Beauty and brawn

Beauty and brawn

Beauty plus brawn in 1952

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

All Sooke Day queen competition

 

All Sooke Day wasn’t just about burly loggers, there was a period in the 1950s and 1960s when the All Sooke Day Queen competition was a popular feature.  A champion bucker from up-Island, Hugh McKenzie was happy to link arms with this bevy of young beauties in 1952.

This photo was taken in the days when viewing stands were set up closer to the river, long before the hillside logging sports arena and birling pool were established. Nowadays, the purpose-built birling pool, too, is gone, but before that, in the time of this photo, the log birling took place in the river itself.

At left in this scene is Esther Gibson, who married Dick Herrling, Anna Jensen, who married Bud West; Lorraine Duncan, who married Bob Helme; and on logger Hugh’s other arm is Myrna Reid, who married Rod Sullivan; next in line is Pat Gibson, a Victoria girl, and then Connie Brown, who married Allan Olmstead.

Retaining their good looks, most of the girls are well-known, participating in community life.  Esther and Dick Herrling raised a family of four boys in Sooke, she is living at Ayre Manor today. Anna and Bud West raised a family of four in Colwood, and Anna was well-known in later years as a teaching assistant at Sooke Elementary School.  Lorraine still has a home in Sooke today. Myrna became known for her KEEP FIT classes and she and Rodney keep fit today with outdoor activities.  Connie graduated as an RN at Royal Jubilee Hospital and she and Allan moved to Vancouver where she did hospital nursing.

Sooke’s population may have been 3,000 at the time of this photo, and we did have a paved road to Victoria.  In the earlier years of all Sooke Day, bus after bus, operated by Vancouver Island Coach Lines, brought thousands of visitors from Victoria out to enjoy the festivities of the day, including the barbecued salmon and the Leechtown beef.

People got to vote on who should win the Queen competition, but I’m afraid I can’t remember hearing who polled the most votes to be queen.  At that time, 1952, I was married and living in Smithers where my husband was a DOT radio operator at the newly opened airport.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Kenny Podmore, here seen at Sidney’s cenotaph in November, says he feels for the veterans after organizers had to cancel an event acknowledging Victory in Europe (VE) Day for the second time in as many years because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich event marking 75th anniversary of VE-Day cancelled

Sidney resident first planned event for May 9, 2020 moved to May 8 before being cancelled

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to bring their unwanted electronics to Tillicum Centre May 14 to be shredded, recycled or donated. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can shred, donate electronics safely

Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau hosts event May 14 at Tillicum Centre

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read