Sooke School in 1914/15.

School class is a cross section of history

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

Years ago, George McIntosh, son of a George McIntosh who ran a motor stage between his home on Grant Road and Victoria, gave us this 1914/15 photo of the pupils of Sooke School. The youngsters were posed by the wall of the first school building on the Sooke Road site.

It was long after this photo, in the late 1920s, that the senior George McIntosh began running a Packard passenger stage, laden with milk cans and sacks of produce. When he retired in 1946 he sold his business to Vancouver Island Coach Lines.

Rear, left: Sophie George, unid, Daisy Margison, unid, Mary Lazzar, Catherine Gilbert, teacher Willard Beale, George McIntosh, ? Hunt, Bill Charters, Philip Thorpe, Johnny Margison, Albert Lannan, Eddie Minnie, unid.

Front, left: Marion Stewart, Poppy Margison, Mary Forrest, Florence Muir, Esther Wilson, Florence Horne, ?  George, unid, unid, Charlie Barbour, unid, unid, Clifford Charters, Charlie Halliday, Victor Margison, George Lannan, unid, unid.

To me, this is an engaging photo – not sure I’d want to be the teacher in charge of this large class, but among these children’s lives we see a cross section of Sooke history. Sophie George was credited, along with her grandmother Mary George, with the naming of the new subdivision of Saseenos, “sunny land gently sloping from the water.” The Margison youngsters are children of realtor J. Y. Margison and lived in the home that Marv and Sylvia Hallgren own today.

The Charters boys, descended from pioneers settling here in 1865, no doubt helped at the family’s sawmill, cutting lumber where Belvista is today. The Lannan brothers lived in the family home at the foot of Kaltasin and Glenidle; their parents farmed the area now known as Saseenos and their name is remembered by Lannan Creek.  Mary Lazzar was a daughter of Chief Andrew Lazzar of the T’Sou-ke. Charlie Barbour’s dad was manager of the Sooke Harbour Hotel.

Florence Muir is remembered by many Sooke residents as the historian daughter and granddaughter of the pioneering Muir family; she married Robert Acreman and her son Robert lives on Muir land today. Florence Horne, from Victoria, was a cousin of the Robert Mugford family who built the Mugford boarding house.  In 1938/39 she began teaching in Sooke; there were three classrooms at Sooke by then; I was in her grade one class and I think we all loved her.

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum