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

High construction costs send Douglas bus lane project $2.2 million higher

But re-tendered bid process by Victoria secures lower bid for Hillside-to-Tolmie stretch

Artwork inspires Glenlyon Norfolk student

A teen party turned philanthropic in the wake of an Artemis Place… Continue reading

Central Saanich veteran receives Legion of Honour from France

Kenneth Brind flew 30 bombing missions over France during the Second World War

Victoria hopes to have a fully electric bus fleet by 2030

Business plan to be created, region to request its use as a pilot community for project

Sooke rescinds bench letters, offers apology

District sent out letters asking $2000 for maintenance from those who purchased memorial benches

VIDEO: Oak Bay senior boys basketball takes Tsumura title

Junior and senior teams host Gary Taylor Classic starting Thursday

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers naughty list for the week of Dec. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Ladysmith woman who jumped from ferry meets rescuers

A local artist who survived five hours in the frigid waters of… Continue reading

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

Most Read