SOOKE HISTORY: A community hall wedding

Sooke Community Hall the scene of many weddings and showers

This wedding party included three well-known local families: Stolth, Cains, and Pontious. (Sooke Region Museum)

Back in the days when almost everyone knew each other in Sooke, the Sooke Community Hall was the scene of many weddings and showers.

This wedding photo, taken on Dec. 20, 1944, included three well-known families: Stolth, Cains, and Pontious.

Indeed, the three ladies looked lovely, given that Sooke had no florist at that time, and the world was going through the difficulties of the Second World War, it must have been a challenge to arrange their beautiful bouquets.

Perhaps it would have been the local greenhouses that still stood on the Belvedere Hotel site, run by Welshman Robert Fitton, which supplied the blossoms that winter.

The bride who centred the photo was Mary Stephenson; while there are not many still in Sooke today who would remember her, many folks will have memories of her brother, Bill Stephenson, who became the longest-serving volunteer fireman in Canada, and for whom Sooke’s main firehall is named.

When Mary married Dick Cains, he had recently earned an engineering degree at the University of B.C.

Dick was the son of Bill and Irene Cains and had grown up right alongside his Uncle Ken, his aunt Jean and his cousin, Stanley.

Across the street stood the Cains Garage (now WestShack Auto), where Dick cut his teeth in business and sawmilling.

If you happen to live on Mount Matheson, that’s where Dick Cains created a land development with a beautiful oceanview in later years. Cains Way is named for the family.

Mary had two attendants, Norma Stolth on the left, and Edna Pontious on the right. Norma, who grew up on Sooke River Road, was sister to Smoky and Eleanor Stolth and married forestry worker Bob Lajeunesse. The couple lived mostly in Jordan River, where she became the mother to three sons and two daughters. One of her sons, Dana Lajeunesse, currently holds a seat on Sooke council.

Edna Pontious grew up in the centre of Sooke, at Caldwell Road, where the family had a small farm. Surrounded by seven brothers, who worked at the fishtraps or in logging, Edna, the youngest, was the only Pontious daughter. She married Bill Korpan and lived in Nanaimo, where, in the next generation, it was her son Gary Korpan who became mayor of that town.

I’m afraid I didn’t get to know the fellow, Don Wales, who was the best man to Dick Cains.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historySooke

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