Kyle “Bob Cratchit” Murray (left) and Wayne “Jacob Marley” Kuyer are cutting back on the in-person visits this year, but still collecting for charities that help kids and families. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Kyle “Bob Cratchit” Murray (left) and Wayne “Jacob Marley” Kuyer are cutting back on the in-person visits this year, but still collecting for charities that help kids and families. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

A Christmas Carol comes to life again for Langley fundraiser

Local accountants are again dressing up to help out less fortunate kids and families

A Dickensian Christmas fundraiser has reached the quarter century mark here in Langley, and even the pandemic isn’t putting a stop to Marley and Cratchit collecting for kids in need this year.

Wayne Kuyer and Kyle Murray of Langley City accounting firm Kuyer & Associates put on a full Victorian regalia from top hats to polished shoes every holiday season to collect for the Langley Christmas Bureau and the Empty Stocking Fund.

This year will be the first in 25 years that Kuyer won’t be visiting a dozen or more businesses – up to 50 in some years – to playfully remind them that they’re on his list and have to pay up.

“Keeping it safe,” is how Kuyer described this year’s rounds. Kuyer portrays Jacob Marley, the partner of miser Ebeneezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ classic novella A Christmas Carol.

“We don’t want to be running around to everybody’s business,” said Kyle Murray, who plays put-upon clerk Bob Cratchit.

READ MORE: Christmas Carol characters hit Langley streets for holiday charities

The fundraiser began 25 years ago with Kuyer and his business partner Stephen de Verteuil, who took on the role of Scrooge himself.

Both Kuyer and de Verteuil had an appreciation for the Victorian classic and the era itself, and dressing up as the notorious owners of a 19th century “counting house” fit with their profession as accountants.

The fundraiser was successful and fun, and became an annual tradition, with local businesses looking forward to their annual visit.

De Verteuil passed away in 2002 at the age of 47, and his portrayal of Scrooge was retired, but Kuyer kept going solo as Marley, until recruiting Murray as Cratchit starting in 2017.

Kuyer said that this year, despite the economic harm the COVID-19 pandemic has done to a lot of local businesses, the response has been positive.

Those donors who are less impacted are eager to contribute, because the need is still there, and in many cases greater than ever.

This is the 25th anniversary of the fundraiser.

“Twenty-five years, not sure I contemplated that,” Kuyer said of how the project started.

This year, he’ll miss the joking around and the camraderie that comes when the turn up at local businesses.

At a lot of firms, people come out of offices and off shop floors to see the Victorian duo, say hi, and exchange some banter.

Last year, Marley and Cratchit brought in $22,000 from Langley-area businesses for local charities. In total over the last 24 years, the annual event has raised about $315,000.

Wayne Kuyer, a.k.a. Jacob Marley, and Kyle Murray, going by Bob Cratchit, will be heading out to local businesses from Dec. 10 to 17 this year, collecting for charities that serve those who need a little extra help during the Christmas season.

Both are accountants from a modern day “counting house,” the accountants firm of Kuyer & Associates.

The characters from Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol expect to raise around $20,000 this year for the Langley Christmas Bureau and the Province Empty Stocking Fund.

Donating means a visit from Marley and Cratchit, who play up miser Marley’s demands for “payment” as meek Cratchit follows along.

There are about 50 donors already lined up this year, including many that have contributed for much of the 23 years the fundraiser has been in operation.

Of course, Kuyer doesn’t mind a new business asking to join.

“We certainly don’t mind if someone wants to volunteer to be harassed,” he joked. “We’d love to drop by!”

Kuyer began the fundraiser in 1996 with his late business partner Stephen de Verteuil, who portrayed Ebeneezer Scrooge.

He’d always loved A Christmas Carol, and de Verteuil had an appreciation for the Victorian era. Scrooge and Marley’s counting house also seemed to fit with their work as accountants.

charityChristmasLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dead long-eared myotis bat found outside a home. (Danielle Dagenais/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Program asks Aldergrove residents to report bat sightings

Researchers are looking to see if spread of White-nose Syndrome in Washington has entered B.C.

The UFV Cascades women’s basketball program has announced the signing of Langley’s Esther Allison and Edmonton’s Charley Arnold for 2021. (UFV Cascades photo)
Langley’s Allison, Edmonton’s Arnold signed by UFV Cascades

Women’s basketball program adds pair of recruits for 2021, reporting to Abbotsford later this year

Stock photo by Alex Chambers on Unsplash
Langley Arts Council hosting ‘make your own jewellery’ class

Participants will use a saw frame to pierce out their own pendant design on Thursday, Jan. 28

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

Most Read