SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Sooke’s 1953 soccer team

Milne’s Landing High School’s 1953 soccer team. (Sooke Region Museum)

Elida Peers | Contributed

When Milne’s Landing High School opened in 1946, not much more in sports was available than track and field and softball.

By 1953 when this photo was taken, soccer was all the rage with these young fellows.

This image was supplied by Jerry Filippo, who grew up on what we called the Gordon Farm way out on West Coast Road, and came in to high school by bus.

Standing, top left, Barry Cyr, whose parents had rental cottages on Kaltasin Road (called at that time an auto court); Norman Essery who later moved to the Interior – his dad ran a freight truck from Victoria to Sooke; John Martin, youngest son of John Martin Sr. and his wife Sheila of Meota Drive (it was his property alongside the Sooke River that was recently purchased by CRD Parks as a permanent access area for salmon harvesting); and Charlie O’Hara.

George Pedneault became a forestry worker and is a well-known outdoorsman in Sooke, and is elder brother to Bill Pedneault; Evan Oliver (Haldane), of Jordan River and Sooke, who is father to Sooke contractor Herb Haldane; Tim Goudie, youngest son of Jim Goudie and Lily Michelsen Goudie; Pat George, younger brother of Bob George; and Sid Morton, son of Saseenos carpenter Sidney Morton.

Seated are Jerry Filippo, who comes to visit nowadays from the Kootenays; Gordie Eve, younger brother to Les Eve of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society; Dennis Herd; Bob George, who much later became Chief of the T’Sou-ke – he and brother Pat were sons of T’Sou-ke Elder Eddie George.

Next is coach Newman, followed by Everett Sandberg, son of Butler Brothers’ faller Karl Sandberg. Last in line is Merv Brooks, one of the sons of long ago fisheries officer Jack Brooks – the man for whom the striking new Sooke River Jack Brooks Hatchery is named.

While the photo is taken alongside the school which consisted of army huts at that time, the stand of slender fir trees is long gone. A shame maybe, because when I was at the high school earlier, we could sneak off into the trees, playing hookey, and if it was winter we’d head off to the pond next to Sooke River Road to go skating.

I understand that some of the boys had a different purpose when they took off for the trees – to have a smoke.


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

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