While not the Royal wedding that has excited so much attention currently, this photo shows another marriage that took place in Britain almost a century ago.
It was in 1915 that Harold Kitching married his sweetheart Mary Ethel Lomax in Manchester, England. Lomax family members were attendants for their sister, who was marrying an adventurous man who would be carrying her off to a new world. The couple, later immigrants to Canada, played a role in a chapter of Sooke’s commercial history.
We all know the traffic light at the intersection of Sooke and Otter Point Roads, the first light installed in the village. Historically this corner has been seen as the most significant commercial intersection in the village.
In 1909 Eustace Arden built a general store on the northwest corner of the intersection (where Stone Pipe is today). When Eustace and Anne Arden moved to Sheringham Light in 1912, Anne’s sister Caroline, married to pioneer George Throup, became the shopkeeper for what was now called Throup General Store. The building also accommodated the Post Office at that corner.
With the passage of time, this central enterprise changed hands many times, and it was in the 1920s that Harold Kitching, along with a partner, took over the store, and it became known as Kitching and Hardy General Store. A 1935 provincial directory has Harold and Mary Ethel listed as business owners in Victoria.
The Kitchings, who raised a family in Sooke, seem to have enjoyed a happy life, following their beautiful wedding in an English country garden.