Bieberdorf Marker Sign Unveiling
With the ringing of the school bell by former teacher Hertha (Martsch) Appelt, the unveiling ceremony for the Bieberdorf School marker/sign was officially opened. Approximately 80 former students, teachers, relatives, family descendants and friends gathered at the old Bieberdorf School site on July 1/ 2005, exactly 93 years from the opening of the School on July 1, 1912. They came not only for the unveiling but also to touch their roots and renew their memories and old friendships.
MC Jack Robson introduced the co-chairperson of the Prairie Rose Historical Society and leader of the Haliburton Project -Dorothy Pomfret, secretary –treasurer of the Society –Audrey Klatt, co-ordinators of the School marker committees in attendance, Grant Davidson- Stoner Rest, Alfred Schiman- Deer Plain, Prairie Rose- Vorgeen Wacker and Otterburn- Ida McLaren. The Bieberdorf committee was very capably led by Mervin Rucks with valuable assistance from wife Darlene, Walter Klinger, Victor Weiss and Clark Wilson.
Bieberdorf School #2517 was constructed in the northwest corner of the NE 9-32-20-W2 at a total cost of $850 for the school and stable. It was named for Reinhold Bieberdorf who homesteaded on the SE22-32-20 N-W of Victor and Marg Weiss’ farm. Miss Munroe of Wynyard was the first teacher and she earned $60 per month. Enrollment reached 48 students in the early 30’s. The School closed in 1957 and the last teacher was Miss Loreen(Paetsch) Lemke. Bieberdorf School was moved to Jansen by Norman and Clara Abell for their residence. It is owned now by Erna Weiss. The complete history of Bieberdorf School , compiled by Victor Weiss, can be found in the History Book, “Prairie Rose Memories”.
Former teachers that returned to Bieberdorf for the ceremony were Mary Hellyer(who we know as Sue Koshinsky) 1942-45 and 48-49, Hertha (Martsch) Appelt (1947-48) and Mary (Leffler) Kiehn 1950.
Our Member of Parliament representing the federal constituency of Blackstrap, Lynne Yelich, was in attendance and addressed the gathering. Ms. Yelich donated the flags which wave very proudly over the Bieberdorf and Deer Plain markers.
The beautiful marker/sign constructed by Wilfred Mollenbeck of St. Gregor, was unveiled by Sue Koshinsky and Roy Klinger. It is of metal construction with a drawing of the School etched in the steel. The inscription reads, Bieberdorf , NE 9-32-20-W2, SD # 2517, 1912-1957. Following the singing of “School Days” and many photos, everyone moved to the Jansen Community Centre for refreshments and more socializing.
Wilfred Hein performed a song that he had written about his days at Bieberdorf called “School Days”, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The entertainment was closed by an impromptu performance by Charles and the Bieberdorf Choir.
All former students and teachers would like to thank Mervin, in particular, and his helpers for the beautiful marker that now stands in the place of our old school. Many memories will be preserved in our sign for ourselves and those who follow.
We dedicate the marker/sign to the memory of our Bieberdorf Pioneers, to all Bieberdorf teachers and students and to the glory of God.