Another View: ‘Old Sooke’ is about community

A Saseenos resident writes about what Sooke is to her

There has been a lot of talk over the past weeks about Old Sooke and New Sooke and what this means. Interestingly, some of the commentators noted it as an election issue but you weren’t hearing about it from the candidates.

I have experienced our community from both perspectives; being the fifth in a seven-generation Sooke-area family and also arriving as a newcomer to a very different town after living away for 12 years and returning. If you are wondering what it means to be Old Sooke, here’s a primer.

What is Old Sooke?

 

It’s about a set of values that have stood the test of time to keep our community thriving and not about the number of years lived here.

 

It’s a community dinner where an 80-year-old woman serves your plate topped with an ice-cream scoop of mashed potatoes. When dinner is over you stack your chair and help put away tables.

 

It’s building the Sooke Community Hall more than 75 years ago and working many years to contribute time and money for ball fields where Sooke children have played for decades. It’s teachers working with students to create community art, donations for the EMCS theatre, and volunteers raising funds to house the community’s elders. It’s contributing time and dollars to build the beautiful Charters River Salmon Interpretative Centre.

 

It’s the volunteers who risked their lives during the massive wind storm in December 2006 to rescue people trapped in vehicles (while their own homes were at risk) and retired loggers with gassed-up chain saws who got to work to clear the fallen trees. It’s the neighbour with a bobcat who ploughs snow off your street before his own driveway.

 

It’s showing up to community events year after year. It’s the volunteers for faith groups, hospice and service clubs like Lions and Rotary who are always there to help. It’s about being behind the scenes to step in with search, rescue and emergency services. It’s supporting long-standing landmarks like the Sooke Region Museum, Jack Brooks Fish Hatchery and the Flats.

 

All of these assets and services we take for granted were built on a foundation of community spirit.

 

It’s shared experiences and memories. Long before we needed to build trails, kids walked everywhere cutting through yards. You knocked on the door and didn’t need a play date. People swam in the river and lakes before there was a pool and skated on Boneyard or Vogel’s Slough before there was an arena. As a grown up at the beach you still turn over rocks to look for crabs. You know all the back roads and best places for biggest fish.

 

It’s going to a boogie to relive old days with more than 400 people from across the country. After the bills are paid the organizers donate the couple thousand dollars left to the food bank with no fanfare.

 

It’s supporting local businesses for decades. In turn, businesses support the community with donations for auctions, discounts or little extras to show their appreciation.

 

It’s loving the community at every stage in its evolution. Even when you don’t like change we rarely see you waving signs in protest, making big demands or writing letters.

 

It’s welcoming newcomers who arrive and stay. T’Sou-ke people welcomed new settlers and those who are here continue to welcome visitors and residents. It’s about honouring and respecting the traditions, values, culture and history and embracing these values. It’s staying true to the community you grew up in or fell in love with.

Doni Eve

Saseenos

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

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read