Every vehicle that goes past the old red community hall in Shirley, must wonder at what people do there. The hall, which also contains the fire department, is well over 75 years old. Last year the fire department celebrated it’s 25th anniversary and Sheringham Point Lighthouse celebrated 100 years. There is a lot of history packed into that tiny little spot on the highway going north.
The tiny community of Shirley, 15 minutes north of Sooke along Hwy. 14, began as a post office back in 1894, and was named after a town near Southampton, England.
The community hall serves as the centre of the community with the firehall added in 1980.
The community still thrives with a summer population of about 600. Of the year-round residents, many work from home and many are retired and some just want to live there on the edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Shirley Delicious, a small coffee shop and cafe recently opened and is a favorite stopping off point for folks traveling to or from Port Renfrew.
Shirley Day is the annual summer celebration of all things Shirley. The event, on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., is a family affair with music, events for kids, a pie and watermelon eating contest, display of fire trucks and a slew of vendors and crafters.
“We have over 30 vendors and crafters coming,” said Fiona McDannold, president of the Shirley Community Association. “There’s our concession with nice homemade food, bluegrass music and the West Coast Trio who play classical music.”
People come and have a bite, browse the craft market and just sit in the sun and relax.
Shirley Day will encompass the Sunday farmers’ market where folks can pick up fresh produce grown in the area.
The salmon barbecue takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the hall but the fun goes on all day.