Don’t you just love the bloomers? When we drive by the playing fields at Fred Milne Park and watch the hundreds of kids enjoying their team sports, it makes one pause and reflect to see this 1927 photo. The girls must have felt pretty daring to have their knees bared, back in those days of more circumspect clothing.
Because there were so few students in those days, Sooke School would have been proud to boast a 7-member basketball team, posed here with their coach Tommy Wright, at centre rear.
It’s really a photo of “who’s who” in Sooke family history. At left is Will Sheilds, son of Sooke’s blacksmith Lyall Sheilds, whose blacksmith shop was on Belvista, near where Coopers Cove Oysters is located today. The Shields name is important for many reasons, including seafaring and their farm on Phillips Road; they are remembered nowadays by Sheilds Road in downtown Sooke.
Next is Ernie Welsh of the pioneering Welsh family that first set foot in Sooke in the 1860s; it was Ernie Welsh that gave Moss Cottage to the museum. Next team member is Harry Helgesen, just a little squirt at the time, but soon to be a full-fledged team member. He’s the fellow that started the sawmilling enterprise that took over Goodridge Peninsula. Next is Harold Pontious, one of the seven sons of Ernest and Hazel Pontious, who grew up to be a Fishtraps supervisor for Sooke Harbour Fishing & Packing.
Seated, left is Sarah Michelsen, daughter of sea captain Mandus Michelsen and Sarah Poirier. Marrying Bill Vowles, she raised all those Vowles boys of fishing fame, plus of course, a bevy of daughters as well.
The Charters name comes up frequently in Sooke history. After the family arrived in 1865, one brother William Bell settled by the mouth of the Sooke River and another, John Fogan, at Otter Point. William Bell’s grandson Byron Charters is the youngster holding the trophy, and his sister Nellie is at right. Nellie Charters married Stanley Carlow and raised her family on property at the corner of Charters and Sooke Roads, where a condo development is slated to open its doors shortly.
Sooke Region Museum