Dorothy Murcheson Eddy was one of several outstanding women descended from Finlay and Ethel Murcheson, who settled on Galiano Island in 1882.
Dorothy Eddy (always called Doey), born in 1922, is shown helping out with the family truck and her kitchen garden (in the picture accompanying this article). After her childhood on Galiano, she met and married Bill Eddy of the East Sooke pioneering Eddy family.
I first met her in 1958 when she was elected president of Sooke’s Parent-Teacher Association. In her typical leadership style, she took me under her wing as the society’s new secretary.
Doey Eddy’s contributions to this community were manyfold. Besides raising daughters Gerry, Theresa and Sue, and sons Robbie and Danny, she used her energy and cheerful nature in community service.
Serving as a hard-working director of Sooke Community Association, she and her friends taught swimming classes in the Sooke River at the Flats in the 1950s, before Sooke had access to a public swimming pool. Other tasks included the Women’s Institute president, working for the Fall Fair and the Mothers March.
Joining Doey at the river swim classes was her sister Jean Murcheson Michelsen.
Widowed through the Second World War, left with daughter Rosslyn, Jean married Eric Michelsen when he returned from his distinguished service overseas, and the young couple established Broome Hill Golf Course.
The lovely rolling greenbelt on Otter Point Road you drive through after passing Grant Road had seen the beginnings of a golf course in the 1940s, but the idea was probably ahead of its time. It wasn’t until the Eric Michelsens took on the challenge that the golf course began to see great success.
The original farmhouse was turned into a golf and country club, and the hard work of Jean and Eric established it as the leading centre for not only area golf tourneys but for Sooke’s social life for several decades.
The eldest of Galiano’s three Murcheson girls was Rosamund, who moved with her husband to Prince Rupert, where she raised two daughters, one of whom became well known to British Columbians, as Iona Campagnolo. During Campagnolo’s tenure as the first female lieutenant-governor of B.C., Sooke was graced with several visits for special community events and opening the Fall Fair.
Additionally, Campagnolo took a leading role in politics, becoming a federal cabinet minister under Pierre Trudeau and becoming the founding chancellor of the Northern University of B.C. in Prince George.
Pioneers Finlay and Ethel Murcheson would indeed have been proud of them all.
Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.