 2017 AGM was held on Saturday, June 3 at 11:15 am at the Northwest Law Enforcement Academy in Winnipeg. The meeting included the 2016-17 Annual Reports and financial statements, election of Executive officers, and presentation of MGS awards. The 2017-18 Executive officers elected at the AGM (for 1-year terms) are:
President – Jayne Paradis, VP Administration – Virginia Braid, VP Communications – Janice Butcher, VP Finance – Rick McLellan, VP Information Technology – vacant.

The Secretary and Treasurer will be appointed by the MGS Executive at the first meeting after the AGM. The 8-member MGS Executive also includes Past President, Jim Oke. A special thank you to Jim for his contribution as President over the last three years.

2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation and Promotion

Long-time MGS member, Kathy Stokes, has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation and Promotion. This award, initiated in 2011, is presented in consultation with the Manitoba Historical Society to people who have rendered prolonged, meritorious service in the preservation and promotion of Manitoba’s history and heritage. Awards are presented annually in a ceremony at Government House. This year’s awards were presented on May 11. A red maple tree will be planted in a local park in honour of each of the five 2017 recipients.
Kathy’s citation follows: “Kathy Stokes has been an active member of the Manitoba Genealogical Society since 1976, having served as its President twice, and the Chair of its Special Projects Committee since 1980. She was instrumental in the creation, preservation, and public presentation of transcription records for over 1300 cemeteries throughout Manitoba, and is now helping to transfer this information into an online computer database (MANI). She gives regular seminars on genealogy and has written numerous columns for the Society’s journal, as well as several books on family history in Manitoba. She has also worked with the Fort Garry Historical Society and the Manitoba Heritage Federation. In 2013, her work was recognized with the Lieutenant Governor’s “Make a Difference Community Award.”


Thank You from MGS

Two organizations have been very helpful to MGS over the years in providing obituaries for our records:

  1. Winnipeg Free Press. For 40 years the Winnipeg Free Press has supplied the Research Committee with copies of their obituary pages so they can be indexed. 
  2. Portage la Prairie Regional Library. The Library, courtesy of Librarian Percy Gregoire- Voskampe, has provided obituaries from the Portage Daily Graphic for the years 1929-2015. 

MGS greatly appreciates these contributions to the work that we do.