After more than two decades with the Capital Regional District (CRD), Larry Hutchings, the now-former SEAPARC manager, has left the building and shut the SEAPARC door behind him. That’s correct. Hutchings has retired.
Originally from Newfoundland, Hutchings settled on Vancouver Island with his wife Valerie and his two children, Lauren and Grant. He and his family have lived in Sooke, Metchosin, and most recently, Victoria. Hutchings worked with the CRD for 22 years, beginning on October 1, 1991 and retiring on October 1, 2013.
When Hutchings began at SEAPARC in 1993, the only facility on site was the arena. The Sooke Arena was originally built before his time, in 1976. Hutchings oversaw the growth of many sports and leisure venues in Sooke, including the creation and development of the Stan Jones Field, the bike jump park, the SK8 park, the swimming pool, the SEAPARC logo, the arena boards and glass/snow melt system, and the arena change room expansion.
In addition to his work in (and for) Sooke, Hutchings was also very active in the community with Sooke Minor Hockey, Sooke Slo Pitch, and the Rotary auction to mention a few. He was also a long standing member of the Sooke Rotary Club.
Hutchings was a supporter of the media covering local events. Back in December 2005, Dan Ross, a former Sooke News Mirror editor, was escorted from the arena by the RCMP. The problem? Ross assumed it was because the team owner and manager of the newly founded Stingers, a junior “B” division hockey team, did not like the sports coverage that followed his hockey teams’ 21 consecutive game losses.
In response, Hutchings expressed his support for media coverage.
“We have never barred the media from the facility. We like to have them here. We don’t share the opinion that the renter can pick or choose the patrons,” Hutchings said at the time about the incident.
According to Linda Finch, the acting manager at SEAPARC, “Larry recently mentioned that he looks forward to one day becoming a grandfather and bringing his grandchildren to SEAPARC to go swimming and skating.”
With notes from Linda Finch, a/manager, SEAPARC