It was a mutual love of gardening that first attracted
Lily to the husband with whom she shared her later years, Alf
"Blondie" Haywood. Lily and Alf, together for almost the
past five decades, lived quietly in their Grant Road cottage, beside
their attractively terraced garden. Each of them artistic by nature,
the couple created surroundings of flowers and shrubs which brought
much enjoyment to Lily especially.
Tall, attractive and stately of bearing, Lily was descended from
some of Sooke's earliest pioneers. The quiet lifestyle which we
remember her by was a marked contrast to the adventurous spirit of
Lily was a granddaughter of Joseph Poirier Sr. for whom the new
school, Ecole Poirier, has recently been named. Poirier left Quebec
as a youth traveling west with the fur brigades, reaching Fort
Vancouver on the Columbia River. After the Oregon Treaty of 1846
declared that area as part of the American like others of the
voyageurs, headed north into British territory.
In Sooke, Poirier settled on lad by the Sooke River (now Milne's
Landing) before pre-empting property on Grant Road, Poirier and his
wife, Ellen Brûlè, raised a large family, most of whom also raised
families in the district. As a child, Lily had visited the house of
her widowed Grandma Poirier, who she remembered as a very strict
little woman in black who always spoke French.
Lily's father, Mandus Michelsen Sr. was an adventurer also, a
seaman who arrived on this coast from Norway in 1911. Michelsen
found employment in Sooke's fish traps industry and met and married
Sarah, one of the daughters of Joseph and Ellen Poirier.
The large family raised by Mandus and Sarah Michelsen included,
beside Lily -- Sarah (Mrs. Bill Vowles), Mandus, Earland
"Dadie", Paul, Eric, Agnes (Mrs. Claude Dilley), Christine
(Mrs. Jack Blight), Marie (Mrs. Art Hay) and Rolph "Mick".
As a young girl in her mid-teens, Lily's good looks caught the
eye of another adventurer, James "Jimmie" Goudie, himself
a grandson of the early Hudson's Bay trader originally from the
Hebrides. Like other Sooke men of the time, Jimmie Goudie had been a
sealer in the annual expeditions to the Bering Sea, in the final
decade before sealing was banned in 1911. In 1906, he had shipped
out on a sailing schooner Diana, whose sunken hull was much later to
rest near the Government wharf.
When Lily Michelsen became the bride of Jimmie Goudie, times were
tough--it was the beginning of the "Great Depression" and
those years were not easy for the growing family. Their children
were James Donald, who lives with his wife Darla in Sooke today;
Dennis who lives with his wife Roberta at 100 Mile House; Bonita, who
lives with her husband Ralph Stephens; their youngest son Tim (now
deceased), and youngest daughter Ruby, of Kelowna, who recently lost
her husband Peter Tymchuk.
With her family grown up and the pioneer sealer Jimmie Goudie
gone. Lily quietly indulged her passion for flowers, and it was that
through gardening that she and "Blondie" Haywood got
together. She was particularly proud of her collection of irises.
The couple enjoyed socializing with their many friends and family,
and going out to dances at the community hall. Audrey Wilson
remembers Lily as "a sweet gracious and elegant lady."
For Lily Haywood's eightieth birthday in 1993, her family
organized a party at the Sooke Flats. To help celebrate, guests
arrived from all over the province, in addition to many from the
community -- today, the grandchildren number 18, her
great-grandchildren add up to 23, and there are
Lily's knowledge of Sooke's history, and her generous sharing of
time to assist with the accurate recording of history for the Sooke
Region Museum, were demonstrated once again as she proofread Sooke's
recently published volume "The Sooke Story." Her presence
will be missed.
The funeral service is to be at Sands Memorial Chapel in Colwood
at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, proceeding to the Sooke Harbour
Cemetery. A memorial for her recently deceased son-in-law Peter
Tymchuk will take place at the cemetery also. Following this,
a reception is to be held at the Sooke Legion.
Lily [Goudie nee Michelsen] Haywood's
80th Birthday Celebration 1993 at the Sooke Flats