Sooke News Mirror
A selection of new titles which have interest to Sooke readers. Check with local bookstores and the Sooke Region Museum to see if they have copies.
The History of Leechtown Part 1
The VIEE and the Discovery of Gold on the Sooke and Leech Rivers
Author: Bart van den Berk
279 pages, Softcover
Bart van den Berk has done his research and from what he gathered, there is historical misinformation on who discovered gold in the Leech and Sooke Rivers back in 1864.
The History of Leechtown is not so much written by van den Berk as it is compiled, edited and annotated. This however does not take away from the tremendous hours and possibly years of research required to write this book. It is interesting to read the journal and diary entries of members of the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition to see how exploration was carried out before the turn of the century. There are numerous drawings of the landscape by Frederick Whymper, maps and photographs which help one envision what Vancouver Island was like at the time.
For historians, this is a informative and interesting read with plenty of detail to keep one wanting to turn the next page. It is a true picture of time and place.
The History of Leechtown Part 1 is carried in Sooke at the Sooke Region Museum, Sooke Harbour House, the Barking Dog and Reading Room.
A Treasury of BC Cartoons
The Best of Adrian Raeside
Author: Adrian Raeside
192 Pages, Softcover
Adrian Raeside has been drawing cartoons for 35 years, that’s roughly 7,000 cartoons that make fun or a spoof on all that is British Columbia. From the politicians to the ferries, from the environmentalists to the Canucks, nothing and no one is sacred. This latest collection includes 230 of Raeside’s most hilarious cartoons along with his wry editorial commentary. His commentary wasn’t included when the cartoons were first printed — and they are funny, they let you know what he was thinking at the time.
To be a political/editorial cartoonist one must be intelligent, have a wicked sense of humour and be intensely aware of what is happening. Raeside accomplishes all of that with a wit that is as sharp as a razor. No one in the public eye is immune to Raeside’s barbs. He can see the irony and the humor in life in British Columbia.
His cartoons are always a point in B.C.’s history and speak to the political and social climate of the day. Everyone has likely taped a couple of his cartoons on the fridge from time to time. His sardonic take on life in Lotus Land is amusing, right on target and a great political commentary painted with cartoons rather than many words. He is a standup comedian with a a pen rather than a microphone. He just gets it.
Raincoast Chronicles 22
Saving Salmon, Sailors and Souls
Stories of Service on the BC Coast
Edited by David R. Conn
128 pages, Softcover
100+ B&W photographs
The Raincoast Chronicles anthologies have been on bookshelves and coffee tables for more than 40 years. The stories in each are a time line and a historical account of what life was like on the British Columbia coast and how we came to be what we are. They are the stories of the men and women who settled in the province seeking their fortunes through hard work and perseverance.
The writers are often those with first hand knowledge and a passion for their jobs. They are stories about fishers and helicopter pilots, doctors and missionaries, bus drivers and volunteers. Dedicated people with stories to tell.
Fascinating stories of the rescue of Asian prostitutes in Victoria at the turn of the century in Singing “The Song of the Redeemed” Creating Christians at the Chinese Rescue Home by Stephen Ullstrom, to more work-related stories of wooden boats and trolley buses.
Many of the stories speak of earlier days and this anthology highlights service people. Their commitment and passion is evident and the historical photographs will bring back many memories for those who have lived along the coast.
Alan Haig-Brown tells tales of his adventures as a deckhand on a veteran B.C. coastal freighter in The Non-Union Job, and Constance Kretz remembers the historic Painter’s Lodge near Campbell River in They Came to Fish: Snapshots from the First Fifty Years at Painter’s Lodge.
These types of stories are the ones which often encourage writers to challenge themselves to write a book. The stories are mere snapshots of the bigger picture but they give one a sense of a life well-lived with adventure at every turn.
Vancouver Island Imagine
Photographer Bommer Jerritt
Text Peter Grant
MacIntyre Purcell Publishing
128 pages, Softcover
Pictures best describe the vibrant and fascinating place that is Vancouver Island. In a new book, Vancouver Island Imagine, photographer Boomer Jerritt and writer Peter Grant, combined their talents to offer up a visual journey across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
Vancouver Island Imagine is a technicolour feast for the eyes which celebrates all of those unique places and spaces which make up Island culture. It’s a photo album that everyone wants to look at.
Writer Peter Grant is the tour guide, adding colour and history to the vistas spread between the pages. Grant is the bestselling author of six books.
Award winning photographer Boomer Jerritt captures the real essence of the places and people of Vancouver Island.
Both men bring out the magic and mystery so evident in this special place. It is wild and beautiful and the people who choose to live there surrounded by water are as diverse as the Island itself.
Vancouver Island Imagine is the real deal. It shows Vancouver Island life as it really is.
Poachers, Polluters & Politics
A Fishery Officer’s Career
Author: Randy Nelson
287 pages, Softcover
Some books are immensely interesting to a lot of people, some are personal recollections of a career. Randy Nelson’s account of his life as a fishery officer is a series of short vignettes often laced with a bit of humour. This isn’t really a general interest book but it is a look at what it takes to be a firm but fair fisheries officer in the back reaches of British Columbia. Nelson’s stories are peppered with anecdotes and comments on how he carried out a job that was not popular with fishermen in any way, shape of form.
Poachers, Polluters & Politics is sure to interest those who have a love and respect for the outdoors. It explains the duties and responsibilities of a fisheries officer from someone who was passionate about their job.
Randy Nelson became the most decorated Fishery Officer in the history of B.C. His 35-year career took him throughout the B.C. Coast and the Interior. He now lives in Kamloops.
Milk Spills & One-Log Loads
Memories of a Pioneer Truck Driver
Author: Frank White
249 pages, Hardcover
Every once in a while a writer comes along who tells stories as though you are sitting with him in a pub somewhere. Frank White is one of those storytellers who really tells it like it was. He’s earthy with no big ego fueling his telling of tales.
Life for the truck driver has always been one of endless miles, crusty characters and breakdowns of people and machines.
White tells the stories of cities and towns before there was such a word as “urban.”
He speaks of the dirty 30s and the effect war had on him and his family. Streetcars and milk trucks, Model Ts and beer parlors all figure into the life of White. The Lower Mainland figures a lot in the early part of the book, as the White family ran a butcher shop in Abbotsford.
While the topic, at first, may not seem very interesting or engaging, it is. It is told in a down home way which takes one back in time to the tumultuous days of the early 20th century. When Frank White was 60, he started writing about his life as a pioneer truck driver and his yarn about wrangling tiny trucks overloaded with hug elogs first appeared on the pages of Raincoast Chronicles 3.
White was close to 100 years old when he started the conversation which would become Milk Spills & One-Log Loads.
It’s a good read.