Time passes on, and we forget, but thank goodness photos continue to come in to help us record the region’s history. Today’s image shows baby Jack Planes, the father of the current T’Sou-ke chief, held in the arms of his mother Ida Planes.
The photo, given to us by Germaine Sutherland, was taken by the Victoria Times, sponsors of the baby show at All Sooke Day. Pictured is the family of Gustave and Ida Planes in 1934, the year that Jack was declared “Best Sooke Baby!” From that first All Sooke Day, this became the longest-running logger sports event in the world, before its final celebration on the Sooke Flats in 2002.
When Frenchman Gustave Planes arrived in Sooke, and set traplines around the basin, he soon met Ida, the eldest daughter of Chief Andrew Lazzar. Not only was Ida’s father the hereditary T’Sou-ke chief, but her mother was Annie Jones, sister of the famed Queesto, hereditary chief Charlie Jones of the Pacheedaht.
When Gustave and Ida were married, Ida was already mother to Clara, Sarah (Daisy) and Nellie (not shown), and Alice and Frank, who are both included in this scene. (After this photo, another son, Ronald was born.)
At far left in this photo is Louis Planes, who married Barbara Underwood. The couple raised a large family that worked alongside them in the traditional harvesting of seafood.
Next in the row is Frank, who established a reputation on the coast as a highly-skilled fisherman and guide, as well as being an eloquent orator who took a speaking role at many functions. Frank married Bunny Engler and their daughters continue to play a role in Sooke’s salmon traditions. In front of Frank is Joseph who grew up to become a fisherman and joined the American paratroopers.
The little girl in the centre is Germaine; when you see Germaine about town today, she always looks very smart, and this photo shows that she started out being a cutie early on. Germaine married Larry Sutherland, and those with knowledge of the local fishing industry will remember that he operated a fish buying firm for many years, with a plant at the government wharf.
On the right of her stepdad Gustave Planes is Alice, who married Albert Nelson and raised a family, but then moved to the mainland.
The centerpiece figure, of course, is Jack, the little toddler who stole the hearts at the first All Sooke Day. When Jack grew up he married Phyllis Charles and their family continues to play a strong role in T’Sou-ke affairs. Jack himself served a term as elected chief, his eldest son Andy was elected chief and his second son Gordon, married to Marcella, is elected chief of the T’Sou-ke today.