Sooke Lions set out to save museum’s steam donkey

Museum clears out land to build additional displays and storage

The Sooke Region Museum has cleared land on its property and received a donation of three large logs in preparation for some exciting new projects.

Lee Boyko, executive director at the Sooke Region Museum, said that with the support of the Sooke Lions Club, volunteers, donor and the provincial government, the museum will be refurbishing the historic steam donkey, plus building additional storage and displays for large industrial artifacts, including those that represent logging.

“Over the next few months, we will be adding onto our existing storage pavilion, removing the existing blacksmith shop and building a new storage building,” said Boyko. “We want to try and keep care of the objects we have in our collection and the steam donkey is unique piece of equipment.”

He explained that the new building will also include exterior facing exhibits that will help tell the story of logging in the region.

The construction of the storage facility is expected to be completed by March, but the restoration of the donkey will take longer.

Al Beddows, a Lions member and president of the museum, said the Lions have a very close connection with the museum and thought it would be a nice project for the members to restore the donkey.

“It’s an old piece of Sooke history, the donkey engines were used to haul the big logs out of the bush, and a group of us were quite taken back on how it’s fallen into disrepair,” said Beddows.

They found the wood the steam donkey sits on was rotting, and decided it was time to do a restoration of the whole machine.

“We’ll never bring it up to steam standards but we are hoping to put a little electric motor in there to get a few things moving for the general public,” said Beddows.

Queesto Forest Products donated the three logs that will replace the deteriorating skids the Donkey currently sits on. The Lions are also reaching for any volunteers who may have some useful skills such as in logging or working with sheet medal to come out and help with the project.

“I think it’s important for the next generation to see where we’ve come from,” said Beddows. “Sooke is very dear to me and I just think the donkey fits in with our logging past. It’s my connection to this community and I think it’s important to have some of these things on display.”

To volunteer or to find out more, please contact the Sooke Region Museum at 250-642-6351.

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP catch thieves in the act in Colwood

Thieves were trying to steal a utility trailer from the driveway of a home

FISHING ADVENTURES: Winter fishing starts to pick up

Crabbing in Sooke Harbour continues to be good with large male Dungeness around

Sooke girls volleyball squad places seventh at Island tourney

Dawn Gibson Sooke News Mirror The EMCS senior girls volleyball team made… Continue reading

Premier asks for re-do on Highway 14 study

A study on Highway 14 improvement has been delayed for a second… Continue reading

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates 20th anniversary

Norman Nelson founded the orchestra in 1997

Victoria’s Gingerbread Showcase on full display

Donate to place a vote for the people’s choice winner and support Habitat For Humanity

Wet weather expected for much of coastal B.C.

The Weather Network is calling for up to 200mm of rain to fall in some areas of the South Coast and Vancouver Island

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Running back propels Spectrum Thunder into first Subway Bowl final

Brandon Robbins scores hat trick of touchdowns

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Most Read