Singing at the community hall back in 1968.

Singing at the community hall back in 1968.

In tune at the Sooke Community Hall, 1968

Most social activities were held at the community hall

Perhaps it was the self-consciousness of being photographed by a Victoria Press photographer that made everyone look so serious as they demonstrated they could get the tune right when a Victoria daily printed a story about the Sooke Community Hall’s social activities in 1968.

Some days they enjoyed lunches, some days they gathered at the piano, some days they played cards, some days they did crafts, but mainly they enjoyed visiting, these senior folk who gathered in the dining room of the hall for nearly half a century.

This photo shows members of OAPO #88 who, according to the news story, got together twice weekly.  This group was instrumental in raising funds for the purchase of land on which senior housing could be built.  The fruit of their dedication and fundraising can be seen today, as we admire the fine “campus of care” now being provided at the entire Ayre Manor complex through the Sooke Elderly Citizens Housing Society.

It was 1969 when members of the group gathered for the sod turning ceremony when the purchase of the land was finalized.  Phyllis Johnson had been the group’s president when it was formed in 1964, and we know that, were she alive today, she would be thrilled at today’s complex assuring a variety of care services.

In this photo in the hall dining room, we see Doc Wilkinson (white shirt and tie) a retired physician living on the Saseenos waterfront, Mrs. Mapes, Mrs. Evie Floyer in the white blouse and Reg Dunster second from right, who lived on the Sooke Harbour waterfront next to Shirley and Tuck Vowles.

In the colourful shirt, arm on the piano, is Sooke’s longtime Santa Claus, who donned the white beard and red Santa garb each year to entertain the kiddies at Sooke Community Hall parties. His name was Zeb Worthington, who lived for many years on land he held along with his son Doug Worthington, on Church Road.  This property later became the site of the recently built Jehovahs Witness Kingdom Hall and also of the Church Hill Meadows development.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

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

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read