SOOKE HISTORY: B.C. Museum president dances with Sasquatch

Don Mulcahy, the Sookesquatch, and Sue Morhun, B.C. Musem AssociationA president, whirl on the dance floor at Sooke Community Hall in March 1986. (Sooke Region Museum)

Elida Peers | Contributed

Having just completed the film shoot on Horne Road marking the historic building in Sooke of six vessels by the John Muir family, it reminded us of the film which the Sooke Region Museum launched in 1986.

That 29-minute film, The All Sooke Day Story, premiered March 14, 1986, in the Sooke Community Hall, was a two-year project, directed by Sheila Whincup and produced by Mae Linell, Ken Shepherd, Ray Vowles and myself.

In order to give the community hall film premiere a great send-off, we invited Sue Morhun, then-president of the B.C. Museums Association, to open the show for us.

Morhun, now a retired administrator we understand, was a personality-plus lady who brought enormous zest to any event she attended. Her museum career had begun at the tiny museum at remote Atlin, B.C., and she went on to contribute great leadership to B.C.’s preservation of history.

Like most Sooke projects, the All Sooke Day film was the result of a great many people working together in our traditional community-spirited style. Every seat in the hall was filled for the premiere, and a special contingent from B.C. Museums Association attended as well to offer their congratulations on this exciting film, which chronicled not only our special All Sooke Day history but the origin of loggers sports competitions.

The CBC purchased the rights to show the film nationally for several years, and today the film, in video format, may be viewed at the museum at any time.

When Morhun stood up to speak, calling our film “a blockbuster” she drew the applause of the audience, everyone so proud of our logger sports history, so very close to the hearts of Sooke people.

The hall was the scene of much celebrating that evening, with the dancing led off by our famous Sookesquatch (was it Don Mulcahy?) gallantly whirling Morhun around the floor. Staff members of the Royal British Columbia Museum may be seen at left cheering them on.

Today, with a new film committee, the museum is wrapping up the work on the historical film now produced on Woodside Farm, with every hope that we may be able to complete the project and launch Sooke’s premiere of the Woodside story in 2019. Cameraman for this film is Michael Peterson, a graduate of Edward Milne community school, who runs a science lab in Metchosin, but whose heart still belongs to Sooke.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

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