A photo taken by Sooke Region Museum volunteer Leonard Adcock in 1978 shows the link between the Lazzar and George families. Pictured here are Susan Johnson, left, Sherry Sutherland, Germaine Sutherland and Eddy George. Seated is Ida Planes. (Sooke Region Museum)

A photo taken by Sooke Region Museum volunteer Leonard Adcock in 1978 shows the link between the Lazzar and George families. Pictured here are Susan Johnson, left, Sherry Sutherland, Germaine Sutherland and Eddy George. Seated is Ida Planes. (Sooke Region Museum)

SOOKE HISTORY: The Lazzar and George families

Back in 1978 the Sooke Region Museum was still new, and we’d often go out with our fellow volunteers and seek historical information. This photo, on Sooke Reserve No 1, was taken by Leonard Adcock, once a boom man for Elder Logging.

The matriarch in this view, Ida Planes, is seated with her woven grass baskets on her lap. Ida was the eldest child of T’Sou-ke Chief Andrew Lazzar and his wife Annie Jones; Annie was a sister of Queesto, hereditary chief of the Pacheedaht.

Standing behind Ida Planes is her daughter, Germaine Sutherland, who is alongside her teenage daughter Sherry. At left is Susan Johnson, youngest daughter of Chief Andrew and Annie Lazzar, the beloved lady who for a time came to the museum on Sunday afternoons and demonstrated weaving, both with swamp grass and cedar bark. Susan Lazzar Cooper Johnson’s eldest son Jim, also a boom man, was elected chief in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’90s, and her son Jerry Lazzar is often seen about town today.

At right is Eddy George, who was the youngest of the children of Mary George and her husband Harry, Sr., who had been lost at sea in 1895. On that occasion, Eddy George showed us the “Big House” (now long gone) that had been built by his brothers Louis, Harry and Danny, for the last big potlatch to be held in Sooke in 1921.

Eddy George is survived by two daughters, Jean Whitford and Karen George. Among Eddy George’s many grandchildren are Rose Dumont, a T’Sou-ke councillor, and her brother Larry Underwood, who once served as chief.

Eddy George was well-known as a boom man on the water, and his final working years were with Len Jones Booming at Sooke (Lamford) Forest Products sawmill.

While there are many with the name Planes in Sooke, their background is Lazzar, from grandmother Ida Lazzar. Currently, one of her grandsons is elected Chief Gordon Planes, while at earlier periods her son Jack and grandson Andy each were elected chiefs. Grandson Allan Planes currently serves on T’Sou-ke council as well.

Most everyone knows Germaine, daughter of Ida and Gustave Planes. Germaine married Larry Sutherland, who operated Coastal Fisheries, a busy industry on the Government Wharf, and also a shop near Six Mile House, where Germaine was kept busy with the retail seafood market.

In the T’Sou-ke community, both the Lazzar and George family names are recognized by street names.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum.