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SOOKE HISTORY: Legacy of Frank Richardson endures in community

Exploring the life of Sooke man, his family and contributions to community
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Frank and Doreen Richardson married in 1951. Frank made his living in the building supply business. (Contribued - Sooke Region Museum)

Elida Peers | Contributed

Pictured is the 1951 wedding of Frank and Doreen Richardson, longtime Sooke residents.

Frank made his living in building supplies, and with the enormity of the current construction projects today, we are led to wonder – would Frank even think it possible for this little community to have so much building going on?

The marriage of Frank Richardson and Doreen Pendray, who’d just graduated from nursing school, occurred at Doreen’s brother’s Victoria home.

Folks today may recall the name of Pendray, a family of farmers who has been dairy farming in Saanich for many years and still farm today, they have created a family visitor attraction called the Pendray Corn Maze.

Frank Richardson was born here, one of six children of Vernon and Emmie Richardson, who made their home on Church Road, just about across the street from the Knox Presbyterian Church, which played a large part in their lives. Frank was born in the little lying-in hospital of Dr. Richard Felton, a large structure that still stands today at the lower part of Felton Lane.

He attended Sooke Superior School, along with his siblings and then went into the family business. Frank’s heart was solidly in Sooke; he was involved in community affairs and contributed as a volunteer to many groups, whether the fire department, fall fair, or All Sooke Day.

He came by his retail skills in building supplies quite naturally, growing up in a family where his dad and uncles worked in carpentry. His Uncle Charlie Richardson developed a building supply firm right about where the traffic light is at Church Road nowadays, leading down from Highway 14 into Mariners Village.

Frank took over management from his uncle in the 1950s, continuing until his retirement in 1969. The couple raised three children, Ruth, Don and Jean.

The earlier Richardson generation, Vernon and Emma, Charlie and Flo, and Harry and May, three couples bravely set out from England into an unknown world. Arriving in 1911, they camped in tents until they could build for themselves. The Richardson brothers built structures that included the Holy Trinity Anglican Church (the first one), the Margison House, and Ragley in East Sooke.

In semi-retirement, still contributing to community affairs, Frank Richardson drove a school bus until he died in 1988.

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





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