The Sooke Region Historical Society (SRHS) elected two new directors who bring a lot of community history and involvement to their roles.
At the annual general meeting held Sept. 26, SRHS members elected Trevor Price and Laurie Szadkowski as directors.
Price grew up in Sooke, graduating from Edward Milne Community School in 1974. Many will remember the Sooke Coffee Shop (where the Sooke Bistro now stands) operated by his parents and his many sporting accomplishments, particularly in fastball. He recently moved back to Sooke from Lake Cowichan.
“I look forward to the opportunity to give back to this wonderful community,” Price said, referring to his project management and business skills, family history, and “genuine love for the area.”
Szadkowski is well known in the community after a distinguished career with the Sooke School District. Her knowledge and leadership as a teacher, vice-principal, and principal have influenced hundreds of students at Journey Middle School and Ecole Poirier Elementary.
“As a fifth-generation Sooke area resident watching my grandchildren grow up here, I’m excited to help preserve our history and encourage newcomers and future generations to embrace our rich culture,” Szadkowski said.
Liz Johnston, who has served with the Sooke Crisis Centre and Holy Trinity Anglican Church, contributing to the community for decades, returns as vice-president. Georgia Medwedrich, who is well known for her work with the Harbourside Lions and Sooke Minor Fastball, is treasurer. Rob Hill, owner-operator of Ragley Farm in East Sooke, returns as director.
“The Sooke Region Museum plays a vital role as a bridge between generations, cultures, and places. There is a huge upsurge in interest in natural history, traditional skills and craft, and re-interpreting history from a more diverse range of points of view. Museums continue to re-invent themselves and are more relevant than ever,” president Doni Eve said.
Historian Elida Peers noted the evolution of Sooke’s waterfront from an industrial, economic driver to the source of views, one of many societal changes over the past century and a half.
Executive director Lee Boyko acknowledged the work of volunteers, board, staff, members, donors, visitors, and people of the region past, present, and future in the museum’s accomplishments in the face of significant challenges over the past year.
“I am very proud of how we shifted to carry out important collections management work and offer new online programming,” Boyko said.
“Most of our photo collection is online for the public to view, and we hope archival material will become accessible online in the future. We look forward to using the skills we learned in offering online experiences, such as our popular trivia game, to make in-person programs and events more accessible to a broader public.”
Boyko also acknowledged Collections and Exhibits Manager Montana Stanely who began working with the museum as a summer student and is now departing for new endeavours.
The rest of the board includes Sheila Dobie, secretary, directors Heather Nuttall, Linda Gabriel and Tony Bastone. Rose Dumont is the T’Sou-ke appointee, and Ray Vowles is past president. Dana Lajeunesse serves as the District of Sooke liasion, a non-voting position, and there is currently no representative from the Juan de Fuca electoral area.
Eve thanked retiring board members Sandy Jarvis and Pete Wilford for their many years of service to the board and at the museum and acknowledged Tony St. Pierre for his role of District of Sooke liaison from 2018 to 2020.