The original Sooke School District trustees at a 1946 meeting. The Sooke Region Museum is hoping to identify the people in this picture. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

The original Sooke School District trustees at a 1946 meeting. The Sooke Region Museum is hoping to identify the people in this picture. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

SOOKE HISTORY: School districts created in 1946

Can you identify the trustees?

Elida Peers | Contributed

Before 1946, our area’s elementary schools were managed by local folk who took responsibility to keep the schools running. After the Cameron Report of 1946, all that changed.

Consolidated school districts were set up throughout the province – Sooke became School District No. 62, Victoria became District No. 61, and Saanich became District No. 63, and so on throughout the province.

The districts were set up to contribute to the cost of the schools of the future, as when the men returned from the war, the population began to increase dramatically.

MORE SOOKE HISTORY

The photo shown is from the 1970s, and we’re hoping that printing this might spur the memories of folks who could help with the exact year and maybe other information as well.

We haven’t identified the gentleman standing at the left. Still, we believe the next is Ernest Hyndman, district superintendent at the time, then trustees Bob Anderson and Bill Stephenson, both Sooke boys. Next is trustee Alan Littler of Metchosin, and then Ross Payne, who was the maintenance supervisor.

The front row starts with a woman whose name is commemorated in Langford; she is trustee Isabelle Reader, for whom the Isabelle Reader Theatre is named. Next are trustees Howard Drummond and Fred Willway, both elected in the Western Communities. Les Wheeldon, the board’s secretary-treasurer, is next followed by Sooke trustee Ron Fitton, who served on the board for many years.

When the Sooke School District was set up, two trustees from the Sooke area, one from Port Renfrew and four from the inner area, now called the Western Communities.

You might wonder why Port Renfrew, reachable only by boat at the time, was included, but it was simple: the forest resource revenues of the San Juan Valley would contribute to the cost of schools that would need to be built in Langford and Colwood.

Going back to the initial formation of the Sooke School District in 1946, it was Myrtle Pedneault of Shirley District who we believe was first elected a trustee. Her daughter, Pat Brooks, recalls that Myrtle would stop on her way to Colwood meetings to pick up Fred Thornber, the other local trustee. The representative from Port Renfrew was Violet Davidson. Please contact us historian@sookeregionmuseum.com with corrections or additions. We would welcome the help.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of the Sooke Region Museum. Please email her at historian@sookeregionmuseum.com.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Howard English Hatchery volunteer Joscilyn Jupp poured one of many buckets of salmon fry into Douglas Creek on May 11, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
35,000 salmon fry released in Saanich park during closed event

Chum from Goldstream Hatchery trucked in to restore Douglas Creek salmon spawning

Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. The Capital Regional District approved its regional parks mountain biking guidelines and a list of short-term actions at the CRD board’s May 12 meeting. (Black Press Media File Photo)
CRD approves mountain biking guidelines that drove spoke between advocates, environmentalists

Guidelines aim to find new biking opportunites in region, while protecting park ecology

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars returns to Victoria

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Global expert touts seaweed to open inaugural Sidney festival

Vincent Doumeizel also points to barrier facing the emerging industry

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Most Read