–Submitted by Lee Boyko
The Sooke Region Historical Society has a new board of directors, elected at the Annual General Meeting held at the Sooke Region Museum on March 1st.
Doni Eve returns as President, having been elected for a one-year term last year to fill the position vacated by Al Beddows when he ran for Sooke Council in 2018, and Sheila Dobie returns as Secretary. Vice-President Elizabeth Johnson and Treasurer Sandy Jarvis were elected last year for a two-year term. Returning as Directors are Heather Nuttall and Tony Bastone. Linda Gabriel, a long-time volunteer with the Museum, was newly elected to the Board, joining Directors Peter Wilford, Georgia Medwedrich, Rob Hill, and Rose Dumont, who is appointed to the Board by the T’Sou-ke Nation. Ray Vowles is Past President. The District of Sooke appoints a non-voting liaison to the board, and that role has been held by Tony St. Pierre since 2018.
Eve thanked Ted Davies, who did not run for another term, for his service to the Board and Museum, and acknowledged the hard work of staff and volunteers for a successful year of events and new exhibits, demonstrating the value of the Museum to the community. “Many people over the years have invested countless hours and immeasurable effort into shaping the Museum as the cultural centre of our community – the keeper and curator of the community’s stories,” Eve said.
Lee Boyko, Executive Director, reported that “35,799 people came through the museum” during the fiscal year from Nov. 1st, 2018 to Oct. 31st, 2019. He also highlighted the important contributions of staff and volunteers and outlined plans for programs and exhibits for the coming year, including a summer exhibit on the role of arts in the community. “Most weeks we have five-eight different volunteers assisting us with cataloguing, research, photographs, artifact restoration. We also have a dedicated crew of volunteers that help with meals for bus tours and special events.” Boyko added that new volunteers are always welcome.
Elida Peers, the volunteer Historian, paid tribute to Louise Paterson and Lorna Barry, both long-time Museum supporters and volunteers who recently passed. She also acknowledged the new memoir published by former board member Lorne Christensen as a highlight of the past year.
Both Boyko and Eve noted the changing role of museums in communities, foreshadowing exciting new directions for the museum.
“The concept that museums have a role in enhancing individuals’ quality of life is not new, but has become in recent years, more prevalent,” Boyko said.
“Going forward, we can build on the solid foundation we have and continue to create spaces through exhibits that inform how and what today’s and future generations will learn about the community,” Eve said. “Our community is changing, and our challenge is how to create exciting, engaging and welcoming experiences for a diverse and growing community.”