When Cecil Rhodes School was built in 1908, it was named in honour of Cecil John Rhodes (1853 - 1902), a British-born South African statesman, financier, founder of the Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford and one of the great empire builders of the late 19th century (Encyclopedia Brittanica). The Rhodes tradition of accomplishment continues at the school named in his honour. There is hardly a professional or field of endeavour that does not have its share of Cecil Rhodes
School alumni whether in the ministry, medicine, the arts, industry, politics, government at all levels, teaching, law enforcement agencies and to sports.
Since the laying of the cornerstone on August 29, 1908 by Trustee George A. Lister, Cecil Rhodes School has always been very much a centre of social life of the community and almost every organization in the Weston community has held meetings there at one time in its history. The original school, containing 11 classrooms and one shop, was built at a cost of $64,781 (exclusive of heating and ventilating systems which added another $10,097.) When it opened, the school enrolled 164 students in Grades 1 to 7. The school population showed a steady increase, reaching 688 students in 1916. By 1917 the enrolment had grown to such a size that extra radiators were installed in the second floor hall and a class conducted there. To help overcome the crowded conditions, authority was given to build a six-room, single storey building on the site at a cost of $21,963 which was ready for occupancy in December 1918. This was known as Cecil Rhodes School No. 2. In 1919 a contract was awarded for an additional seven rooms to the building at a cost of $55,310 with a further addition in 1922 of four rooms costing $13,190. Up to 1919, education in Winnipeg consisted of two parts - an elementary school education which normally required eight years, and secondary school education which normally required four years. Those parts changed in 1919 when the Division established the policy and practice of three levels of education: the first six years which were to be known as elementary, the next three years, from Grades 7 to 9 were to be known as junior high and the last three years from Grades 10 to 12 were to be known as senior high. In 1922, students from Cecil Rhodes had a high school close to their community as the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute was built and opened that year. The year 1932 was the year the Division stopped offering instruction in Grade 12. Classes in the various subjects in that grade were offered in evening school only, with students paying a fee.
In 1939 the school board voted to provide Grade 12 classes in day school with no fee charged to those who could not afford to pay. Areorganization was necessary to accommodate the sudden increase in the number of students. Three Grade 10 classes were set up in Cecil Rhodes. A typing room was created and the full commercial option for Grade 10 was offered. The fee for Grade 12 students was eliminated in the 1940-41 school year and the subsequent increase in Grade 12 students required the establishment of Grade 11 classes. In November 1940 there were 51 Grade 11 students and both commercial and general courses were offered. The addition of these courses, as well as Grade 11 physics, required an addition to the library and also in the science laboratory. The number of students electing Grade 11 chemistry was too small to warrant the introduction of this option and these students were transferred to DMCI. Continuing plans were prepared to enlarge the science department if student enrolment justified such an expansion. The student growth failed to materialize. In 1945, the small high school department was closed to provide greater elementary accommodation. That same year, the school had a branch library and the school board added $2,000 to its budget for supplementary reading and reference material. In 1951 a contract for $139,000 was awarded for an addition of six classrooms and an auditorium in the No. 1 building and it was ready for use in 1952. The opening of Technical Vocational high school in 1951 provided an additional program for Cecil Rhodes students. In 1961, due to the overcrowded conditions, the school board decided to replace the “small school” and a contract was awarded for nearly $300,000 for 15 classrooms, three kindergarten rooms, a general purpose room and an administrative unit. A new two-storey addition in 1987 to the No. 2 school made facilities available to all students. In addition to eight regular classrooms it included a science room, music room, computer lab, a multipurpose room, staff room and general office area. The new gymnasium was equipped with shower and change room facilities, instructors’ offices and auxiliary storage areas. The existing multipurpose room was converted to a new library with renovations to the arts and crafts room. Entrances were modified to accommodate the handicapped together with the installation of an elevator to service both levels. The new addition was constructed at a cost of $2,239,140 of which $2,116,598 was provided by The Public Schools Finance Board of Manitoba Education and Training. The remaining $122,542 was provided by The Winnipeg School Division No. 1. Architect for the project was The L.M. Architectural Group, with general contracting by Gateway Construction Ltd. In 1989, the Program for Adolsecent Parents and Infant Development (PAPID) and the Program for Pregnant Teens amalgamated and moved into the Cecil Rhodes No. 1 building. The facility was officially renamed the Adolescent Parent Centre (APC) in 1991, operating as a satellite of the Winnipeg Adult Education Centre to provide junior and senior high courses to pregnant and parenting students. Modifications have been made to include child labs and a food and family studies area; the 1951 gymnasium addition has been converted into a food services area.
Cecil Rhodes No. 1
• Built: 1908 - 1909
• Contractor: Davidson Brothers
• Contract: $64,781 (actual cost $75,504)
• Site cost: $12,657
• Cornerstone:August 29, 1908 by Trustee George A. Lister
• Opened: 1909
• No. of rooms:10 plus general purpose room
Addition: 1951 - 1952
• Contractors: Peter Leitch
• Contract: $139,000 (actual cost $148,442)
• No. of rooms:6 plus gymnasium
• Opened: January 4, 1952
• Conversion to gas: 1961
Cecil Rhodes School No. 2
• Built: 1918
• Contractors: Sutherland Construction Co.
• Actual Cost: $21,963
• No. of rooms: 6
Opened: December, 1918
• Contractors: Thos. Sharpe
• Cost: $55,316
• No. of rooms: 7
• Actual cost: $13,190
• No. of rooms: 4
• Contractors: L. Ducharme & Associates Ltd.
• Contract: $299,494 (actual cost $308,288)
• Completed: January 2, 1962
• No. of rooms:18 (3 kindergarten, 1 general purpose
room, 1 adjustment room, 1 administrator’s unit)
• Conversion to gas: 1961
• Demolished:(No.2) April 14, 1962 by Atlas
Wrecking Co. Ltd.
Addition: 1965 (to new No. 2)
• Contractors: Raymond Massey Builders
• Est. cost: $58,000
• No. of rooms: 4
• Completed: October 25, 1965
• Occupied: September 1, 1965
• Architects:The L.M. Architectural Group
• Contractors: Gateway Construction Ltd.
• Contract: $2,239,140
• Official opening: February 28, 1987
• No. of rooms:(two storeys) 8 regular classrooms plus a science room, music room, computer lab, multipurpose room, staff room, general office area, new gymnasium (equipped with shower and change room facilities, instructors’ offices and auxiliary storage areas). The existing multipurpose room was converted to a new library with renovations to the arts and crafts room. Entrances were modified and an elevator
installed to accommodate the handicapped and to service both levels.
• Two portable classrooms to the north of the 1986/87 addition.
From Cecil Rhodes School website – 2007 Cecil Rhodes, born in July 5, 1853 in Bishop's Stortford, England, played a large role in shaping colonial South Africa. He was a financier, statesman, and empire builder with a philosophy of mystical imperialism. His dream was to create a "Cape to Cairo” railroad that would "Paint the Map Red" (in those days anything red was considered under British rule), along with a reconciliation of the Boers and British under the British flag and a recovery of the American colonies for the British Empire. Rhodes was prime minister of the Colony of South Africa and he tried to achieve these dreams. While he was successful in some regards, he ended up with many disappointments in his later years. One of nine children, Rhodes developed a tubercular lung condition in his teens and doctors advised his parents to send him out to South Africa so as to benefit from the country's drier, healthier climate. Instead of attending a university, Rhodes went to South Africa in 1870 to be a farmer with his brother. He ended up a diamond miner while receiving a degree from Oxford. By 1888 Rhodes managed to solidly establish the De Beers consolidated Mines, Ltd. In 1891 the company owned ninety percent of the world's diamond mines.
Cecil Rhodes 1853-1902
Cecil Rhodes died in 1902. His business endeavors made him very wealthy. He left in his will most of his wealth to Oxford University. The nearly three million pounds were used in the creation of the famous Rhodes scholarship. Rhodes decreed that these scholarships were to be awarded to young men in regard to: 'literary and scholastic attainments; his fondness of, and success in, manly outdoor sports; his qualities of manhood, truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for the protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship, and his exhibition during his school days of moral force of character and of instincts to lead and take an interest in his schoolmates'. Rhodes' original will provide for 52 scholarships each year. Twenty were for students from countries which then formed part of the British Empire (Canada, Australia, South Africa, Rhodesia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, Bermuda and Jamaica) and thirty-two were for the USA. In a codicil to his will a year before he died, Rhodes added five for Germany - having been particularly impressed with Kaiser Wilhelm after meeting him a few years previously. In 1977, the British Parliament overrode his expressed wishes that only men were eligible for the scholarships, and extended them to women as well. At the same time, the scheme was also extended to students from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, Kenya, Hong Kong and the European Community. Ninety-four Rhodes scholarships are now granted each year and to date more than 5,300 scholarships have been awarded. The most well known Rhodes Scholar of recent times is the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.