Looking Back

A trip through the Sooke News Mirror archives:


Dec. 17, 1986

Smouldering cigarette cause of fatal fire

Sooke Fire Chief Lorne Fisk says that a fire in a Maple Avenue home that resulted in the death of the lone occupant was caused by a smouldering cigarette.

Mrs. Ella Hay, 79, apparently fell asleep on the chesterfield after believing that she had extinguished a cigarette but the still smouldering cigarette butt ignited some flammable materials and the fire broke out.

Her husband Art was out shopping in the Village when the fire broke out around 8:40 p.m.

It was only the second fatality in Sooke as a result of a fire in 10 years. The last occurred on Christmas Day, 1976 when a resident of an Otter Point Road trailer park died in a fire caused as a result of cigarette smoking.

The fire chief said that Mrs. Hay, who was semi-invalid, tried to make her way to the bathroom to fill a container with water to quell the blaze but she was apparently overcome by smoke.

Mrs. Hay also suffered some burns to her body before she was pulled out of the house by Sooke Fireman Bill Campbell. Volunteer firemen Bill Thrift and Ken Gallant tried to revive Mrs. Hay using CPR but their efforts were to no avail and she taken by ambulance to Victoria General Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.


Dec. 16, 1992

Firefighters voice disappointment at fire hall rejection

Sooke’s volunteer firefighters have decided a personal appeal to the people of Sooke would be the best way of expressing their disappointment over the fire hall ‘no’ vote.

Firefighters Association President Bill Meikle said he was drafting a letter to the editor that would explain what benefits the volunteer force brings to the community and why they need a new hall.

“The community should understand what the (volunteers) are saving them,” he said, adding there is a lot of personal time and money invested in being a volunteer.

Sooke Fire Chief Ric Raynor has said equipping a volunteer force would cost Sooke about $250,000 per year.

In a detailed cost analysis based on the City of Victoria firefighters’ rate of pay, Meikle said Sooke would have to dole out up to $1.14 million annual to pay 26 career firefighters.

Meikle said Sooke’s 40 volunteer firefighters currently donate between $174,204 and $348,409 in time and expenses.

Meikle said the volunteers have come to recognize the ‘no’ vote was not a personal slap at them, but they want to make it clear they are just as convinced a new hall is necessary as the trustees are.


Dec. 15, 2004

Travel tips for parents shared

It’s among travellers’ worst nightmares -- a seat mate in diapers.

But for parents planning to travel this season, there are ways to minimize those agonized travel dramas, making flying, road trips and even the inevitable ferry ride a safe and pleasant way for kids to experience new parts of their world.

“You need to be flexible and patient and understand that your child is going to be off as this is all new stuff that you’re introducing,” said Denyse Koo of the Sooke Family Resource Society.

Last week, Koo shared her travel tips for kids with her Wednesday morning Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) session where moms and dads exchange helpful pointers and stories earned on the front-lines of parenthood.

“You have to really decide on your priorities,” Koo told the group. “Is it the thing you want to do, or is it your child, or is it having a sense or peace in the family while you’re trying to experience something new?”

Even professionals find themselves guilty of pushing their own agenda farther than the children they’re caring for can handle, she said.


Dec. 17, 2008

Real estate market is tumbling

Despite industry comments that the real estate market on the island will stabilize in 2009, the figures speak for themselves.

The monthly sales summaries from the Victoria Real estate Board show sharp declines in sales of all types of properties in November. In November of 2007 there was 623 sales compared to 268 this November. Declines were also evident from October 2008 figures, which showed 316 sales.

Marlene Arden from Royal LePage in Sooke says there is definitely a slow down in sales.

“Buyers have just stepped back,” said Arden, “due to the nervous economic situation.”

She said people who had to sell were in a tougher position and “aggressive pricing” was necessary in the current economic climate.

Pricing compellingly makes for a good deal for the buyer, she said.

“Things are selling, prices are not crashing but they are adjusting not increasing. If someone has to sell they take a hit,” Arden said.

Arden did say there would likely be some foreclosures in 2009.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Community Events, March 2017

Add an Event