Mary Gazetas

Mary, Phoebe’s

twin sister, passes

Mary Gazetas, twin sister of Phoebe Dunbar, who has been a regular visitor to Sooke since 1979 died unexpectedly from complications from an infection, April 17th at Richmond Hospital with family by her side. Mary was on her way to join Phoebe and Bob Dunbar down in the desert when she fell sick with a brutal infection in her back. She did make it home to Steveston, from this aborted trip, before she became paralyzed and ended up in ICU, mid March.

Mary’s love of Sooke and all the adventures she did with her twin were many and let us say memorable! Over the years she had made many friends here in the Sooke region.

Endless boat and canoe picnics, longboat festivals & competitions, fishing trips, kayak paddles down to Pedder Bay with the flood tide (and whales) , landing on the forbidden beaches at Bentinck Island (the old leper colony), canoe trips down the San Juan River, big tree trips, canoodling and swimming Sooke River – all seasons, swimming and sailing in the frigid waters of Sooke Harbour, exploring the San Juan Ridge while camping up at pristine summer lakes, night hikes into the Kludahk cabins in howling storms thankful for the dogs leading the way, staying out at Gordon’s Beach and Tugwell Cr, sharing her stories of being with the foodies of the world and community farm dreams are just a few of the things Mary did when she visited us over the last 33 years.

Every obituary has to have a fishing story. One day Phoebe’s boat engine wouldn’t start the boat with the downriggers. Instead, we leave our dock over in East Sooke in haste in the EMCS boat, the Welas, to get out to Secretary and the gap to catch the tide change. Once out there we discover we had forgotten the weights for the rods. They were left in the other boat. Mary could improvise for any occasion. The Welas had a good tool box aboard, so we just tied a pair of pliers to one of the lines. The action with our chosen lures was excellent. And that is the line that brings in all the fish – springs, sockeye, coho. The bite wasn’t that active around us. So the fisher folk nearby called out “what are you using?” we reply, rather nonchalantly “PLIERS”.

Whenever Mary visited and ended up down in Sooke village, shopping locally, or walking her dog Hugo out on the spit she would return and tell Phoebe who she had met and whom she had confused. Being an identical twin gave her lots of license and the card to spin some good tales and have some fun with my friends.

Mary and Phoebe’s families would like to thank all of our Sooke friends for their outpouring of love and support for us at this sad time.