The first Sooke home of Olive and Peter Wadams: Moss Cottage along Church Road.

SOOKE HISTORY: Naming of Wadams Way

Olive and Peter Wadams arrived in Canada in 1929 and became significant Sooke pioneers

Elida Peers

Special to the Sooke News Mirror

Today as we breeze down the spanking new street lined with trees and street banners that cuts between Church Road and Otter Point Road, it seems so natural to take that shortcut route.

We wonder how Olive and Peter Wadams would have felt to see the traffic breeze by their old home, the little farmhouse perched quietly on the hillside, home to many a friendly gathering for a cup of tea and a visit.

In 1906 Olive was born in the metropolis of London, England. She grew up to marry Peter (Hugh) Wadams, a man with farming in his blood, and in 1929 the couple emigrated to Canada.

The pair arrived at Sidney to work on a dairy farm at first, then moved to Sooke where they rented “Moss Cottage” up until 1942, because at that time they were able to purchase the cottage pictured above, standing on Church Road.

Olive Wadams was a kindly, cheery and positive-spirited lady whose hallmark was caring about her community. This she demonstrated in countless ways, from playing a role in the Sooke and North Sooke Women’s Institute, the Ladies  Auxiliary to the Royal Canadian Legion, to helping at All Sooke Day, to serving as a tester for Girl Guide/Brownie badges, to supporting the Sooke Region Museum and much more. For half a century, Olive led the singing of O Canada at the Legion’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Olive and Peter raised two children, Norah and Hugh, at their farm home, where the youngsters learned early to tackle farm chores, helping with milking the cows and tending the gardens which grew every sort of produce. The Wadams farm was adjacent to the farm of Ralph and Margaret Strong.

While Peter excelled at gardening and consistently took prizes for produce at the Sooke Fall Fair, it was needlework that was Olive’s forte.

Not only was Olive’s name always on the needlework winning list at the Sooke Fair, but she came home with many awards from the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver as well.

Left alone after Peter’s death in 1968, Olive continued to keep busy. Besides needlework and singing, though, she had two other hobbies, making a cup of tea for friends who came to chat, and sharing her garden of beautiful blossoms. Whenever flowers were needed for a public celebration in Sooke, everyone knew to call on Olive.

Olive died in 2004, and my last memories of her were of her weekly visits to the businesses in downtown Sooke, where she brought flowers to fill their vases with colour and good cheer, a message of caring from a woman who truly cared for her community.

•••

 

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.

 

 

Just Posted

Group seeks to build honorary RCMP sculpture in Sooke

Sooke RCMP officers work long hours protecting the community, and a local… Continue reading

Refugee family gets help with rent

Sooke council changes scope of $3,600 grant

Central Saanich police chase down speeding biker

A motorcyclist from the Lower Mainland was caught on the Tsawout reserve… Continue reading

Sooke high school welcomes new principal

Laura Fulton was formerly vice principal at Belmont High and Spencer Middle schools

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait seeking re-election

So far, Maja Tait only declared candidate in mayor’s race

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Saanich lights up Layritz Park with solar-powered lights

Saanich plans to install more solar-powered lights after installing them in Layritz… Continue reading

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read