Sooke historian Elida Peers holds one of Taylor’s watercolours donated to the Sooke Region Museum by the Sooke branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Taylor watercolours to grace museum

Blessed as Sooke has been with generations of gifted artists, perhaps none has been more prolific than Captain P W deP Taylor.

Blessed as Sooke has been with generations of gifted artists, perhaps none has been more prolific than Captain P W deP Taylor. His watercolours of local scenes grace many walls here and throughout the world.

It was 1921 that “Buck” Taylor, a veteran of World War I, arrived in Sooke with his socialite wife Margaret whom he had met in London, England. Still on their honeymoon, the young couple purchased 17 acres at what is now the corner of West Coast Road and Grant Road (think Steve Arnett’s place). He established a purebred dairy herd, shipping milk and cream to Victoria via motor stage.

Interviewed 50 years later, Margaret Taylor spoke of the contrast between her private school background and being “pitchforked into rural life” contending with oil lamps, a woodstove and backyard privy. Back in those days, her husband was too busy making a living from the farm to indulge in painting but his keen interest in the community led him into much organizational work, such as establishment of the local Royal Canadian Legion.

In 1926 the couple’s circumstances changed with an inheritance from Britain and a fine three-storey home took shape near Whiffin Spit, even graced with an elevator. The Taylor daughter, Fiona, grew up to marry a naval officer and live in Ontario, while son Robert became a helicopter pilot flying the Canadian north.

By the 1940s an artist’s palette had replaced farm tools and Buck Taylor began recording the rural scenes around him. His life connected him to all aspects of the community and his heart wanted to leave a legacy showing the village’s story. Historic homes and landmarks, secluded lakes dotted with water lilies, a picturesque gnarled tree, breakers rolling in from the Strait, his paintbrush recorded them all.

By the 1970s his scenes were legendary, with more than one thousand art sales. Lying ill with shingles in his later years, he called friends to come and choose one of his remaining works to take home with them. My choice was Grassy Lake.

His son Robert, the pilot, inheriting his dad’s deft hand with the brush, turned his attention to scenes of flying ducks and geese, and these scenes as well are often hung in Sooke homes. Robert’s interests too, were varied, and he left another community legacy; the establishment known today as Buffy’s started out on the corner as his enterprise.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

 

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

Just Posted

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Chiefs look forward to creating ‘sustainable future’ for next generations

Langford Legion gives the gift of tech to elementary school

Savory donation of $2,680 funds four Chromebooks and two iPad minis

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

The Coldest Night of the Year comes to Sooke

National event helps those who are hungry and homeless

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Salvatore (Sam) Pasta

Salvatore (Sam) Pasta lived life to the fullest

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read