Seated royally atop Sooke’s float are May Day Princess Lynda Sullivan

SOOKE HISTORY: All Sooke Day had many attractions

Sooke Community Association and All Sooke Day were among the greatest strengths of our small community

One thing is for sure, we’ve never had a shortage of beautiful young women in Sooke.

The Sooke Community Association and All Sooke Day were among the greatest strengths of our small community, and everyone joined in, young beauties as well.

Seated royally atop Sooke’s float (pictured) were May Day Princess Lynda Sullivan, May Queen Diane Zelenko and Princess Sandra Jones. Hours of effort had gone into gussying up the float which was driven by Stan Jones, seen here driving down Douglas Street in Victoria.

In those days no one kept track of all the volunteer hours, everyone simply pitched in to make Sooke proud.

While logging sports were the big attraction at All Sooke Day, drawing visitors from all over the world, the food offered was no slouch either.  While many men and women followed after others, working over the decades to prepare the delicious annual feast, some memorable moments of All Sooke Day’s latter years included Larry Rumsby and John Martin shoveling burning coals while barbecuing the beef, and as for the salmon on the racks, Karl Linell was heard to chuckle “six beers and the fish is done.”

In 1961 All Sooke Day, held July 25 was officially opened by Major General George Pearkes, VC, and Queen Diane had the honour of presenting Mrs. Pearkes with flowers. While the last of our All Sooke Days was held in 2002, those who never had the chance to experience the event can enjoy the excitement in a 29 minute film The All Sooke Day Story shown daily at the museum. Watching climber Ed Johnson’s 26.9-second ascent and descent of an 80-foot pole is enough to leave one gasping.

Johnson, now middle-aged and working in Alberta, stopped by to visit not long ago and it was great to see him, though apparently those spectacular climbs had taken a toll of his knees.

As for our glamorous princesses, also middle-aged now, Lynda (Fisk) still keeps her hand in at her career of hairdressing, and Diane is semi-retired from dedicating her life to home care services.  As far as we know Sandra is still living in the Bulkley Valley, her home for many years.

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Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.