Little dancers in 1952

From ballet slippers to steel-toed boots

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke Region

Those of us who are used to seeing big, husky Karl Linell, president of Sooke Community Association, as a heavy equipment operator, building roads, or in his spare time expertly barbecuing salmon for community events, may do a double-take at this photo.

But yes, it is Karl, paired with his demure little sister Evelyn, posed in a presentation of the French Minuet on the stage of teh Sooke Community Hall in 1952.  Sooke has a history of dance classes, starting in the 1940s, with Marge Lindley, Beverly Arnet and Myrna Sullivan in turn among those who took on dance instructing in our earlier years.

This Dance Revue was a presentation of Myrna Sullivan, who grew up herself in Sooke as Myrna Reid, married Rod Sullivan, raised a family and continues to share her cheery smile when she meets you downtown.

The dance slippers being sported by Karl Linell here are a far cry from the steel toed boots he has worn most of his working life. His working domain ranged from the Leech River both westward and eastward in the Sooke Hills.

Many, many years a volunteer for Sooke Community Association, Karl was initiated into community service early.  Born here, son of Oke Linell, who was a partner in a sawmill operation, and his wife Mae, one of Sooke’s well-known community leaders, Karl’s first volunteer work was helping with Boy Scouts.

Karl’s sister Evelyn married Murray Rhode and raised a family in Colwood, while Karl married Jordan River’s Joyce Schickerowsky and raised a family in Sooke. Their youngest sister Holly, the source of this photo, is also well-known to many of us as Holly Vowles.  Holly thinks that if Karl sees this picture printed in the paper, your historian may have to leave town.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

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