1952 basketball team among Sooke’s sports legacy

Basketball dominated local sports in 1952

Sooke’s 1952 boys’ basketball team. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Sooke’s 1952 boys’ basketball team. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Elida Peers | Contributed

Basketball dominated local sports in 1952. The Sooke Community Hall was built to accommodate an official basketball court.

Four members of the 1952 boys’ basketball team (pictured) – Jim Baker, David McClimon, Gary Jones and Dan Lajeunesse – are still alive.

Historically, folks in Sooke and the entire region have supported team sports for their youth. Scores of men and women have dedicated their lives to coaching kids in various team sports. A good example would be George Jones, the coach of the team.

At the rear left is Norman Essery, one of three sons of Jack Essery, the freight truck driver who lived on Dixon Road. Norman and his family lived for many years in the B.C. Interior. Vernon Musfelt is next in line; he was part of Sooke’s industrial world for many years and left a family legacy in Sooke. John Martin was the younger son of John and Sheila Martin of Sooke River Road. Though a world traveller, John’s last years were also spent living alongside the river, helping with salmon enhancement.

Jim Baker is next, a grandson of Percy Wilham, who built the structure, which still stands at the northeast corner of Sooke and Church roads and son of Roy Baker. He currently lives at Boston Bar. Cliff Bowles was the son of a businessman who came to Sooke at the close of the Second World War, purchasing on Otter Point Road.

In front, Gary Jones, who is still with us, is the youngest son of George (the coach, right) and Mabel Jones and younger brother to community leaders Stan and Len Jones. Next, Dave McClimon has played a prominent role in the Sooke’s community’s life and responsibilities and his teaching career at Edward Milne Secondary School. While he is responsible for the building of Lannon Creek Mobile Home Park, nowadays, he leaves the heavy lifting to his son.

Next is Dan Lajeunesse, born to Fred and Stella, whose life was spent in the forest industry before taking on a mail route in his semi-retirement years. Dan was one of the four boys, including David McClimon, Jim Baker, and Jim Hodges (not pictured), who was struck by polio in 1953, the year after this photo was taken. Though all the boys made partial recoveries, the world is grateful for the Salk polio vaccine that emerged and changed world history.


Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum. Email historian@sookeregionmuseum.com.


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