“Bunny” Planes laid to rest next to her husband

Long time Sooke resident passes close to 90th birthday

LORRAINE ”BUNNY” ENGLER PLANES

1923 – 2012

Nearing her 90th birthday, one year after the passing of her husband, distinguished T’Sou-ke Elder Frank Planes, Lorraine “Bunny” Planes, Chum-o-coyth, was laid to rest with him at Sooke Harbour Cemetery.

It was Bunny’s striking Hawaiian beauty that had first attracted Frank back in 1942, when he was serving in the Canadian Forces and on leave in Vancouver. And at the service conducted by Father Michael Favero and Salish Spiritual Advisor Shirley Alphonse at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Saturday, it was haunting melodies from the Hawaiian Islands that drifted through the proceedings.

Bunny had grown up in Vancouver, her mother Edna May Vianen of Hawaiian descent and her dad, Thomas Engler, a Hollander who had immigrated to North Dakota and then to B.C.  Bunny, and her sister Viola nicknamed “Buddy” had learned hula dancing when they were growing up, and in turn, taught their young daughters.

Graduating from Templeton High during World War II, Bunny had gone to work in a factory in the east end making tents for the Armed Forces. Perhaps that was where she got her first practice at sewing, as she sat stitching on the heavy canvas.

On Oct. 18, 1944, the two were married. Frank brought his bride to Sooke to stay with his family while he went back to his war service. Before leaving her though, he introduced her to deer hunting in the Sooke hills, and instructed her to learn to pluck and clean ducks.

When Frank came back from the service, they were able to set up their first home together. Youngsters playing on the fine, new playground equipment at Saseenos School nowadays would be surprised to know that a little cottage stood exactly where they swing and climb on the bars. Almost hidden among the trees at the time, the cottage belonged to Frank’s step-dad Gustave Planes and the couple set up housekeeping there, with the help of apple crates for furniture.

The couple were living on Maple Avenue when first daughter Willow was born, and then with Frank’s successful fishing career they got their own home on West Coast Road. Daughter Fern joined the family. Industrious Bunny sewed clothes and dancing outfits for her girls, and matching outfits for Frank and herself.

Long gone were the days when she didn’t know how to pluck and clean game. Now she enjoyed trout fishing with Frank and the two went to the Kootenays for elk and to Saskatchewan for geese. Like most women of the day with fishermen husbands, she canned jar after jar of salmon.

When her children were grown, Bunny went out fishing salmon commercially with Frank, serving as deckhand, along with grandsons from time to time. They particularly enjoyed the interlude when she was deckhand and hostess for Frank when he was captain of Bob Wright’s Salmon Princess sailing out of Ucluelet.

In their senior years ,the couple were living on Eagle Heights on Reserve No. 1, and spent a more relaxing period traveling and entertaining relatives, including Bunny’s Hawaiian kin from the mainland. Until recently, Bunny still kept up her skills, knitting, crocheting and continuing to turn out jars of canned salmon.

Bunny Planes leaves daughter Willow (Joe Dodge), Fern (Frank Albany), grandchildren: Shelley (Luke) Orton (Kylie), Leaf, Frankie, Ricky, Alyssa and great-grandchildren: Skye, Lyall, Jessie, Bailey and Brodie. She leaves her sister-in-law Germaine Sutherland, brothers-in-law Jack Planes and Ronald Planes (Doreen) and many nieces and nephews.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read