Girl Guide dance team

Girl Guides dance team circa 1964

Sooke historian Elida Peers tells tales of local history

It’s hard to believe that these smiling faces, so many of them well-known to us in our daily lives were photographed almost exactly half a century ago – and they don’t really look any older now, either.

You might still meet  many of them anywhere on southern Vancouver Island today, though a few make their homes farther afield.  Good sports that they were, these members of 1st Sooke Girl Guide Company took the roles of both boys and girls to become a junior dance team which entered the Victoria Day Parade and earned recognition in competitions during the 1960s.

Girl Guide Captain of the day was Valerie Tveit, assisted by Lieutenant Valerie Clark. The girls wore costumes in Hardanger style, crafted by members of Victoria’s Sons of Norway Eidsvold Lodge, and their dance instructors were Ardy Wickheim and Mrs. Hjalmar Linnes.

At the rear:  Ruth Richardson (Heeg); Betty Anderson (Isaac); Beverly Clark (Isaac); Evelyn Linell (Rhode); Marie Oakes (Wilson); Wendy Wilson (Milne).  Middle:  Ardis Roberts (Myette); Gabrielle Barconi; Delores Miller; Kathy Peers (Tveita); Dawn Rowland.  Front:  Betty Lou Peers (Oliver); Diane Clark (Goudie); Shirley Diamond (Graham); Cathy Ogden; Heather Gilmour; Judy Ogden; Debbie Morris (Grove).

The photo was taken in the old Sooke Legion Hall, the meeting place for Guides and Brownies.  This first Legion Hall started out as a recycled store originally owned by businessman Fred Thornber and relocated to a site just west of today’s Legion Cenotaph on Eustace Road. The structure was enlarged by using the lumber from a retired army camp building and the Legion made it available to groups such as this at no charge.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum