Maywell Wickheim's book

Maywell Wickheim's book

A little fireside reading: Some books of interest

A few new book titles which might interest Sooke readers

Bites, Bulls & Bullets

Author: Maywell Wickheim

Self-published

290 pages, softcover

 

There isn’t a person who has lived in Sooke for any length of time that hasn’t heard of Maywell Wickheim.  Wickheim is a modern pioneer who has learned to fashion what he needs, keep his wants at a minimum and accomplish all he sets out to do.

Wickheim is a breed apart, the type of person you don’t see much anymore. He knows or can figure out how to do just about everything needing doing – and he does it in his own humble way seeking neither recognition nor pats on the back. He has purpose and pride in a job well done.

In Bites, Bulls & Bullets he tells stories of life in Sooke and area drawn from the well of memories he has. Whether it is about the characters or the times, his memory hasn’t been tarnished by time.

It’s an enjoyable book and many will recognize his sardonic humour in the telling of the tales. In his quiet humble way, Wickheim is Sooke. His life on and around the water is full of anecdotes and wisdom gained from his 89 years. His life’s adventures are sure to appeal to anyone who knows Maywell or people like him. These men of their generation are manly men — strong, principled and rare.

Bites, Bulls & Bullets is a very enjoyable read  — highly recommended.

And typical of Maywell, $2 from the purchase price of the book goes to the Sooke Food Bank. Get it while you can.

Heart & Soil: The Revolutionary Good of Garden

Author: Des Kennedy

Harbour Publishing

224 pages, softcover

 

Gardeners in and around Sooke are likely familiar with Des Kennedy. Kennedy is a respected gardener and a passionate advocate for the environment.

In his latest book, Heart & Soil: The Revolutionary Good of Gardens, Kennedy writes about his experiences gleaned from 40 years of gardening.

His sense of humour and wit gives a warm and playful tone to the book. This isn’t a how-to book but rather one man’s connection to the earth and the roots and rhizomes that transform our sacred spaces.

Along the way Kennedy offers up his extensive knowledge in a sometimes comical way and makes the reader seek out the next short story. The titles of the stories give a small hint to what will be said. For example, “Going to the Dark Side” is a story of the voodoo lily, a less than pretty plant with exotic properties. “Seeing the Light” deals with challenges of light and how to use it effectively in the garden.

Other stories talk about the philosophy of gardening and the simple joys of putting one’s hands in the dirt.

Photos of Kennedy’s garden on Denman Island are sure to inspire all who aspire to grow things.

Des Kennedy is the author of five books of essays, including his memoir, The Way of the Gardener, and three novels. He’s an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and environmental activist, and a three-time Stephen Leacock Award nominee.

There’s no better way to spend the days waiting for the plants to sprout than reading Heart & Soil and enjoying a few laughs.

 

 

 

 

 

Shore to Shore

The Art of Ts’uts’tmutl Luke Marston

Harbour Publishing

Author: Suzanne Fournier

128 pages, softcover

Probably the most strikingly emotional piece of First Nations art to represent the survivors of the residential school system is Luke Marston’s bentwood box. The image emerging on one of four sides is Marston’s grandmother’s black tears with her crippled fingers held up to her face. The other sides are of a Woodlands aboriginal boy with red hands held to his mouth representing the children who were forbidden to speak their own languages. Add to that an Inuit man looking at the Northern Lights to a Thunderbird, the symbol of all First Nations. It is just one of the carved pieces from the hands of Luke Marston.

The book is meant to commemorate his 16.5-foot bronze cast cedar sculpture now in Stanley Park. Shore to Shore depicts Marston’s great-great-grandparents, Portuguese Joe Silvey and Kwatleematt, a Sechelt First Nation matriarch. Marston tells the stories through his art. The powerful pieces are testament to his heritage and his future. He was chosen to carve The Healing Pole through a juried competition by then Lieutenant-Governor Steven Point. The pole tells the creation story of how the 12 people fell from the sky. The message of remembering the past yet acknowledging the responsibility to move forward is a motif for Marston. He is guided by his ancestors. This is a beautiful book with gorgeous colour plates of  Marston’s art.

Marston began his career carving totems for the public at the Royal BC Museum and studied under Haida artist Robert Davidson and jewellery master Valentin Yotkov.

The book is written by Suzanne Fournier, who has been writing about First Nations topics for over 40 years. She co-authored Stolen from our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities.

From the West Coast to the Western Front

British Columbia and the Great War

Harbour Publishing

Authors: Mark Forsythe and Greg Dickson

259 pages, softcover

 

When two guys sat down for coffee and discussed their personal quests to find out more about their relatives who had been on the Western Front, they never thought others would be doing the same thing.

Mark Forsythe is no stranger to those who listen to CBC and BC Almanac which he has hosted since 1996. Greg Dickson was a journalist and producer at CBC radio and television for over 20 years.

Together they put out the call for other British Columbians to send in their stories to BC Almanac. Those stories became From the West Coast to the Western Front. It is a book written by everyone who contributed. There are letters, photographs and remembrances all honouring those who fought for King and Country. The province, at the time, had 400,000 people and 6,225 died in the battles of World War 1.

It is the stories of the internment camps where 5,000 Ukrainian were held not because of any threat to security but because of the threat to the economic prosperity of more established workers. The book tells these stories and others, like Japanese and Asians who were quarantined and turned back, placed in labour camps and generally discriminated against, although they were allowed to fight.

Nursing sisters and wartime romance, First Nations war heroes and numerous other stories haunt the pages of this book. The authors tell the stories that are being lost to us, saved through the contributions of the listeners of BC Almanac. It is heart felt and factual and is a piece of British Columbia’s history that is well preserved by these compelling stories from the people who hold first hand knowledge. It’s a legacy to those who served and helped build the province as we know it today.

 

Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History

Harbour Publishing

Authors: Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy

622 pages, hardcover

Most of us know Tofino as a surfing mecca and tourist spot where it’s hard to find parking. But, the area has a rich history steeped in interesting characters, pioneers and resource industries.

Look back and you will discover that Tofino and Clayoqout Sound have been populated by indigenous people for more than 4,200 years and just 250 years ago the first European explorers arrived, most in search of sea otter pelts. The Nuu-chah-nulth diminished rapidly throughout the 19th century as their contact with traders and newcomers increased. By the last 19th century came the fishermen, missionaries, prospectors and the loggers, all eager to cash in on the human and natural resources.

The authors pay tribute to the first peoples and write fairly extensively on the residential schools in the area, Ahousat and Christie, and the effect it had on the children sent there. The missionary zeal often overlooked human compassion. As in many places in Canada, at the time, immigrants were encouraged to do the menial and dangerous jobs but discouraged from being equal.

Tofino and Clayoquot Sound is all about captains and their boats and the roles they played in the settling, industry and tourism of the region.

From the early days to the present, the history of the region is well researched and well presented in Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History. Many photographs add to the thoroughness of the stories told on the pages.

From the bombing of the Estevan Lighthouse during World War II to the War in the Wood — protests of clear cutting in Clayoquot Sound in the 1980s and 90, to the current treaty negotiations, this book provides a clear, concise and extremely interesting history of this part of Vancouver Island. Understanding the history of a place is the best way to understand a place.

It is clearly about life at the end of the road, a magical wild place where many struggled to survive and where many now want to be.

Margaret Horsfield is the author of several books including Voices from the Sound and Cougar Annie’s Garden.

Ian Kennedy is the author of several books about B.C. history including Sunny Sandy Savary.

 

The Sea Among Us

The Amazing Strait of Georgia

Harbour Publishing

Authors: Richard Beamish and Gordon McFarlane

394 pages, hardcover

The Strait of Georgia could be called the spine of the coast for it provides food, jobs, travel and recreation for over two-thirds of the population of B.C.

It is a great inland sea, a 6,515 kilometre body of water lying between the mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. It is the lifeline for human, animal and marine life.

Twelve experts have contributed to The Sea Among Us, presenting a comprehensive study of the Strait of Georgia and the importance of it as an ecosystem. Scientific information, geology, biology and anthropology push this book from being a coffee table picture book to one with serious intent as a resource to learn about the importance of the Strait. First Nation’s historical fishing methods and history is included as well as turn of the century fishing.

This book was written to educate people of the importance of the Strait of Georgia. It provides extensive background information useful to educators, politicians and anyone interested in the health of the Strait.

All author royalties from this book are being donated to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, which is using the funds to launch its new Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a program that seeks to understand the loss of, and restore sustainable fisheries for, Chinook and coho salmon in the Strait of Georgia.

There are, of course, beautiful colour photographs and maps and diagrams to accompany the text.

Richard Beamish has a PHD in Zoology from the University of Toronto and has worked with numerous research organizations.

Gordon McFarlane spend 30 years as a researcher at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo.

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read