When the Titanic sank in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic 100 years ago, it left in its wake incredible stories of survival.
June Rislund of Forest Grove recalled how her grandmother’s apprehension about the ship “that even God couldn’t sink” kept her family from being lost forever on that day.
In 1911, June’s grandparents Nikolaus and Karolina Moberg decided to emigrate to Canada from their home in northern Sweden. June’s mother, Maggie, was the youngest of their six children. The family travelled across the North Sea in a small ship, the Calypso.
The Calypso was caught in a violent spring storm and was unable to make its scheduled connection at Liverpool with a CPR vessel bound for Canada.
The CPR provided the Mobergs and other stranded passengers with accommodations, while passage on another ship could be arranged. After several days, they received word that there was room for additional third-class passengers on the new White Star liner the Titanic.
Nikolaus went to Southampton to have a look at the fantastic ship. He returned in excitement at the prospect of a trip on board the luxury liner
However, Karolina flatly refused to sail on the Titanic. She argued that the ship was going to New York, not to Canada.
But the real reason for her refusal was a deep premonition of impending doom, which she conveyed to the other families. Her son, who was eight at the time, later wrote his mother referred to the Titanic as “ill fated, a ship of death.” Despite the pleading of her husband and the scorn of the other CPR passengers, she could not be persuaded
The Mobergs remained in Liverpool and the “unsinkable” ship sailed into history. None of the CPR passengers survived.
The following week, the Moberg family sailed on the Empress of Britain. Their route followed that of the Titanic. At one point, they were delayed in the middle of an ice field. The dangerous conditions forced the ship to change course from a port in Quebec to New Brunswick.
Exactly one month after leaving their home in Sweden, the Mobergs arrived at Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, thanks to a woman’s intuition.
On Easter Eve, Doug Smith came across a pied-billed grebe, lying on Bates Road.
He took the stunned bird home and put him in a box. By morning, the bird had recovered.
Doug drove him to a pond where there was open water. The grebe swam away. It was a happy spring story.
• Hootenanny at the community hall, April 28 beginning at 7 p.m. It will be an evening of entertainment that includes music, spoken word and dance.
• Earth Day: the annual Forest Grove store-to-dump cleanup will start from the fire hall on April 23 at 1 p.m. Your help is urgently needed. Bring gloves. Long-handled “reachers” are a big help.
• Yard sale at the Legion, May 5-6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tables are $10. To reserve, call the Legion at 250-397-2455 or Tom at 250-397-2260.
• Pool tournaments: Fridays at the Legion, 7 p.m. Prizes, food available.
• Canucks playoff games: the Legion will be open for all games, prizes and food.