Looking Back

A trip back through the Sooke News Mirror time machine

  • Oct. 5, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Oct 6, 2010

No vacancy


The Sooke River Hotel filled up with visitors one last time for the final meat draw before the doors closed on Oct. 1.

Standing room only, there was also a $300 50/50 draw for top “grandpa,” raffle prizes, and an auction led by Sooke News Mirror publisher Rod Sluggett.

It was the end of a 30-year tradition of giving to charity at the hotel known to locals as “The Castle.” Each year, patrons would buy tickets for the meat draws, with proceeds going to local sports groups and charities.

Kenny Rittaler gave away the last cheques to representatives from community groups like the Lions/Lioness clubs, the Sooke Food Bank, Sooke Hospice and Meals on Wheels.



Oct. 4, 2006

Sooke raps


In Sooke he might be Colin Harris, but everywhere else he hopes to be known as hip hop artist St. Kelly.

Born and raised in town, he is about to release his self-produced, self marketed album Tip of the Iceberg.

He has lived in Victoria for a couple of years but returns often to the recording/production facility that doubles as his dad’s house in the village core.

The 23-year-old creative force is passionate about his music and also the entire technical process involved in making it accessible to the public. He has worked (or will work) with contemporaries including Cuban Friday, Guy Woods and Milz.


Oct. 3, 2001

Ambulance service births child


New mother Sherri Ostropolski received service from B.C. ambulance staff that went above and beyond the call of duty.

On Sept. 14 at 1:55 a.m., Ethan Alexander, seven days overdue, weighing 7 lbs. 7 oz was born on a stretcher in the back of a B.C. ambulance van.

“It was a natural birth in every sense of the word,” said Ostropolski.

Natural and brief.

At 1:15 a.m. her water broke. about to go to the hospital, she knew the baby was coming out and told her husband to call 911. The ambulance arrived in about eight minutes.


Oct. 2, 1996

Friendlier year for West Coast Trail


The last hikers of the season set out for the West Coast Trail Monday, and this year mishaps were down on the rugged trail.

Running from the Gordon River trailhead in Port Renfrew to the Pacheena Bay trailhead in Bamfield, Ron Hooper, superintendent of the Pacific Rim National Park said there have been fewer incidents.

“In previous years we responded to between 60 and 70 emergency rescues. With this season drawing to a close we’re running about half of that,” said Hooper.

Most accidents are relatively minor, where victims are able to walk out with little assistance. Some cases are more severe with helicopter lifts off the trail being required.

Oct. 2, 1991

Foghorn toots goodbye


The foghorn at the end of Whiffin Spit is a familiar sight, but after March 31 it will be replaced by a bellbouy located off Company Point near the entrance to Sooke Harbour.

Fred Switzer, regional head of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, said he had been informed of the move by Cliff Crow, district superintendent of Aids to Navigation.

Switzer said Crow (who was unavailable for comment due to the current public service strike) “is not that much of a believer of the foghorn, because it is non-directional and isn’t heard too far out into the strait.”

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