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Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (633 Ninth Avenue South, Virden)

Link to:
Clerics | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

An Anglican church was established in Virden soon after its founding in 1882, holding services in the homes of parishioners. In August 1885, the North West Land Company, acting on behalf of the Canadian Pacific Railway, gave the Anglican community a parcel of land at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Queen Street. A wooden structure was erected on the site by December 1885 and the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, in the Diocese of Brandon, was officially created in April 1886.

The original church remained on the site until 1891 when it was sold and removed. The present church was constructed of fieldstones from the Assiniboine River valley. Construction began in 1892, with a corner stone (containing a tin box with local newspapers, building plans and other documents) laid by Nina Gertrude Watts, wife of the Rector. It is believed that Winnipeg architect Walter Chesterton based his design on a small church on the Isle of Wight. The church was consecreated in 1905 by Archbishop Samuel Pritchard Matheson. It features a large stone tower, numerous stained glass windows (including two windows designed by artist Leo Mol) and impressive woodwork throughout.

Additions have included a fieldstone fence built in the 1950s, and a cloister and roof extensions to protect exterior sidewalks. The foundation under the tower was upgraded in the late 1970s.

Beautiful memorials tablets, stained glass, and framed scrolls inside the church commemorate parishioners who were killed during military service in the First World War and Second World War.

Rectors

Period

Rector

1885

F. F. Davis

1885-1890

William John Garton (1856-1937)

1890-1896

Henry Watts

1896-1901

Edward L. King

1901-1916

W. H. Robertson

1916-1926

George F. Findlay

1928-1929

H. J. Tompkins

1929-1932

Arthur E. Minchin

1933-1939

Cecil C. Landon

1939-1940

T. J. Kelly

1941-1949

Alfred H. Cummings

1949-1952

Herbert H. Vines

1952-1958

W. H. Gregory

1958-1960

?

1960-1963

Lloyd Victor Gedge (1923-2015)

1963-1969

John A. Pilling

1969-1973

Donald A. Varcoe

1973-1977

George E. House

1978-1985

Richard Condo

1985-1988

Philip Wadham

1989-1995

Grahme Spear

1996-2005

Kim Salo

2006-2016

Don Bernhardt

2017-present

Matt Koovisk

Associate Priests

Period

Associate Priest

2016-present

Anna Sproule

Photos & Coordinates

Postcard view of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

Postcard view of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (no date)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2016-0065

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (July 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (October 2017)
Source: George Penner

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (May 2022)
Source: Rose Kuzina

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (May 2022)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Interior of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

Interior of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (October 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.84692, W100.93343
denoted by symbol on the map above

First World War Casualties

Name

Occupation

Service

Rank

Birth Date

Death Date

Frederick Edward James Bailey
[Virden]

Farmer

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

21 October 1889

21 August 1917

Thomas James Bond
[Reston]

Farmer

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

6 July 1885

2 September 1918

Thomas Bradshaw

Farmer

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

4 January 1895

21 August 1921

John Alured Carr
[Agricultural College, Virden]

Student

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

4 April 1896

9 October 1916

Lorne Edgar Carscadden
[Virden]

General Merchant

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

14 December 1890

21 August 1917

Frank Walter Collier
[Virden]

Farmer

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

1 June 1872

5 July 1917

William Henry Corfield
[Virden]

Teamster

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

26 May 1892

14 September 1917

Henry Cottrell DCM
[Virden]

Farm Labourer

28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

15 June 1884

6 July 1917

Percival Charles Richard Day
[Virden]

Farmer

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

2 November 1888

26 October 1917

Otto Boris Wladdimir Raoul Ducos De La Hitte

Farm Labourer

88e Régiment d'Infanterie, French Army

Soldat

10 May 1898

18 February 1919

James Francis Durham
[Virden]

Labourer

5th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

1889

23 April 1915

Wellington Roy Elliott
[Virden]

Rancher

31st Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lance Sergeant

22 June 1888

29 March 1917

Paul Edmund Gunby
[Virden]

Farm labourer

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

22 September 1894

15 October 1916

William Frederick Richard Hart-McHarg MinD
[Brandon Armoury]

Barrister-at-Law

7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant Colonel

16 February 1869

24 April 1915

Thomas Henry Jackson
[Carmel Presbyterian, Virden]

Laborer

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles

Private

5 December 1893

5 June 1916

John Walter Jones
[Virden]

Farmer

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

21 November 1895

8 November 1917

John Stanley Joslin
[Virden]

Hardware Merchant

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles

Private

6 April 1890

29 September 1918

Percival Harold Lobb
[Virden]

Carpenter

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles

Private

10 April 1885

28 September 1916

Alfred William Manning
[Lenore, Virden]

Farmer

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

4 January 1890

27 April 1918

Harold Macdonald Pineo
[Virden]

Student

42nd Wing, Royal Air Force

Lieutenant

23 May 1895

18 December 1918

Ernest Charles Staines
[Elkhorn]

Cook

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

5 March 1878

27 July 1917

George Ernest Venner
[Virden]

Baker

2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles

Private

30 November 1893

24 September 1992

John Vickery
[Virden]

Farmer

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

21 January 1890

6 November 1917

Arthur Russell Warren
[Virden]

Bricklayer

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

15 August 1884

6 November 1917

Fred G. Warren
[Virden]

Teamster

5th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

23 March 1893

27 September 1916

Second World War Casualties

Name

Service

Rank

Birth Date

Death Date

Arthur William Abbott

205 (RAF) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force

Flying Officer

24 November 1918

5 April 1942

Wilfred David Brown
[Virden]

Royal Canadian Air Force

Warrant Officer Class I

13 October 1919

19 September 1943

Arthur Charles Hales
[Virden]

Veterans Guard of Canada

Corporal

19 December 1890

9 July 1942

Nelson Stanley Hawes
[Virden]

14th Canadian Hussars, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

Corporal

13 March 1908

23 August 1944

Norman A. Hauk
[Virden]

Royal Canadian Corps of Signals

Corporal

19 March 1921

6 June 1944

Allison Frank Kilborn
[Virden]

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

Sergeant

13 September 1908

11 March 1945

Lloyd Charles Powell
[Virden]

Royal Canadian Air Force

Flight Sergeant

23 November 1913

16 January 1942

George A. Price
[Virden]

Lake Superior Regiment (Motor), Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

Private

15 August 1920

9 August 1944

Sources:

Promotional brochure, St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church.

Rev. Lloyd Victor Gedge, FindAGrave.

We thank Rev. Matt Koovisk, Roger Harrison, and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough, Darryl Toews, and George Penner.

Page revised: 16 November 2022

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