This post was published with the help of my daughter Emilie.
On February 12, I was involved in a snowmobile accident that could have been deadly. Luckily, I was quickly rescued and taken care of. I should not be left with any long term sequela, but I do have several months of recovery ahead of me. I am still in hospital and a cervical collar is supporting my neck. I will not be able to pursue my Web activities for the next weeks. You can continue to make modifications and add information, but I will only be able to approve them when I return. I have to put all my efforts into my recovery.
Thank you for your understanding. I look forward to seeing you again!
Jean-Marie Paquin (administrator)
From South America to Hangzhou, China
GILLES PAQUIN Journalist
In 1985, I brought my family to Argentina, but I never thought I would be back to this country so soon specially with my grandchildren and a Cirque du Soleil troupe. I am exaggerating a bit because it’s my son Guillaume who asked me to come over to Buenos Aires and watched him in the preparation of a new performance of the famous Montreal company. My wife and I were, this time, ordinary visitors happy to reconnect with this endearing city.
Sister Agnès-Marie Valois known as the « white angel » by the Canadians she had treated, following the bloody Dieppe raid in Normandy during the Second World War, died Thursday according to the Dieppe municipal authorities. She was 103 years old.
She was born Agnès Valois at Rouen in 1914 into an industrial family. She studied at the Red Cross to be a nurse and became a nun in 1936 with the Order of the Augustines de la miséricorde de Jésus.
At the time of the Dieppe landing on August 19, 1942, she was a nurse at the Rouen Hôtel-Dieu hospital which was under the thumb of the Germans. Hundreds of wounded soldiers part of the Jubilee operation of the Allied arrived at that location.
The raid was intended to weaken the German infrastructures on the french coast prior to move on to England. The operation was a deadly failure, Some 6,000 men were involved consisting of 5,000 Canadians and 1,000 British soldiers. More than a thousand were killed and two thousand were made war prisoners.
At the hospital, sister Agnès-Marie Valois, took care of the wounded soldiers with dedication and courage like other nuns were caring regardless of the danger it represented with the Germans, not too keen on supplying medical attention to soldiers who had just made a commando operation against them.
Alot of anecdotes are remembered of the terrible evening and following days. Sister Agnès-Marie was able to convince a german ophtalmologist to treat a soldier who loosing his eyesight, she save the life of another one badly wounded by discouraging an ennemy soldier to finish him off. She kept operating to heal the soldiers, under German threats and violence, to the point of even stealing goodies from the german reserves for the wounded soldiers.
Siste Agnès-Marie was decorated of the National Order of Merit, she obtained the Medal of Meritorious Service and the rank of Knight and Officer of the Legion of Honor.
She relocated to the Thibermont monastery at Martin-Église near Dieppe in 1968 when the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital of Rouen was closed. She pursued providing health care as a nurse at the Dieppe hospital until her retirement in 1979.
Sister Agnès-Marie took part of several raid commemorations of the August 19, 1942. She was able to meet numerous persons she took care of during the war. The mayor Nicolas Langlois of Dieppe made a statement to the effect that she represented for the canadian nation as well as for the Dieppe community a personality apart, a symbolic and particularly endearing heroine.
Dieppe, which has celebrated its centennial in 2004, put all its flags at half-mast and willpay her a solemn tribute on Tuesday at the Vertus cemetery where the majority of the Canadian victims of the 1942 raid rest.
Thank you to our cousin of Normandy, Marie-Andrée Rouault, for having informed me of this new.
This text is still relevant even if it dates from 1988
I knew my father, Émile, what he was doing, his way of thinking. I heard , a little, of someone named Arthur, but I never knew much about him…
I even saw him when I was just a kid. I heard nothing about Onésime, Pierre or Paul…What were they doing? What was their way of thinking? A big mystery and no one to ask those questions to.