New book – Stories of Sooke – highlights rich tapestry of life in the region

Sooke historian Elida Peers has been writing stories about the Sooke region since the 1970s. In 2009, she started a weekly column in the Sooke News Mirror.

Every week since then, readers have enjoyed new historical facts written in Pell’s unique and delightful prose. Stories usually focus on events or geographic features, but most stories focus on characters.

“Over the decades, Elida has spent countless hours interviewing the people who have shaped and inhabited the region to document their stories and memories. She also connects world events and leaders to our modest location on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island rise up and connect current local issues to past times,” said Doni Eve, president of the Sooke Regional Historical Society and editor of the book.

These stories are intertwined to create a rich tapestry of life in the traditional lands of the T’Sou-ke, Scia’new and Pacheedaht peoples, from East Sooke to Port Renfrew, from ancient times to the present.

“These stories connect readers to communities and people past and present. This is truly Elida’s gift to all of us — connecting through stories,” Eve said.

“Many people tell me they look forward to Elida’s column in the newspaper every week, where they gather and share her story. Now we all have the opportunity to put them together in this one-of-a-kind book.”

Suker’s Story – As Historian Alida Pells Says (Volume 1) includes stories and profiles published in the Suker News Mirror from 2009 to 2016. Another volume containing her earlier work and stories published from 2017 to 2022 is in production and will be available next year.

A core team of staff and volunteers including Eve, Peers, Beverley Myers and Laurie Szadkowski, along with Deb Clay of Earthword Creative, have been working hard to bring this book to fruition.

“Many people, past and present, are mentioned in this book,” Eve added. “There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself or someone you know there.”

The Sooke Story – as historian Elida Peers (Volume 1) will launch in time for a holiday donation at the Sooke Regional Museum. To reserve and reserve your copy, go to or contact the Sooke Regional Museum at 250-642-6351.

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