Unveiling the memorial plaque

Leechtown celebrated with new monument

Day-long event at Leechtown site and the Sooke Region Museum

The Honourable Judith Guichon Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia graced Sooke with her presence on the morning of July 19 to commemorate the 150th year of the founding of Leechtown with the unveiling of a new monument at the Kampoor Regional Park Reserve (formerly a part of Leechtown).

The Vancouver Island Placer Miners Association (VIPMA) committed to construct a new monument for Leechtown, about 3.5 years ago, as the old one exists on private land, is dilapidated and is not available to the general public. In partnership with CRD Parks, CRD Water Shed, VIPMA started the process of re-connecting with potential stake holders to resurrect a new monument. Representing VIPMA were Bruce Chaytor as chair, Bart van Den Berk, co-chair and Donna Chaytor, coordinator of the event.

In attendance were Wendal Milne, the mayor of Sooke, Chief Gordon Planes, of the T’Sou-ke Nation, Elder Shirley Alphonse, and a long list of representatives from various historical associations.

On Saturday, the years of planning came to pass. After several brief presentations, a new commemorative monument was unveiled by Her Honour Judith Guichon and VIPMA chair Bruce Chaytor.

The Honourable Judith Guichon addressed the crowd with a lovely poem by Robert Service, and shared memories  her time in the Yukon and her connection to gold.

Bart van den Berk author of the recently released The History of Leechtown Part 1, had his daughter Laura present a copy of his book to Her Honour. The book is based on the authentic journals and letters of the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition on the discovery of gold.

On hand was Fred Zarelli, the eldest person with knowledge of the Leechtown area. Also in attendance was special guest, Beverly Smith who was born in Leechtown in the early 1940’s.

Leechtown has a long history which was started with the announcement of payable gold, and was followed by many diverse people and ways of life in the past 150 years.  Leechtown and the area has always had a way to stay in the hearts of people as a special place, and as such deserves the recognition of a bit of special attention for her 150th Commemoration.

Celebrations continued into the afternoon at the Sooke Regional Museum, which included outdoor events, music, food, and some very fine beverages. Her Honour Judith Guichon toured the Sooke Region Museum for about 30 minutes with the museum’s executive director Lee Boyko and president of the Sooke Historical Society Ray Vowles.

Just Posted

Governments invest $79M for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

13 Island councils and boards compete in climate challenge to reduce ecological footprint

Councils and CRD board have one year to reduce average footprint

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Join Oak Bay’s heritage walk and scavenger hunt this Saturday

Hunt seeks significant examples of historical architecture in Oak Bay

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

LETTER: Refining bitmen not a good idea

One of the arguments against increasing the capacity of the Trans Mountain… Continue reading

LETTER: Welcome to Nevergreen Mall

Re: Work starts on mall expansion (News, July 17) Welcome to Nevergreen… Continue reading

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Most Read