Community

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes (left) with his siblings Shirley Feld, Clifford Haynes, Matthew Haynes and Denise Baker – his twin sister – during a Christmas family reunion in Wales. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)

Saanich mayor reminisces on Christmases past with family in Wales

Holiday season to be spent at home amid COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes (left) with his siblings Shirley Feld, Clifford Haynes, Matthew Haynes and Denise Baker – his twin sister – during a Christmas family reunion in Wales. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary president Margot Hogg hands Victoria General Hospital chief engineer Sasha Menard some of the poinsettias and thank-you cards for hospital staff’s extra efforts during the pandemic. (Photo contributed by Val Smith)

Poinsettias for Patients funds lab improvements, Hospital at Home

Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary thanks frontline workers

Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary president Margot Hogg hands Victoria General Hospital chief engineer Sasha Menard some of the poinsettias and thank-you cards for hospital staff’s extra efforts during the pandemic. (Photo contributed by Val Smith)
Colwood’s Nevaeh Bowman, 10, rewrote the lyrics to Jingle Bells to fit what she calls the theme song of 2020. (Chantelle Bowman photo)
Colwood’s Nevaeh Bowman, 10, rewrote the lyrics to Jingle Bells to fit what she calls the theme song of 2020. (Chantelle Bowman photo)
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Your Coronavirus Resource Guide is here
Victoria Native Friendship Centre
The power of the Mental Health Recovery Partners
Free Car Giveaway
Roger Junker and Dave Alexander, Pandora and Tillicum store managers respectively, delivered groceries to Jeneece Place on behalf of the eight Save-On-Foods stores in Greater Victoria. (Courtesy of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island)

Greater Victoria rallies for Jeneece Place during Christmas season

Christmas lights, grocery donations come in during difficult year

Roger Junker and Dave Alexander, Pandora and Tillicum store managers respectively, delivered groceries to Jeneece Place on behalf of the eight Save-On-Foods stores in Greater Victoria. (Courtesy of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island)
Colwood’s Sangster Elementary music teacher Chris Poynter has compiled the voices of around 240 students to recreate the final song that would take place at the end of their Christmas program. (YouTube)

VIDEO: Colwood teacher shares Christmas song with more than 200 student voices

‘Although we’re separated this year, we’re still together,’ says music teacher

Colwood’s Sangster Elementary music teacher Chris Poynter has compiled the voices of around 240 students to recreate the final song that would take place at the end of their Christmas program. (YouTube)
New Year’s Day celebrants test the waters off Whiffin Spit during Otter Point Fire Rescue’s annual Polar Bear Swim in 2017. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke Polar Bear Swim cancelled

‘There’s no way we can have people all gathering together,’ say organizers

New Year’s Day celebrants test the waters off Whiffin Spit during Otter Point Fire Rescue’s annual Polar Bear Swim in 2017. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce hosts it AGM on Jan. 19. (Pixabay photo_
The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce hosts it AGM on Jan. 19. (Pixabay photo_
Reader’s Lens
Roche Cove beach produces a calming sky and ocean for East Sooke photographer Armin Sielopp. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)

Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens Roche Cove beach produces a calming sky and ocean for…

  • Dec 23, 2020
Reader’s Lens
Roche Cove beach produces a calming sky and ocean for East Sooke photographer Armin Sielopp. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Famous Saanich ‘Christmas House’ returns with encore display amid pandemic

Tuxedo Drive Christmas display lit up nightly from 5-11 p.m. until Jan. 1

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
The Grade 5 John Muir Elementary class in Sooke has prepared gift bags for the Sooke homeless shelter, which the residents will open on Christmas Day. (Annette Jacobsen photo)

Grade 5 class in Sooke create gift bags for homeless

Bags stuffed with hand warmers, personal hygiene kits and a handwritten note

The Grade 5 John Muir Elementary class in Sooke has prepared gift bags for the Sooke homeless shelter, which the residents will open on Christmas Day. (Annette Jacobsen photo)
Santa flying with BC EHS to visit hospitals around B.C. on Dec. 22, 2020. (BC EHS/Twitter)

Nothing stops Santa from bringing joy to sick children – even with pandemic protocols

Santa sent gifts to Victoria General, Surrey Memorial, Royal Columbian and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

  • Dec 22, 2020
Santa flying with BC EHS to visit hospitals around B.C. on Dec. 22, 2020. (BC EHS/Twitter)
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 were out in the snow and ice to thank the West Shore community for its continued support. (Goldstream Gazette/Facebook)
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 were out in the snow and ice to thank the West Shore community for its continued support. (Goldstream Gazette/Facebook)
Helgesen Road

PHOTOS: Where to see Christmas lights in Sooke

You’re going to find plenty of lights out there

Helgesen Road
Jennifer Isaac, external relations supervisor for WorkLink Employment Society Westshore, is all smiles with some of the socks staff donated through a Let’s Rock The Socks fundraiser to help the homeless. (Courtesy WorkLink Employment Society)

A warm and fuzzy Christmas gift from WorkLink on the West Shore

Dandelion Society and Sooke Shelter receive timely sock donation

Jennifer Isaac, external relations supervisor for WorkLink Employment Society Westshore, is all smiles with some of the socks staff donated through a Let’s Rock The Socks fundraiser to help the homeless. (Courtesy WorkLink Employment Society)
Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his woolly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)
Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his wooly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)

Someone’s on the Monterey rooftop again

Principal’s rooftop campout helps push fundraiser to $8,500

Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his woolly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)
Monterey middle school principal Ken Andrews in his wooly mammoth onesie and camped out the night of Dec. 9 on the roof of Monterey alone in his tent. The next morning he enjoyed a coffee while students in the library took pictures through the window. (Courtesy Ken Andrews)
Santa Claus stopped by Colwood City Hall to help ring in the holidays with members of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Members collected donations for the Goldstream Food Bank while spreading some holiday cheer. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Santa helps Colwood firefighters collect donations for food bank

City Hall gets drive-thru style event to spread holiday spirit

Santa Claus stopped by Colwood City Hall to help ring in the holidays with members of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Members collected donations for the Goldstream Food Bank while spreading some holiday cheer. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Volunteers with the Peninsula Streams Society Saturday collected some 10 cubic metres of debris from the Pat Bay shoreline. (Newton Hockey/Submitted)

Santa lends a hand during beach cleanup in North Saanich

Volunteers collected 10 cubic metres of debris from Pat Bay shoreline

Volunteers with the Peninsula Streams Society Saturday collected some 10 cubic metres of debris from the Pat Bay shoreline. (Newton Hockey/Submitted)
Graeme Macaloney, whisky maker and owner of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery, explains how the distilled spirits flow through the pot stills before being transferred into barrels to age. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich distillery’s whiskies ready for tasting after three years aging

Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery spirits officially considered ‘whisky’

Graeme Macaloney, whisky maker and owner of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery, explains how the distilled spirits flow through the pot stills before being transferred into barrels to age. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Sooke Meals On Wheels contacted area schools to launch a holiday greeting card campaign for seniors. (Pixabay photo)

Sooke students put smiles on seniors’ faces

Meals on Wheels initiative launches greeting card campaign

  • Dec 18, 2020
Sooke Meals On Wheels contacted area schools to launch a holiday greeting card campaign for seniors. (Pixabay photo)
Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)

Greater Victoria birders tasked with specific areas for annual count

Christmas Bird Count takes place in Greater Victoria on Dec. 19

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)