Letters: We are all just Sookies

The divide between old and new Sooke doesn't exist says letter writer

The Myth of Old and New Sooke

Ever since I have lived in Sooke I have heard that there are two types of people in Sooke, “old Sooke” and “new Sooke.

I searched the far corners of the district for these old and new Sooke people but couldn’t find them. I checked the district bylaws to see what the criteria is to determine who is old Sooke and who is new Sooke, but could not find anything.  I thought I would find a bylaw stating the number of years you need to live in Sooke to be considered old Sooke along with the corresponding privileges associated with this honour.

I suffered an identity crisis, as I was not sure whether I was old or new Sooke (I even considered obtaining counselling).  Then I had an epiphany. I am a resident of Sooke.  There is no “old Sooke” or “new Sooke.”  There is simply “Sooke.” The old/new concept is an artificial construct. The problem with this myth is that some people believe it to be true. As a result residents are categorized as “old” or “new” and characteristics are attributed to these residents as a result. I am not even going to list these attributes as that would only serve to perpetuate the myth.  Prejudices are formed and stereotypes are created, which are hurtful and only serve to divide our community.

What I can tell you that I have felt nothing but welcomed since moving to this village. Nobody has asked me to move and I have never been discriminated against due to the length of time I have lived here.  That is what I would expect, as I am as much a Sooke resident as anyone else who lives here.

When voting in the upcoming municipal election I urge citizens to choose the candidates that best represent their values and the direction they would like Sooke to take. Voting for someone based on whether they represent old or new Sooke is wrong, because it is not possible for a candidate to represent a concept that does not exist. Be wary of any candidates that perpetuate this myth.

Tom Myrick

Sooke