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DGJMS turns 50, hosts community celebration

By Juliet Kadzviti/The Interlake Spectator

From left: DGJMS mascot, Daniel Johnson, Oscar Belanger, Thor Stevens, and Vera Balaban after cutting the ribbon at DGJMS’ 50th anniversary celebration Oct. 5.

From left: DGJMS mascot, Daniel Johnson, Oscar Belanger, Thor Stevens, and Vera Balaban after cutting the ribbon at DGJMS’ 50th anniversary celebration Oct. 5.

To mark it’s 50th anniversary since opening, Dr. George Johnson Middle School in Gimli held a community celebration and ribbon cutting in its gymnasium Oct. 5.


The well-attended event celebrated the school’s accomplishments over the years, and was also a nod to its namesake Dr. George Johnson.


In opening, Principal Jim Gibbs recounted some key events in the schools half century history.


The school was opened in 1967, with the gymnasium opening in 1968.


 It was named after Johnson, who was the Minister of Education at the time, through a contest run for students by the Gimli Women’s Institute.


Johnson’s family and himself have stayed connected to the school, donating sweaters for students each year, Gibbs noted during the ceremony.


Daniel Johnson , George’s son, attended the celebration on behalf of his family.


He told the crowd his father “fondly remembered the opening.”


He also thanked the school for always keeping his family in mind over the years.


Lillian Wlosek, a former teacher at DGJMS, recalled some of her fondest memories of the grand opening of the school.


She mentioned that through the years, one thing has remained the same for all educators who have worked at the school- their responsibility to prepare students to be good citizens in their communities.


Gibbs, in closing reiterated Wlosek’s message saying, “It’s still what’s important to us- growing kids to be good people,” he said.


The ceremony was interspersed with singing from the school choir and a rendition of ‘O Canada’ from the school band.


 Students Keenan Karish and Nathan Vigfusson also presented an interesting fun fact section on things that happened in 1967.


Staff and invited guests were treated to cake and conversation after the official ceremony.


As well, former student Thor Stevens, who was present at the school’s original ribbon cutting, (and only five-years-old),  also spoke at the event.


Other attendees, included members of the ESD board of trustees.  



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