Vern Moore

Remembering Vern Moore: Veteran and Volunteer

Elida Peers writes about the history and the people of the Sooke Region.

Vern Moore,

1922 – 2015

 

It was in 1972 that Vern Moore headed west, bringing his wife Martha and children Terrie, Jim and Bill, to explore new territories, at the close of his 27 year career with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Leaving from Beaver Lodge, Alberta, the family arrived in Sooke in what Martha described as a “beater” car and travel trailer.  When the Moores arrived – they saw, they liked, and they stayed!

At age 20, from his family’s home in Quebec, Vern had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, training as an airframe technician. In 1944 he was shipped overseas to serve in the European theatre. Sent at first to bases in England and Wales, he then served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Back home in Canada after his discharge in late 1945, he was employed by Canada Post in Toronto, until 1949, when he decided to re-join the Air Force.  After some time in France, he was posted back to Canada, to North Bay, Ontario. It was when he was next posted to Cold Lake, Alberta, in 1957, that the veteran serviceman met Martha Day.  A quiet-natured man, very gentlemanly in demeanor, Vern was instantly attracted to the effervescent and loquacious young member of the RCAF’s Women’s Division.

After their 1958 marriage the couple made their home in the base’s married quarters at Cold Lake, where their first two children were born. Youngest son Bill has Quebec as his birthplace, however, as he was born when the family was on one of two Quebec postings.

Arriving here in 1972, the couple settled on Throup Road, where they built their home.  Vern also began his many years of commuting to his work with the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, where he was posted to the Rocky Point Munitions Depot.  Embracing the community spirit they found in Sooke, the couple embarked on their mission, bringing their zest for living and contributing, and added their efforts to the activities of the community.

The couple’s eldest, daughter Terrie, went right into Edward Milne Secondary School, while her brothers attended Sooke Elementary and then went on to Edward Milne.

Becoming a member of Knox Presbyterian Church, Vern took an interest in the history of the church and also kept the records of the church’s pioneer burial ground. In 1977 he joined the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #54, where he was appointed Sergeant-at-Arms. He has been elected to the executive, and been in charge of a series of committees, including the Bursary and Scholarship Committee, the Poppy Campaign, and has taken part in countless parades and colour parties. In fact, when you think of Vern, you usually think “Legion.”

Vern was a dedicated volunteer as well for the Sooke Fine Art Shows organized by the Sooke Region Museum for two decades, did volunteer work for the museum itself, helped the Sooke Community Association with mini logger sports convention evenings, and was a faithful supporter of All Sooke Day, where he kept busy sharpening his coffee-making skills.

Because Martha had devoted so much effort herself to the Sooke Fall Fair, it was not unexpected that Vern would assist with those efforts as well, and for a decade he took on convening of the photo section of the fair.

One of Vern’s biggest joys was his membership in the Sooke Community Choir, where he contributed his bass notes for 25 years. In fact, not long ago, as Vern was reclining with the aid of his oxygen tank in their suite at the Sandpiper, where he and Martha had moved in their retirement, he had the special pleasure of a visit from the choir, who had come to serenade him.

Besides his wife Martha, Vern leaves his daughter Terrie (Steve Shortt), sons Jim and Bill, his grandsons Garrett Poirier and Kyle Poirier (Samantha), granddaughter Sydnee Ogden-Moore, and great-grandson Kallen Poirier.

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #54 is hosting a celebration of Vern’s life at their hall on Eustace Road at 1 p.m. Sunday April 26.

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum