Fort Langley’s Caribbean roots celebrated

Douglas Day celebration on Saturday includes a procession and entertainment at the Fort.

The beat of the Caribbean steel drum band will fill the air Saturday at Fort Langley National Historic Site’s unique Douglas Day celebration. Parks Canada, the Fort Langley Legacy Foundation and the Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association of B.C. invite visitors to celebrate the establishment of the colony of British Columbia and its first governor, Caribbean-born Sir James Douglas.

On Nov. 19, 1858, Douglas proclaimed British Columbia a crown colony in Fort Langley’s Big House. Douglas Day celebrations have been taking place for many years to mark the occasion.

Douglas was born to a Scottish merchant and a Creole woman in what is now the country of Guyana, on the northeastern shore of South America.

At noon on Saturday, crowds will gather at the Fort Langley Community Hall at 9167 Glover Road, to follow a festive procession through the  village and into the fort for a free afternoon of entertainment.

From noon to 3 p.m., a steel drum band will entertain. Caribbean food from the Full Barrel Café will be available. Visitors will be invited to sign as witnesses to the proclamation in the Big House, as part of the re-enactment of the proclamation.