Doug Pedan was a well-known athlete in British Columbia and a lake in the Sooke hills is named for the Pedan family.

Cycling and the Pedens

Local historian Elida Peers takes a look at Sooke's strong cycling history.

Cycling has always been important in Sooke

Doug Peden was often called “The greatest British Columbia athlete of all time.”  He began his impressive list of more than 60 major trophies by winning the BC Cycling Championship in 1934.

Watching the opening of the new Bike Park at SEAPARC last weekend, I was reminded of how renowned he and his brother “Torchy” were at cycling in the 1930s.  I don’t know whether cyclists of that era had exciting bike jumps to test their prowess, but the Peden brothers excelled at professional “Six day bicycle races” that were the rage then, including events at Madison Square Garden.

Doug Peden was an all-round athlete, excelling in a variety of sports besides cycling.  In 1936 he was on the Canadian basketball team at the Olympic Games in Munich, bringing home a silver medal. In baseball he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1940s.  Among his honours was his induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.

In spite of the years of international acclaim, he never forgot his roots.  A loyal son of Victoria, he remembered the happy times spent hiking in the Sooke hills, he and his buddies camping out at the lakes that bear his family’s name. The Peden family started in business in Victoria early in the 20th century; they operated a feed store, Scott & Peden Ltd, at the foot of Pandora, just about where Swans Hotel is today.

In the early years, roaming through the Sooke hills from Victoria as far as Sooke Lake was a frequent pastime of young fellows, and the Pedens often camped at these small lakes, where Bill Peden, the dad, built a cabin in the 1920s. It wasn’t long before the name stuck. Sooke’s own Doug MacFarlane was a frequent hunting partner of Doug Peden.

Peden Lakes form the headwaters for Mary Vine Creek. My own memory of the Peden Lakes goes back 70 years, when I’d tag along behind my brothers camping in the Sooke hills. We’d tend to camp on top of Mt. Empress, skirt Sheilds Lake and camp at Peden Lake before heading for home, our packs lighter with the food all gone.  We did not know about the cabin, and tents were unheard of for us, we’d camp under a spreading fir or pine tree, and cut boughs for a mattress. We’d see tracks of bear, wolf and cougar, so I’d stick pretty close behind my brothers, but we didn’t meet any.

Sooke as a community is traditionally very big on sports and the outdoor life, so the next time you are out hiking in the hills on the east side of the Sooke River, maybe give a thought to the Pedens and the long history of sports that have gone before.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

 

Just Posted

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read