The newly elected Sooke council will troop into the Municipal Hall on Nov. 5 to take the oath of office and officially be sworn in.
It’s a ceremony that marks the beginning of a four-year journey for the six successful council candidates and mayor and, much like the first day of school, or the first day on a new job (which, for some, it is), the experience can be a combination of apprehension and excitement.
For Tony St. Pierre, the swearing-in ceremony represents the beginning of an opportunity to find out what is actually possible as a councillor.
“I know what I want to accomplish on council, but until you’re actually on the inside and doing the job, you can’t actually know what you can do or how long it will take,” said St. Pierre.
Another aspect of the ceremony is a little troubling for the St. Pierre.
“As a French-Canadian, I feel no particular allegiance to the Crown, and I’m not really excited about swearing allegiance. I also recognize that it’s traditional and carries history and weight, so I’ll go ahead with it,” he said.
For another new councillor, Al Beddows, the swearing-in ceremony was the first opportunity to test his ability to overcome obstacles.
Faced with a limit of five reserved seats for the ceremony, Beddows realized that he had a problem.
“I wanted to invite my campaign manager and his wife and then there are my four children and God help me if my wife wasn’t included,” Beddows joked.
“I got a couple of extra tickets so everyone was happy.”
Two of the council are, of course, returning incumbents and we wondered if the ceremony still had the same impact on them as it did the first time around.
“This is my third swearing in and it’s still exciting,” said Brenda Parkinson.
“I guess what’s exciting for me is that it indicates that people believe in me and support what I’ve been doing,” said Parkinson.
“I remember the first time when my dad was still with us. It was very exciting. I really love all the traditions.”
After being sworn in, the councillors will also be assigned to CRD positions although committee appointments will wait for a future Council meeting.
The swearing-in ceremony takes place at the Municipal Hall in Sooke at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.