Sooke squadron commander Barry Gifford

Power Squadron celebrates 75 years in Sooke

A commemorative flag was dipped into West Coast waters

On September 12, 2013, a flag commemorating the 75 anniversary of the Canadian Power and Sail (CPS) was dipped into the salty sea waters on the beach off Whiffin Spit.

“Sooke Squadron was proud to dip the CPS 75th anniversary flag at the completion of its journey west,” commented Barry Gifford, the Sooke squadron commander.

“This marks the end of its journey to Western Canada, the part of Canada where recreational boating goes year round, and the need to promote safe boating never takes a holiday.”

The story of the 75th celebration began in Windsor, Ontario on May 5, 2013, when two flags departed the home offices. One went east to Newfoundland, and the other went west, to Sooke.

Along the way, the west-bound flag visited various squadrons since leaving its central office in Windsor. On the Saturday of the Thanksgiving long weekend, the flag reached its destination, and key members of the Sooke squadron were out on a warm and sunny fall day to do the ceremonial dipping of the flag. Along with commander Gifford, present were squadron members and supporters Dick and Bobbie Momsen, Sharon and Don Lassey and Carol Harding.

According to their website (sookesquadron.ca), the Sooke Power and Sail Squadron has existed in Sooke since 1990 and has been teaching safe boating since its inception.

“CPS is a national organization [that] teaches and promotes safe boating at many levels, from helping students to earn their Personal Craft Operator’s Certificate (PCOC) up to advanced courses involving communications, advanced navigation techniques and maintenance to engines and electronics,” explained Gifford. “CPS is a group of over 20,000 dedicated volunteers who have completed CPS safe boating courses and chosen to become part of Canada’s most comprehensive safe boating organization. We share the idea that all boaters should be safe on the water, and that we can pool our resources to ensure everyone has an opportunity to learn what they need to know to be confident and safe on the water.”

The mission statement of the CPS is: “To increase awareness and knowledge of safe boating by educating and training members and the general public, by fostering fellowship among members, and by establishing partnerships and alliances with organizations and agencies interested in boating.”

For more information on the Sooke Power Squadron call Barry Gifford at 250-642-6840 or email to commander@sookesquadron.ca.