Mike Thomas

Town crier hand overhis bell

Mike Thomas retires as Sooke's official town messanger

Search is on for a new town crier

When the Spanish came to the West Coast, they planted a cross in East Sooke and claimed the land for Spain. That was in 1790 and 200 years later that event was celebrated in Sooke.

In 1990 Mike Thomas donned his town crier’s outfit and rang the bell in celebration of the historic event. Thomas has been Sooke’s official town crier for 26 years and he is now hanging up his costume and setting the bell down. The costume was made for him by Beatrice Hull back in 1989 and it’s been figuratively taken out of mothballs on various occasions.

“I haven’t been too busy in the last few years,” said Thomas.

A town crier preceded newspapers for ordinary folks. Thomas said a crier is responsible to give proclamations and news to citizens of a town. In the old days they were employed by a town and were essential to spread news to those who could not read or couldn’t afford newspapers.

A lot of towns had criers and Thomas’ name is enshrined on a monument of a town crier at Ogden Point in Victoria.

Two very large events he was involved in were the Commonwealth Games in 1994 where 1,000 athletes came to the Sooke Flats. The other was in 1990 when 200 ladies in Sooke made 200 cakes and lined them up at Whiffin Spit to celebrate 200 years since the Spanish came to the area.

The last two events Thomas was involved in was the walk to the old bake oven at the Sooke Potholes and the recent exhibit of the flow line at Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre at the end of July.

“It’s been very interesting. I’ve met a lot of really nice people,” he said.

So the search is on for someone who might want to take on the task of being Sooke’s town crier. The criteria is simple.

“A bit goofy,” quipped Ray Vowles.

What it comes down to is a person with a sense of humor, maybe with a sponsor to build a new town crier uniform, a strong voice and a love of the community and a willingness to be out in the public. Anyone who might be interested can contact  Elida Peers at 250-642-4200 or Bonnie Sprinkling at the District of Sooke.

Just Posted

Sooke mayor travels to Cambodia to empower women in politics

The trip is part of a Global Affairs Canada initiative

Sooke approves new toilets for popular park

Whiffin Spit loos will have to wait

Saanich police dog tracks dangerous driver after car ditched in Oak Bay

Man may face charges of dangerous driving and mischief

WATCH: Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UVic dumpster divers raise awareness for food waste

Eating only from dumpsters, the students hope to raise money for food banks in Northern Canada

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read