Graduation class of 1955.

Grad classes in Sooke were a bit smaller in 1955

Historian Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

Graduation time at Edward Milne community school reminds us of the many young people who have graduated from the halls of learning at Edward Milne since the first high school west of Victoria, Milne’s Landing High, graduated a class in June 1947.

The photo we have chosen today represents the class of 1955, which was the largest grad class to that date. While we don’t have personal knowledge of the careers of each of these young men and women, we can share bits of information as many of them have chosen to remain part of the life of this community.

Rear left, Norm Essery is a son of freight truck driver Jack Essery, and now lives in the Slocan Valley.  Next, the grin you see on Danny Lajeunesse’s face is the same one you meet today as he drives his mail route. Pat George married Shirley Shambrook and moved to Port Alberni; Lorraine Sheilds (Jarvie) is in the Victoria area; next is Gall Lajeunesse (Hall) well known to readers of this newspaper, followed by Rose Hawkins.

David McClimon is a fixture in our town, first as head of the commercial department at our high school, then as owner and developer of Lannon Creek Mobile Home Park. Harold Carlow is in the dark shirt, lives up-island but comes down to visit Sooke frequently and Dennis Hird, last in the row, lives in Ladysmith.

Ada Elrose (Birch) is seated left; sister to Mel Elrose, she and her husband retired back to Otter Point.  Next is Elaine Butler (Murray) who followed the family footsteps by going into business in Sooke. Connie Brown (Olmstead) who grew up in Otter Point and Saseenos, lives in New Westminster, while Elinor Eve is also well-known in Sooke as a primary teacher and as co-owner with husband Dave McClimon, of Lannon Creek Park.

Jeannie Smith, next, married Bob Banner and raised a large family (think automotive); they make their home on Charters Street; Marcia Pontious (Selby) was the lady who inherited the property which eventually became Sooke’s Macgregor Park. Last in the row is Evelyn Arthurs (Russell) now living in Parksville, one of the daughters of our legendary swashbuckling figure Horace Arthurs.

Fifty-eight years from now, we wonder where the graduates of 2013 will be?

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum