Arne Noesgaard gives a lesson to Ken Banner on a blacksmith forge.

Blacksmiths hammered skills into history

Sooke is peppered with volunteerism, regardless of what field it may appear in.

Volunteers have always been a big part of the accomplishments of the Sooke Region Museum.

Here we see volunteer Arne Noesgaard working in the blacksmith shop at the museum in 1980.

The little blacksmith shop was built by those dedicated guys in the Sooke Lions Club, from lumber salvaged from a chicken coop on the Fred Milne farm.

The forge in the photo came from the Phillips farm (now Sun River territory) where it performed many years of service; it was saved and given to the museum by oldtimer Ron Fitton.

When Arne Noesgaard retired from his industrial blacksmithing job and he and his wife moved to Sooke, he offered his services to the museum and gave instructions to young fellows like Ken Banner who is assisting him by working the blower in this scene.

It was a bit of a challenge for us to get good anthracite coal to produce the heat needed in the forge, but it was a popular exhibit that attracted spectators and also produced fabricated items.

Arne Noesgaard also offered training to retired gentlemen who wanted to take up blacksmithing as a hobby. Today the blacksmith shop still operates for special event days, and over the last few years has been run by Don Moloney, a local Sooke volunteer.

Ken Banner is a fellow with varied skills, for not only did he learn blacksmithing, but he became a mechanic and today is partnered with a brother in an automotive repair centre. What stands out most for me, though, is his range of talents, for he is an artist as well.

When we opened the first Fine Arts Show in 1986, Ken entered a massive painting, seen as somewhat controversial at the time, and it became one of the attractions that brought visitors to that first show.

Other young fellows who worked with us at the museum through youth training programs in those years were Gordon Carosella, who worked in the blacksmith shop and running the steam donkey, and Alec Jessiman, who also worked with the restored Phillips steam donkey as well, running it on weekends.

Each of these young men went on to become proficient workers in local industry.

We are indebted for this photo to Sheila Whincup who was on assignment to the Sooke Mirror in 1980.

•••

Elida Peers is a historian with the Sooke Region Museum.

 

Just Posted

EMCS Wolverines off to slow start

Wolverines start season 0-2

Victoria Police investigate stabbing in restaurant on Douglas Street

Police were called to the 800-block around 1:30 p.m.

‘Fix Canada First’ posters found at Victoria bus stops

At least five posters found along Douglas Street

Saanich residents deliver notice to Capital Regional District

Grange Road residents fear the loss of up to 50 trees

Council approves plan banning cycling in Haro Woods

Municipality accused of caving to small minority of park users

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Vancouver Island man named Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay’s Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Most Read