Earl Clark

Pioneer Earl Clark recognized

The eldest Clark brother Henry settled in Otter Point in 1886 on the land that descendants of his still hold.

How nice it was to see a photo of Earl Clark in the Times-Colonist last weekend, among the group of six veterans honoured with the presentation of France’s Legion of Honour. While his home is at Broadmead Lodge today, Earl Clark is a member of the pioneering Edwin Clark family of Shirley.

Earl was born in 1916 in a farmhouse that stood in the Invermuir Road area, the sixth son of Edwin Clark and Christina Campbell.

In 1890, a Scottish couple, Hugh and Jane Campbell had arrived in Shirley district, the first immigrant settlers west of Muir Creek.  Camping at first in the shacks remaining from the Hayward logging operations, they built a home at the top of Muir Creek hill.

Christina was one of two daughters in the Campbell family of nine siblings.  In 1902 she wed the stalwart Edwin Clark, a Brit, who along with his parents and brother Percy had built homes near where Shirley Community Hall stands today.

The eldest Clark brother Henry settled in Otter Point in 1886 on the land that descendants of his still hold.

So young Earl Clark grew up within a sparsely settled area, one of 10 siblings.  His houseful of brothers and one sister made for lively company, and the children attended Shirley’s one room schoolhouse.

His sister Christine, the eldest, named for her mother, grew up to become a nurse, spending much time nursing in remote settlements of the Yukon.

Earl’s older brothers were Edwin, Stanley, George, Wilfred, Leslie, and then the younger ones, Douglas, Raymond and Arthur. The Clark men mostly grew up to work in the forest industry of Vancouver Island, where they were well known.

It was 1940 that Earl joined the armed forces, serving with No 18 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps, and it was while serving with them that he was part of the Juno Beach liberation operation for which he received France’s highest decoration.

In 1942 he married his Scottish sweetheart, Margaret, and later served with the Canadian Scottish, First battalion.

Back in Canada after the war’s end, Earl and Margaret made their home at locations both in Saseenos and Victoria, raising their two daughters, Christine and Joyce, in Saseenos, where they attended local schools. Earl Clark is now nearing 100, and Margaret 99.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.

 

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

Just Posted

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was elected president of the Union of B.C. Municipalitiesin September 2019. She helped guide the 190-member organization through the coronavirus pandemic. (UBCM photo)
Sooke mayor front-line commander of the coronavirus pandemic

Maja Tait played pivotal role during COVID-19 crisis

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Sooke School District No. 62 superintendent Scott Stinson explains that most block classes at Belmont Secondary will be halved. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

Feedback solicited at virtual town hall Oct. 28

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

SIG
Sooke U15 squad blast past Comox

Rylan Sokolosky records hat trick

Most Read