A dramatic fire in 2006 destroyed Ralph Hull's home on Horne Road.

A dramatic fire in 2006 destroyed Ralph Hull's home on Horne Road.

Looking Back

A look back through the Sooke News Mirror archives

  • Jun. 29, 2011 7:00 a.m.

House on Horne Road goes up in flames

Ralph Hull lost years of memories after his vacation rental home at 6669 Horne Road burnt to the ground last Wednesday,

The Sooke and Otter Point Fire Departments responded to the call at 2:05 p.m. and fought the fire for well over five hours.

“It was difficult, really tough due to the extent of the fire — the wind didn’t help, and it was a hot day,” said Deputy Fire Chief Steve Sorenson.

There is no evidence of arson and the cause is undetermined at this point, although SorensEn called the fire “suspicious.”


June 30, 2004

Queen Alexandra Foundation opens new youth centre

Described as a “one-spot-stop” for services related to youngsters, teens and families, the Sooke Child, Youth and Family Centre was officially opened.

“No doubt this centre will change the world for many children in Sooke,” said Lori Messer, chairwoman of the Sooke Cooperative Association of Service Agencies.

The 12,000 sq. ft. $2.6 million dollar facility was built by the Queen Alexandra Foundation, who also raised the money  to purchase the land and equip the building.

The centre houses eight social service agencies, including the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Vancouver Island Health Authority.

June 24, 1998

Historic French Beach home demolished

An iconic house on the French Beach Provincial Park property was demolished last week.

The land it was built on was originally purchased by explorer James French in 1885. It is slated to be re-developed as a group campsite.

“We’ll put up a shelter with a few stoves,” said area supervisor Don McLaren. “It’ll expand the camping in this area.”

The project should be done in a few months, and will be the first group campsite in the park, he said.

Dode French, descendant of James, was present during the demolition.

He had spent many childhood days in the house built in 1920.

“There’s a touch of sadness to see it go,” said French.


June 29, 1994

Juan de Fuca Trail displaces Sombrio squatters

Sooke’s fringe community living on Sombrio Beach may soon be given the boot.

The province plans on reclaiming the stretch of waterfront property as part of the new Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. That means that the shacks and makeshift tarp homes will likely be gone by this time next year.

Local MLA Rick Kasper said circumstances are causing the province to make this transition slowly, giving Sombrians plenty of time to sort out their future.

“Nobody’s advocating confrontation. It’s going to resolve itself,” Kasper said. “There’s no need to get emotional about things.”


June 25, 1986

The Sooke News Mirror visits Expo

The Northwest Territories pavilion stands out among the rest at Expo 86 looking like a giant blue iceberg.

At the entrance is a 12-foot Inukshuk, a traditional Inuit device to orient travelers in the bleak northern landscape.

The NWT pavilion is considered one of the “sleepers” of Expo and attracts long lineups of people waiting patiently to get in.

Inside the pavilion are several interesting exhibits relating to the adaptiveness of traditional native life in the face of modern industrial development.

Other exhibits focus on more traditional aspects of Inuit and Dene life with an emphasis on the means of Aboriginal transportation before the coming of the qualaquat (white man).

Sooke News Mirror

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