Sooke Stomp Boogie this weekend

Locals from years past gather to pay homage to the old times

A few hundred people who grew up in Sooke in the 1970s and 80s have re-connected through social media, and this weekend many of them will get together in person.

It started with a Facebook group site, created by Silvia Duckworth (formerly Schroeder), who now lives in Nanaimo called “If you grew up in Sooke you’ll remember ….”

The site has 451 members who have shared memories of the community, schools, and people of those times.

Those memories included dances at Shirley Hall, the Shirley Hill  Boogies where Slingshot or Roxxlyde played, the Sooke Thunderbirds Juvenile hockey team of 1977 which packed the arena for every game, and how the word “shrub” was invented in Sooke.Soon people started suggesting a reunion thinking it would be fun to just get together, instead of waiting for a funeral or wedding. In the spirit of the former boogies of the past, the idea of a dance featuring Roxxlyde came up.

Brian Stober first moved to Sooke in 1977 at the age of 19 to manage the Robinson’s Store and joined the Juvenile hockey team. When the players aged out of minor hockey they formed a men’s rec team called Sooke Zoo and Stober organized a fundraising dance for the team with Roxxlyde in 1980. So naturally he stepped up and got things started.

Doug Dunnett, who operates 4 More Tattoos on Station Road in Langford, also joined in. Together they checked with the band, decided on the May 19 date, and booked the Sooke Community Hall. Allan Ollette offered to cater. Names were suggested and the Sooke Stomp Boogie was born.

Tickets went on sale at the beginning of March and a couple of  hundred sold in the first two weeks. Stober also sent out dozens of mail order tickets to out of towners coming back for the event. There are a few tickets left available for the general public at $12 each, and you can pick them up at Sooke River Hotel cold wine and beer store.

The Sooke Stomp Boogie, featuring Roxxlyde, runs from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday May 19 at Sooke Community Hall. Dinner, for those who have booked, begins at 6:30.