Holy Trinity Anglican Church circa 1920.

Holy Trinity serves Sooke for 100 years

Elida Peers writes about the history of Anglican church

With today’s modern heating that we take for granted, perhaps it’s good to remember that after Sooke’s Holy Trinity Anglican Church was built 100 years ago, someone had to get up early to light the furnace before Sunday service.

While many parishioners have shared that chore over the years, one who stands out is Sid Gates, a Britisher who lived with his wife Maggie near the brow of the hill on Otter Point Road that looks down towards the harbour and Murray Road.

This 1920 photo shows the shingled facade of Holy Trinity Church on Murray Road in its infancy.  Retired from a lifetime of farming and dairying, it was in the 1940s and 50s that Sid Gates rose in the dark, walked with a lantern the four blocks down to the church, got the furnace well started, walked back up the hill and made his wife a cup of tea.

Maggie Gates had been a British Nursing Sister in the First World War and met Sid in France where he had been injured in the service. When they retired to Sooke, Maggie taught Sunday school and was a member of the church’s Women’s Auxiliary.

Readers who have lived here more than the last decade will recognize the venerable church, consecrated in 1913, that served its flock until it was razed by fire in 2005.  The tall, gable-roofed structure was built in 1912 by the Richardson brothers.

Many were drawn to watch sadly as the unexpected blaze devoured the building.  I recall standing by our town’s mayor of that day, who had tears in her eyes.  Hard as it was for the parishioners to accept the shock of the loss, they pulled themselves together and by 2007 a fine new structure stood proudly in its place.

Not only did the parish’s men and women rebuild, they saw to it that the church continued to house community activities such as the weekly Vital Vittles lunch that has become a tradition.

Nowadays the group is making plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Anglican Church in Sooke, with special events ahead throughout 2013. Sid and Maggie Gates would be proud!

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrest man accused in Port Renfrew theft, Duncan fraud

Man charged after $300 in fraudulent charges, two phones and wallet stolen

Monster Truck Chaos comes to Victoria, tickets on sale Friday

Monster Truck Chaos rumbles into Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Jan. 25 and 26

Victoria immigration lawyer has rights revoked after lying to many clients

James Edward Turner will not be eligible to practise law again for 10 years

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s second steel shipment arrives safely

The GVHA’s original shipment was lost at sea in December 2018

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Most Read