A local house has a history with the RCMP.

A local house has a history with the RCMP.

Tender for Sooke lock-up in 1946

First RCMP station built in Sooke was a multi-use building

“Sooke Lock-Up” was the title of a 1946 notice to contractors advertised in the Daily Colonist, inviting tenders to the Minister of Public Works by noon September 9, 1946.

Real estate transaction records from the estate of Alfred Carmichael show that Lot 7, Block 1, Plan 5855, at the corner of Sooke Road and Drennan, had been purchased that year for $400.00 from the holdings of Arthur MacFarlane. The successful (and only) tender was McKinty and Sons of Victoria, who submitted a bid of $19,100. Additional accounts indicate the cost rose to $25,000.

First occupant in 1948 was Constable Allan Quinn of the BC Provincial Police who had initially arrived in April 1943, the first resident officer-in-charge to serve Sooke.  He had occupied various rental accommodations prior to the new structure which included a police office, courtroom, two cells, and six rooms for use of the officer’s family. His wife and daughters Winona and Brenda-Jean shared this new home with him.

Officers-in-charge who came after Quinn, up until the new Sooke Detachment was built on Church Road in 1993, were Cst Matheson, Cst Humphreys, Cst Knight, Cst Eastman, Corp Dempsey, Corp McKay, Sgt Troiano, Sgt Rehman, Sgt Miller, Sgt Ferguson, Sgt Baker, Sgt Johnston and Sgt Watson.

While each of these men made their mark on the community’s history, one of the longest serving was Lew Dempsey, who had joined the BC Provincial Police in 1949 changing to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when the takeover came in 1950.

When the Dempseys arrived in 1961 Lew was a Corporal, the lone officer from Port Renfrew to Colwood, his duties extending into 24 hours a day. In those days the officer’s wife often acted as staff (unpaid) as well.  I can recall Lew’s wife Ioline saying that when Lew was detained out on police business through the night, she could not relax and go to bed, so she lay with a blanket on the kitchen floor waiting for him to come back safely. While the Dempseys were here, the detachment expanded to three members and when Lew left for his new position, he was a Sergeant.

By the time the new Church Road RCMP detachment was opened in 1993 the complement had increased to 11 officers and two office staff. Still with us in Sooke today is Jean Kellner who ran the office and mothered the men from 1974 to her retirement in 1995.  In recent years this building has been a private residence and a B & B.

 

 

 

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP responded to 164 calls for service over the last weekend, including numerous violent assaults. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP responds to 164 calls for service over weekend

Calls included numerous bear spray assaults and domestic violence incidents

Sewer construction will mean limited access to West Shore Parkway from Sooke Road for the next week. (Courtesy of the City of Langford)
West Shore Parkway access limited from Sooke Road

Crews working on sewer construction for the next week

The Capital Regional District has issued a boil water advisory for the Wilderness Mountain Water Service Area in East Sooke. (Katja Just - Pixabay.com)
Boil water advisory issued in East Sooke

It’s better to boil and be safe than sorry you didn’t. The… Continue reading

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing increased risk from the pandemic, minimum wage pay and no paid sick days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich vote to strike

Workers say they’re working in high-risk conditions with near minimum wage pay

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Most Read