Lions Club on their 25th anniversary

Lions Club celebrates 25 years

Elida Peers writes about the history of the Sooke region

An exceptional volunteer force, the Sooke Lions Club was formed in 1965. The Sooke Mirror of May 9, 1990 carried the accompanying photo, taken at their 25th Anniversary celebration at the Sooke Community Hall. If my memory is correct, it was Milt Gibson who spearheaded the formation of the Lions in Sooke.

It’s hard to believe that another 25 years have passed since these 12 former Lions presidents posed in a rare photo. Mainly, they seem to be men who avoid the cameras and consider their good deeds are even better if they are unheralded.

Left, Ian MacDonald, Evan Haldane, Roy Girling, Milt Gibson, John Wilson, Melvin Elrose, Cliiff Beange, Ken Shepherd, Pat Forrest, Mike Thomas, Leo Moreau and Tuck Vowles.

While the intervening 25 years has taken several stalwart Lions from us, some are still active in the community today. Of the first four fellows on the left, Ian, Roy and Milt are gone, but when I go out hiking on the Goose some mornings I meet Evan Haldane keeping in shape on his walk as well. Next in the line is John Wilson. John has had so much community involvement, both as president of the Sooke Community Association and the Lions he’s really well-known, but he’s a bit restricted now, with Ayre Manor as his home base.

Mel Elrose and Cliff Beange are each keeping the home fires burning in Otter Point, but Ken Shepherd, stalwart of both the Sooke Region Historical Society and the Lions, has gone to his rest. Pat Forrest, next, used to spend summers fishing in the Pacific and now grows fish at the Jack Brooks hatchery.

Mike Thomas is easy to recognize in his Town Crier outfit, a responsibility he carried out for the following 25 years as well.  Leo Moreau is in front (I think he’s living up-island) while Tuck Vowles is trying to avoid being struck by Mike Thomas’ bell. While Tuck has gone, his influence carries on  – Tuck made Mike take on the Town Crier job, threatening he wouldn’t take him out fishing unless Mike said ‘yes’. Tuck figured very prominently in building the museum and saving the Muir cemetery.

In 2015, the Lions will celebrate their 50th Anniversary, and you can be sure that both the hard work and the hi-jinks will still be carrying on.

Elida Peers, Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Most Read