G6: 1908 Agnes (Shiels) McConachie

Agnes Brown Shiels was born April 5, 1908 at Bethune, Saskatchewan. She was the first child of Robert & Isabella (Glen) Shiels. Agnes or “Nessie” as she was know by family and friends left the farm and moved to Regina. She worked there as a governess for some time before moving to Victori, BC. She married David McConachie on November 14, 1932. David was a machinist and worked in the engine room of large ocean liners like the Princess Mary and Princess Kathleen for many years. He also worked for a number of years for the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

Nessie worked as the head seamstress at the Empress Hotel in Victoria for many years. The Empress was one of the fine hotels in the CP chain. Nessie also worked in home care where she cooked meals for the shut-ins.

Nessie & David had a daughter, Michelle, born December 18, 1960. David died on March 26, 1968 and Nessie died on March 24, 1988. Both are buried in Victoria, BC.

Michelle (McConachie) Woods 1960- (G5)

Michelle Natalie Veronica McConachie was born December 18, 1960. She was the daughter of Nessie (Shiels) & David McConachie. Michelle married Stephen Woods on September 3, 1988.

Stephen had joined the 5th Fd Battery in 1977, and completed high school (Oak Bay Senior Secondary) shortly thereafter. While still in the Canadian Forces Reserves, he attended University of Victoria for one year. He was then accepted to Royal Roads Military College, where he completed two years before transferring to Royal Military College.

After a bit of a setback, Stephen graduated in Civil Engineer in 1984. He was then in the Canadian Armed Forces as a military engineer until 1999. He served in Petawawa ON, Cornwallis NS, Gagetown NB, Kingston ON (where he returned to RMC to obtain his Master of Civil Engineering in Environmental Studies), and Edmonton AB. Almost his entire career was in Base Construction Engineering, and was Base Engineer in Cornwallis and Edmonton. Stephen & Michelle were married while in Petawawa. Michelle was living in Redland, California at the time, but they always kept in touch as they knew each other from high school. Stephen flew down during Christmas leave and came back engaged.

Stephen and Michelle almost spent a year apart prior to moving to Cornwallis. He had been on the international standby list for several years. When the Gulf War began, he was the first engineer assigned to 1st Field Hospital – but he was placed in charge of the Rear Party, providing information and support to all the soldiers’ families across Canada.

After that, an engineer was needed in Cambodia. Stephen and Michelle went through all the pre-screening for his deployment, but his posting message to Cornwallis arrived just weeks before he was scheduled to leave. Just prior to leaving Cornwallis, Stephen was promoted to Major.

While in Gagetown, Stephen was selected for post-graduate studies. Gagetown was his shortest posting (just less than one year). He was supposed to move to Halifax and the Environmental Officer for Maritime Command, but the position was eliminated prior to his graduation due to cutbacks. So, the family was posted to Edmonton, AB. He was the Base Engineer, but when 1 Area Support Group was created, he became the 1 ASG Engineer, with responsibilities throughout western Canada. While in Edmonton, Stephen also obtained a B.A. from the University of Manitoba.

Stephen left the Armed Forces in 1999 and joined Coast Mountain Bus Company as the Director, Infrastructure and Environment. Based out of Burnaby, BC, he is responsible for maintenance of the Bus and SeaBus infrastructure in most of Greater Vancouver.”

Michelle works at home teaching music to young teenagers, specializing in piano and violin. Michelle & Stephen have two children. Morgan Sheilaigh was born May 11, 1990 in Pembroke, Ontario. Dale Maria was born October 19, 1992 in Kentville, Nova Scotia.