Matt Choquette and his family will be celebrating two big anniversaries this Victoria Day weekend.
And, strangely perhaps, neither is related to the birth of a British monarch.
Instead, the owners of Beatniks Bistro will mark five years since the restaurant opened its doors on the May long weekend in 2008, in a refurbished heritage house in Fort Langley.
Coincidentally, it was on the same weekend, 80 years ago that construction on the building Choquette renovated for his business was completed.
He knows this because the house was signed and dated — presumably, by its builder — a V.W. Jones.
There are actually two pieces of lumber which bear the signature and a date, explained Choquette.
The smaller of the two boards was found on the left side of the attic window.
It was signed on Wednesday, April 26, 1933.
The larger board, meanwhile, was discovered at the back of the house. It was signed on Victoria Day, May 22, 1933.
A search through local records of the time show that a man named Victor W. Jones lived in the area and worked as a forest ranger for the B.C. government. Choquette is fairly certain it was this Jones who built the house, which he and his family purchased in 2004.
Choquette decided to restore the structure and turn it into a restaurant because his family, originally from Quebec, has lived in the area since the 1980s and they wanted to preserve a piece of Fort Langley.
The signatures on the boards were discovered when the vinyl siding was removed from the outside of the house and the attic was opened during the restoration.
For now, Choquette is storing the boards in his garage, but he hopes one day to build a showcase inside the restaurant where they can be displayed.
The renovations also uncovered a Langley fastball book from the 1940s, which contained a written ledger of all the players in Langley and their fees. It was given to the Langley Centennial Museum for safe keeping.
While Beatnik’s two anniversaries aren’t related to the royal family, the Choquettes will celebrate the Victoria Day weekend along with the rest of the village.
In addition to daily specials commemorating the occasions, they will be giving away a $200 gift card.
• Beatniks will have a drop box for people to make entries
• One entry per person per visit
• Contest is open until May 22, to coincide with VW Jones’ signature
• The winner will be selected from the entries at closing time Wednesday, May 22.