Langley High School became Langley Secondary and moved to its current site in 1949, and has survived everything from a major fire to the decidedly swampy local conditions. Now, with a massive rebuild in the works, the school is celebrating its 110th anniversary with a celebration this Saturday.

Langley High School became Langley Secondary and moved to its current site in 1949, and has survived everything from a major fire to the decidedly swampy local conditions. Now, with a massive rebuild in the works, the school is celebrating its 110th anniversary with a celebration this Saturday.

Langley school celebrates 110-year milestone

Langley Secondary is hosting a special public celebration Saturday to recognize its long history

Miranda Gathercole/Special to the Langley Advance Times

Most staff and students at Langley Secondary School know that the inner city high school holds historical importance in Langley.

But just how far back that history goes has been muddled until recently.

For decades, 1949 has been celebrated as the year the school’s iconic building opened – and for the most part, that is true.

What hasn’t been accounted for, however, is that prior to the opening of the new building, the site was home to Langley High School for 40 years.

This rediscovery was made two years ago by LSS yearbook teachers Jordan Howlett and Colleen Turpin, who were cleaning out old storage rooms and offices to prepare for the school’s seismic upgrades.

They came across an article, published by former principal R.E. Mountain that recounted the history of Langley High School back to 1909.

“It’s a surprising history, and a fascinating twist that we didn’t expect,” said LSS principal Marcello Moino.

“Somehow history managed to get lost when the school’s new building opened. But the same staff and students in the new building had attended the old Langley High School the year before.”

It was a timely find, as the declining 1940s building will be demolished this summer to make way for a new school.

.

RELATED STORY: Demolition the next phase of Langley Secondary’s rebuilding process

.

Celebrating history

To commemorate the 110-year-old legacy of Langley High School and Langley Secondary School – and the final days before the building is torn down – the school is hosting an anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 8.

Current and former students, teachers, principals, volunteers, custodians, and all other community members are invited to walk the halls of the 1949 building for the very last time, and join in the fun of one of the largest graduation reunions ever held in Langley.

The free event, running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at LSS, at 21405 56th Ave., features 11 decade rooms celebrating the 11 decades the school has been open.

Each room will be decorated with memorabilia and large, blown up yearbook photos, and feature music and period clothing from each era.

There will also be classic high school cafeteria food for sale, a vintage car show outside, games of basketball, and other high school sports, musical theatre in the small gymnasium, and pop-up performances from current choir, band, and drama students.

So far, organizers have received confirmation that members of the 1952, 1955, and ’59 grad classes will be in attendance – graduates who are now in their 80s.

Other confirmed attendees, like Nicole Salmon, share strong ties to the school, despite having never attended.

Salmon’s dad, John, was a teacher at LSS in the 1970s and ’80s, and her sister, Monique, became a teacher there as well. Salmon eventually joined her sister at the school, and continues to teach resource students 27 years later.

“It’s a pretty special place,” Salmon said.

“We have many inner city kids, and Karen and Syrian refugees. This mixed bag makes it a safe place where kids can be who they are.

“We’ve got heart – the kids wear their hearts on their sleeves. They’re real, and I love the diversity. I can’t think of a better experience to have.”

It’s stories like these that Moino hopes will be shared throughout this weekend’s festivities, both at the school and during an evening reception.

“I have two goals,” Moino said. “The first, is that I want people to reconnect with LSS, with the school, and with each other. Their stories are what make this school what it is… And the second, is to do something to help the current and future students understand what a proud place LSS is, and to have the students of the past help those graduating in the future through the LSS Legacy Fund.”

.

Legacy fund founded

The new LSS Legacy Fund will provide post secondary scholarships to LSS grads.

Organizers hope to raise $110,000 this year to establish the fund – $1,000 for each decade the school has been open.

“A lot of LSS students are incredible kids, but cannot afford to go to university,” said Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.

“We hope to get the momentum going this year, and to give out multiple scholarships to many graduating students in the future.”

As part of this fundraiser, a VIP reception will be held in the evening on Saturday, June 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Walnut Grove. Tickets are $40 and include wine, d’oeuvres, and the chance to win cash and prizes, including the 50/50 grand prize of an Alaskan cruise.

To purchase tickets, or to donate to the LSS Legacy Fund, visit www.langleyschooldistrictfoundation.com.

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

 

Langley school celebrates 110-year milestone

Fire hit the Langley Secondary School’s industrial education wing on April 30, 1951. (Langley Centennial Museum archives)

Fire hit the Langley Secondary School’s industrial education wing on April 30, 1951. (Langley Centennial Museum archives)

Aerial photo of Langley High School sometime after it was built [1948-1958]. (Langley Centennial Museum archives)

Aerial photo of Langley High School sometime after it was built [1948-1958]. (Langley Centennial Museum archives)

The new Langley High School (later Langley Central School) in 1924. (Langley Centennial Museum archives)

The new Langley High School (later Langley Central School) in 1924. (Langley Centennial Museum archives)

Just Posted

Parker Goddard, swinging at the ball) is wanting to hear from anyone interested in playing Spikeball. (Parker Goddard/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley Spikeball is looking for players

Local resident inviting people to try out a new hybrid sport – volleyball meets trampoline

Anne-Marie Walsh snapped this photo of farmland along Glover Road on Oct. 10 when the interesting clouds caught her attention.
SHARE: Clouds captivate in rural Langley

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Langley churches offer in-person services precisely because they care about people

Letter writer concerned Township councillor wants to punish churches with tax threat

Crows gather at in the cottonwoods of Sandra Kidder’s neighbour in Aldergrove every winter morning just before sunrise. (Sandra Kidder/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Aldergrove cottonwoods hosts morning murder of crows

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

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

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read