By Brianna Shambrook
Over the past five years, the Sooke Region Museum has made several changes to its artifact collection. These changes include upgrading storage and updating donor and artifact information.
In order to restrict incoming donations as to having significance to the Sooke region, the museum has also been reminding donors of its collections policy.
The collection policy mandate states that the museum aims to “gather and preserve information, records and objects of educational, historical and cultural value associated with the area …”
So far in 2016, the museum has received 24 artifact and archival collections pertaining to the Sooke Region. These objects demonstrate the rich and expansive history of this region and cover numerous topics such as Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, accommodation and restaurants, fire trucks, pioneering women, Leechtown, and musical and artistic talent.
For example, artist Dorita Grant donated an art piece that depicts historical scenes in Sooke such as the Sooke Community Hall and the T’Sou-ke First Nations meeting explorers.
Dorita used a small cabinet (one-foot high) with two doors, two shelves and a drawer to display these Sooke scenes.
She made the scenes by sewing and embroidering the background and making figures from fabric, thread, beads and hair. Inside the drawer is a mini photo album with pictures taken throughout the Sooke Region. Also in the drawer are fabric samples; one sample is from a sheet used in the First World War. Dorita made this art piece in 1990.
Another artifact donated this year, by Robert Jensen, is a First World War carving. A Sooke man made this carving while serving in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The wood came from a cathedral door in France and he carved it using a pen knife and the point of a compass. He carved the wood while in the trenches in France. Along the border of the object is “Passchendaele, Lens, Vimy Ridge” and the dates “1914” to “1918.” In the center of the carving is a flower. This carving is currently on display at the museum.
Other donations include two matches, given by Doug MacFarlane, that were found inside the walls of the 17 Mile House in 1946. Arnie Campbell donated three colour photographs of the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department trucks. Patricia Sibley donated four black and white post cards depicting Grouse Nest. Linda Anderson donated several pictures of carver Mungo Martin choosing a tree, in Muir Creek, for the world’s largest totem pole which can be seen in Beacon Hill Park.
Brianna Shambrook is the collections and exhibits manager for the Sooke Region Museum.