Hix N Chix pose for a photo in 1959. (Contributed)

Hix N Chix pose for a photo in 1959. (Contributed)

SOOKE HISTORY: Square dancing in Sooke goes back 70 years

Hix N Chix the first group

Elida Peers | Contributed

Interesting to note that there are square dance classes once again in Sooke.

Actually square dancing in Sooke goes back to the 1950s and 1960s, when the Hix N Chix were all the rage, and then there was a re-awakening again decades later, with the next group adopting the name Sookesquatch Squares.

This picture was brought in by Diane Cummings, whose mom, Terry Clowes, is shown. While I am in the photo as well, I am embarrassed to say there are many faces that I cannot put a name to, so would welcome any help that might come from readers.

The caller for Hix N Chix was Howie Eames, assisted by his wife Allie, and we met every two weeks in the Sooke Community Hall.

This image is the graduation photo of our class, likely 1959, but we’re not sure which hall it was in.

Standing at top left is Jack Lindley, next are Betty and Albert Brohman. Can’t recall the next couple, who are followed by Colloda and Charlie Sandberg and Terry Clowes, George Davies, Mae Clark, then Pat and Fred Rudd in the checked shirts.

Next row down, second and third in, are Bud and Diddy Knight, then we’re not sure of the rest, till we see Alf Clark, third from right, followed by caller Howie Eames. Third row down, we’re missing most of the names, except Allie Eames, second from right. In front, the third person in is Ruby Currie, her husband Rod, then myself and my husband Jim, then Carole Jones. At the end of the row is Carole’s husband Gary Jones.

Besides this class, other classes included couples Oke and Mae Linell, Fred and Olga Oakes, Don and Marion Roberts, Milt and Fae Gibson, Dave and Tanna Reid, Gerry and Roberta Davies and the Bartlemans. Another caller, from Metchosin was Fred Willing, with his wife Chris.

Typically, a session of “round dancing” which required more attention, was added to the squares. For many years, the Strawberry Square Dance was held in the hall early in the summer, with the entire floor of the upper hall covered in squares of colourful gowns and shirts, concluding with a feast of strawberry shortcake.

Charlie and Val Clark, and Dick and Mable Davidge were among those who danced with both Hix N Chix and Sookesquatch Squares, which followed in the 1980s and 1990s, with Herb and Linda Fox as callers.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.

Pop-up banner image ×