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Editorial: Community must come together to revive All Sooke Day

Many communities have a special day of celebration. Why not Sooke?

If you remember what All Sooke Day was like, there’s a pretty good chance you would welcome its return in some way, shape or form.

The prospect of reviving the event as a community fixture from the 1930s until 2002 even figured in a mayoral candidate’s platform during the municipal election.

Dean Haldane, president of the Sooke Community Association, which shepherded All Sooke Day from its inception, said he’s in favour of a revival, and some of the association’s directors agree.

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Those who support a return, however, make some interesting points.

A long-time Sooke Lions Club member, Al Beddows, noted that All Sooke Day traditionally celebrates the community’s bedrock industries, such as commercial fishing and logging. Since these elements no longer exist to the same degree, it begs the question of how we should define Sooke going forward and how we can celebrate this community. Additionally, Beddows calls for a collaborative effort involving a cross-section of organizations.

Britt Santowski, executive director of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce, would welcome a return but believes it requires a more focused, paid position approach to handle the planning process and execution rather than strictly volunteer-driven.

Metchosin has its day, Saanich celebrates its fair with flair, and there’s that tea party that brews behind the tweed curtain in Oak Bay. These events bring together families, friends and people of all ages and persuasions to revel in what makes their communities such a special place to call home. The only thing stopping Sooke from doing the same is marshalling the people to make it happen.

The time has come for this community to step up with suggestions on what would work best to turn the chatter about the return of All Sooke Day into a reality.

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