BARRY’S BAY – Things did not come easily for Gwendolyn Woermke, who led a challenging, yet inspirational life.
Gwen, as she preferred to be called, was born at the
In 1935, when Gwen was only 13 years old, her mother died. Gwen took on the role of her mother in the family, helping to raise her three younger brothers and helping her father out. She wasn’t completely alone, as she had the help of her grandmother and aunt Stasia (
At the same time, she was attending
However, on her first day on the job, the station agent handed her a broom and a dustpan. She told the agent that was not what she was hired to do, and reminded the gentleman that she was hired to be a freight clerk. The role meant she would look after all the incoming and outgoing freight by recording and registering the material before it was loaded onto boxcars.