Sooke School 1921

Sooke School 1921

Sooke school back in 1921

Sooke historian Elida Peers writes about the events and people that shaped our history

The new school year brings to mind the similarities with today’s youngsters excitedly getting back to see their friends and check out everyone’s new clothes, and this 1921 photo where the students probably did the same.

In 1921 Sooke Superior School looked like this.  Above the entry door, there was a gold leaf inscription which read “Act well your part for there the honour lies.” The teachers standing at the left are Mary McKinnon and Helen Giberson.

First row, rear: Gretel Nicholson (daughter of author/historian/entrepreneur George Nicholson) she married fisherman Trygve Arnet; Agnes McBride who married Joe Collins of fishtraps management; Veronique Willett, who married Count Rodolphe de la Hitte in France, where they both served in the French underground during World War II; Margaret King, raised by the Murrays, she married Dane Kai Jensen; Clara & Alice Erickson; Verna Cullum.

Second row from rear: Irene & Lillian Helgesen of the well-known Helgesen pioneer family, Lillian herself taught at Sooke School in her late teens; Kathleen & Marjorie Giles; Florence Gray, daughter of fishtraps manager Frank Gray, she married Will Sheilds; Marion Soward; Nellie Charters, daughter of William Bell Jr & Stella Fraser, she married Stanley Carlow and lived where “The Yews” stands on the corner of Charters Road today.

Third row from rear: Bob Mugford, son of the Mugford Boarding House family, lost his life during World War II; Charlie & Teddy Barbour, sons of the manager of Sooke Harbour Hotel; Harvey Dobson; Cecil Nicholson – see Nicholson above; Gladys Graignic, daughter of fishtraps manager Pete Graignic, she later married Rupert Soule (many of the plantings at Ed Macgregor Park are hers); Marjorie Felton, daughter of physician Dr Richard Felton; Viola Ainsworth.

Second row from front: Willie Charters (see above) Teddy Pagden, Walter OMeara, Ernie Welsh, eldest son of the pioneer Welsh family; Lewis Milligan of the Milligan logging family; Murray Barbour (see above); Violet Helgesen (see above); Beatrice Hawkins; Hilda Taylor; May Wilham who married Roy Baker, owner of the Red & White Store; Fred Cullum of West Coast Telegraph trail history; Clifford Charters (see above).

Front row: Lily Michelsen, daughter of fishtraps skipper “Pop” Michelsen, she married Jimmie Goudie, later married Alf Haywood; Sarah Michelsen who married William Vowles, was mother to the Vowles brothers of fishing/seafood fame; Mollie & Nellie Richardson, daughters of Vernon & Queenie Richardson, and sisters to Frank Richardson of the building supply firm; Alan Felton, son of Dr Richard Felton – Alan went off to the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s to fight with the insurgents; next are Charlie OMeara, Byron Charters, Earl Gray, Harry Helgesen, Will Sheilds, Malcolm Taylor, Harold Welsh, each with family references above.

It would be remiss not to note the impact of Harry Helgesen, one of the little fellows here, who became one of Sooke’s favorite sons, served in WWII, excelled at All Sooke Day logger sports, started Sooke Sawmills which became the mammoth enterprise on Goodridge Peninsula and then developed Coopers Cove Oyster Farm into an international supplier.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
EDITORIAL: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

Victoria police retrieved a number of stolen items May 15 after arresting a man and woman squatting in an empty building. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police look to return stolen items following arrest of squatters

Golf clubs, power tools, jackets, cell phones and a MacBook Pro were retrieved

The Victoria International Airport saw its revenues plummet in 2020. Officials hope a proposed warehouse will be a significant revenue generator. (Black Press Media file photo)
Head of Victoria Airport Authority makes economic pitch for Sidney warehouse project

Geoff Dickson said Sidney stands to earn $325,000 in annual taxes

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Most Read