A file photo from the Sooke Regional Museum.

Beauty without the brawn

The Sooke Flats was the scene of this community picnic back in 1915.

  • Mar. 13, 2013 1:00 p.m.

Long white gowns for a picnic or not, they still had fun. The Sooke Flats was the scene of this community picnic back in 1915.

Long before the first All Sooke Day, the salt flats alongside the Sooke River was a popular gathering place for summer activities. Both this locale and the salt flats bordering Kaltasin Road were sites where residents could gather for celebrations and sunny summer fun.  In shady pockets bordering each place, there were glimpses of pink lady slippers, seablush and purple and yellow violets peeping through the greenery.

Tug-of-war competitions became serious rivalries later on, with muscular men pulling with all their might. These young ladies, however, while giving it their ladylike best, never pretended to have any brawn between them all.

Christian “Sandy” Helgesen (grandfather of Ed Helgesen of Coopers Cove Oyster plant) is the coach here.  Far left on the rope, we see Jessie Phillips, youngest daughter of the Phillips farm family (she later married Rueben Acreman).  Next is Violet Doran, the youngest daughter of the John and Ada Doran farm family (Sooke Way Dairy) in North Sooke, who later married Olof Frederickson, the man who carved the sleighs for the steam donkey engine yarder at the museum.

Daisy Margison is next – think Margison House (current home of Marv and Sylvia Hallgren) that recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Bertha Muir is the next young lady – elder daughter of J S Muir, she married Bill Auchinachie of Duncan and raised a large family of Muir descendants. Myrtle Whittier, May Hatcher and Mary McDeavett follow, with pioneer and industrial family connections as well.

Alice Gordon (with the black hatband) is next in line. While she is probably about 20-years-of-age in this photo she is better known to viewers of Moss Cottage tours as 6-year-old Alice Gordon, daughter of “Aunt Tilly” Gordon. The “lead” on the rope is Eliza Phillips, sister to Jessie, who did not marry but kept house for her brothers in later years.

At the time, this riverside land was held by the Charters family and was purchased by Sooke Community Association in the 1930s.

Elida Peers, Historian, Sooke Region Museum

Just Posted

High speed internet coming to remote CRD areas

Ottawa to invest $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable in B.C.

Affordable housing organization seeks to build in Sooke

Habitat for Humanity hopes to build cluster of townhouses at 2008 Murray Road

Council re-tenders Murray Road staircase project

Project could be delayed months

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read