Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Bruxelles, Manitoba is another of the unique communities on the prairies. While most towns abut the railway tracks, or, if "mis-placed", moved themselves to the tracks when the train arrived, this group of Belgian Catholic immigrants settled on a small outlying knob of the Tiger Hills, centering the community on their church. 

Bruxelles never grew large. A school, run by the church Sisters and erected in the 1950s, remains on the edge of town. The grocery / hardware / post office / gas station / bank holds down the west end of town where the road ends at the old stable.

On the edge of the churchyard is small shrine of thanks to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This solid brick shrine was built in 1931 by Remi and Therese Simoens. The shrine, moved to Bruxelles when the elderly Simoens retired from the farm, fulfilled their promise to the Virgin for her intercession in the recovery of their 26 year old daughter, Alice Hacault, from deathly illness.

Bruxelles remains a quiet, hospitable point, one of my favorite backwaters of rural Manitoba.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to an anon. commentator for correcting the spelling of Simoens. David Nov 1, 2011