Summer picnic in 1942 in Saseenos

Picnic on Goodridge Peninsula

Sooke region historian Elida Peers tells the tales of the region

Britannia was the name of the motor vessel they journeyed on, built by Richard Cains, and Goodridge Peninsula was where they held their picnic.

It was 1942, and Goodridge Peninsula was still raw land, owned by the Franco-Canadian Company, subdivider of Saseenos. A few years later, this peninsula became home to Sooke’s major sawmill operation that was to last 40 years and provide employment for many hundreds of men.

These Sooke folk were enjoying an outing hosted by Richard “Poppa” Cains, Sooke’s veteran boatbuilder who had come here from Newfoundland in 1890. He is seen standing (in dark vest and white shirt) with the CNR grade behind him at Coopers Cove.  This grade of course is now part of our Galloping Goose hiking trail.

“Poppa” Cains had sailed here around the Horn and engaged in the sealing industry before marrying Margaret Charters in 1896. When he built a 60-foot sloop in 1902 christened the Western Slope, a school holiday was declared.

At left is Ken Cains, next Mary Hanson (later Brizan) peeking over the dog; Bobby Hanson;  Jean (Mrs. Ken) Cains; Mary Stephenson alongside her fiancé Dick Cains; Jessie (Mrs. Ralph) Strong; Stanley Cains; Mr. and Mrs. George Mitchell and “Poppa” Cains; Irene and Bill Cains.  Standing, right, is Allan King, a British wartime refugee nicknamed “Air Raid” and Henry “Hank” Hanson who became general manager of the Western Forest Products conglomerate.

The three young people lounging in the foreground are Jim Lorimer (who was to become Minister of Municipal Affairs in Dave Barrett’s NDP government), his fiancé Cicely Charters and Margaret Lorimer who became Mrs. Wilf Strong – think Strong’s Mobile Home Park.

In his senior years “Poppa Cains” had his own tiny cottage right where Marie Haldane’s Country Garden Centre was later developed, and right alongside the garage service station operated by his sons Ken and Bill Cains up to the 1960s.  It’s the spot where Rasmus Rabien runs his welding business today.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

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