While a number of initiatives take place in this building today

While a number of initiatives take place in this building today

SOOKE HISTORY: Broome Hill Golf and Country Club

Building on Otter Point Road was once the hub of Sooke's social life

While this building on Otter Point Road still houses activities and enterprises, the day is long gone when it reigned as one of the hubs of Sooke’s social life.

The pro shop downstairs was kept busy with dedicated golfers, while the main banquet room was popular for weddings, dances and celebrations of all kinds, in the heyday when it was run by Eric and Jean Michelsen.

This building was the centre of rolling greens and fairways, immaculately kept by Eric, his day starting at daybreak. Eric was married to a dynamo – Jean Murchison, who grew up on Galiano Island, was a hospitable organizer, and an untiring expert at catering for the many events she hosted.

Bachelor Tom Hynds had been the first immigrant to live on the property, clearing enough space for a cabin. In 1906, he was followed by George Cook, who made his home in the same little cabin, clearing more land and developing a farm with milk cows, eventually successful enough to build a three-room cottage for his new wife, Mary. It was this pleasant little home that formed the basis for the building we see today.

Twenty years later, it was Frank Waide, a Yorkshireman who had homesteaded in Alberta, who bought the farm, continuing with dairying, and raising pigs and sheep.

Frank and Gladys Waide made a home for their granddaughter, Faith, a girl who would become, much later, a fixture in Sooke when she retired here in 1970 with her fisherman husband Nils Jacobsen, moving from their home in Burnaby.

Early in the 1940s the Waides established a rustic nine-hole golf course, especially welcoming officers stationed at the Otter Point Army Camp during the Second World War. The golf course idea proved unsustainable at the time, and closed.

In 1949 the place went to Joe and Kate Jackman, and in 1951 it became home to Mac and Ethel Comeau.

Meanwhile, Eric Michelsen, a descendant of the early settler Poirier family, whose ancestral home had been across from the clubhouse on the west side of Otter Point Road, a community leader who had long held a dream of owning a golf course, bought the place together with his wife Jean. Innumerable golfing events were held on the popular and fastidiously cared for golf course until 1973, when Eric died suddenly.

In the years since, many changes in ownership and management have taken place, with the Swinburnson family the last to operate the green hillsides as a golf course. Today the land surrounding the clubhouse on the east side is enjoyed as John Phillips Memorial Park.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.

 

Just Posted

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read