chvnradio.com

Now Playing What just played?

THE COLOR

ONE SURE THING

Listen Live

The Misericordia Education and Research Centre is trying to increase awareness of Agnes Wilkie and her story. 

According to the centre, Agnes grew up in Carman and graduated from Misericordia's School of Nursing in 1927. She then volunteered to serve as a Nursing Sister in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1942 during the Second World War.

After a shore visit with her parents Agnes boarded the SS Caribou, which was travelling off the shore of Eastern Canada when it was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat, according to Dr. Barbara Paterson, chair of the Misericordia Heritage Collection Policy and Planning Committee. 

While many people were flung into the ocean as the boat started to sink, Paterson says Agnes and a dietitian named Margaret were able to get out. 

"They opened the cabin door and went right into the water because there was nothing left," Paterson said. "It was October in the Atlantic Ocean so the water was absolutely freezing, but they swam to one of the only life boats to survive the explosion where there were several people who were hysterical because they had lost their family members and didn't know what happened." 

agnes story 2Agnes Wilkie's graduation photo is hung on the wall at the Misericordia Education and Research Centre

"Agnes and Margaret kept people calm, they prayed and sang songs and these people later recalled how if it weren't for that intervention, they wouldn't have made it." 

Unfortunately Agnes died of hypothermia just a few hours after the attack. Paterson says Margaret survived, and many years later died at the age of 100. 

"I think history is very important and it soon gets lost if we don't revisit it," Paterson said. "There are people who work at Misericordia, people in Winnipeg, people in Carman who are not aware of what an amazing person she was."

"I think we need to celebrate her and say to ourselves, 'how is our history informing who we are today?'"

The Misericordia Education and Research Centre has a number of historical records detailing Agnes' story. That includes artifacts from her acceptance into the Navy, her Misericordia report card, graduation pictures, her first paycheck and excerpts from a book and newspaper articles that detail the sinking of the SS Caribou. 

"In her report card they describe her as warm and gentle and the Navy also described her that way," Paterson said with a chuckle. "She was clearly a very caring person and very brave person as well." 

Agnes has a monument at the Carman cemetery and has received honours in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador as well. Wilkie Lake in Northern Manitoba is also named in her honour. 

"A newspaper account of the incident quoted a survivor saying Agnes never worried about herself," Paterson said. "She was asking people if they were OK and telling them 'you can do this.'" 

Share this story!

Church ladies go to jail

Each month a group of Mennonite women from Winnipeg go to prison.

Blood moon lunar eclipse to occur Sunday

Sunday, turn your eyes to the sky for a lunar eclipse you won't want to miss.

Shake off the winter blues this weekend: January 18-20

The excitement of the Christmas and New Year's season may be over for another year and…

Stolen semi leaves path of destruction on Winnipeg streets

Winnipeg Police are currently investigating a stolen semi-truck that left a trail of…

Youth worship band touching lives with the gospel message

Steinbach Bible College's student praise and worship band Free Servant is gearing up for…

WATCH: A family 'in a season of great faith.'

The Froese family came into the CHVN studios to worship with us this week.

Siloam Mission facing challenges with bitter cold temperatures

This time of year is especially trying for Siloam Mission in meeting the needs of the…

Extreme cold warning in effect for most of Manitoba

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for much of southern Manitoba…

Loaves of love warm hearts in the North

Eastview Community Church has been sharing the love of Jesus one loaf of banana bread at…

71-year-old pilot rescued

A man is home safe and sound thanks to an amazing rescue operation.

Power outage affects Charleswood and St. James

It's a cold and dark start to the day for people living in St. James and Charleswood.

Canadian churches urge PM to prohibit nuclear weapons

The Canadian Council of Churches has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to…

James MacDonald going on indefinite sabbatical

A megachurch pastor has asked for prayers as he prepares to step aside from leadership…

Parents lose fight to homeschool children in Germany

A German family has lost another battle in their bid to homeschool their children.

Local church embraces live painting as another form of worship

A few times per year congregants at The Meeting Place in Winnipeg get to see the teaching…

Brossoit backstops Jets past Golden Knights

Laurent Brossoit won his seventh straight start as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Vegas…

Lauren Daigle giving back

Lauren Daigle is using her recent boost of fame to help support children living in…

WATCH: The Color debuts new song

Manitoba artists The Color recently debuted their brand new single which will be out on…

Power restored to hundreds in Sturgeon Creek

A power outage had left about 200 customers without heat on one of the coldest days this…

Red River Valley bracing for strong cold front

A blowing snow advisory has been issued by Environment Canada this afternoon.