As part of the Old-Fashioned Country Picnic celebrations, Black Press reached out to the children of Sooke for their take on the community.
The Sooke story contest was made possible by a donation from Sooke dentist Dr. Chris Bryant, who so much liked the idea of celebrating our community that he donated the prize money for the contest.
“It would be great to hear from the children and find out why they think Sooke is a special place to live,” Bryant said.
The Sooke News Mirror received a pile of entries and five enthusiastic young winners were selected. Each will be receiving a $100 gift card in appreciation of having shared what they love about Sooke.
Seven-year-old Vivian Young listed seven reasons why Sooke was special to her, starting out with Whiffin Spit (“because it is so big”) but quickly moving to her home, her best friend and the park that is close to her home. Vivan ended her submission by talking about the local candy store, the new Tim Hortons, and, in an interesting twist for a seven-year-old, her favourite sushi restaurant.
Violet Irwin, 8, went all out with a meticulously illustrated booklet in which she wrote about her life, her friends, her pets and the many animals around the community. But her true love of the community was summed up with one particular line that caught our attention.
“I love to travel and I travel a lot, but when I come home to Sooke, I feel so good!” she wrote. It’s a sentiment we’re sure that reflects the feelings of many residents of the community. There is, after all, no place like home.
Skye MacLean, 6½, spoke of the natural beauty of Sooke.
“I love Sooke because of all the animals and the environment that gives us green grass … also freshwater,” wrote Skye.
But Skye went on to write about the colours of the flowers and the fact that “Sooke has a good heart, and the people have a good heart.”
Having met Skye, we can certainly attest to the goodness of her heart.
Twelve-year-old Brook Stewart’s submission made the point that “all days in Sooke are special”, saying that “(on) days when you seemed to be melting, you could go for an inviting, cold swim.” She went on to recount a trip to the creek where she and her friends had a chance to build some memories in a place that she loved.
Emily Webb, aged 11, submitted a story that, she noted, was not a fairy-tale story but one that had all the elements of a happy-ever-after tale.
She spoke of sandy beaches: ”I just take my shoes off, run around on the sand, and sometimes go into the ocean,” and how she collects rocks, crabs and watches “funny little birds.” She also talked about climbing over rocks with her dad; memories, we’re sure, that will last a lifetime.
Although not a fairy tale, the setting seemed fitting for a very good story, none-the-less.
We thank all the children who took the time to enter the story contest. The narratives gave us all a chance to reflect on what we find special about Sooke, and we found that we had a lot in common with those children.