Looking Back: Balloon shorts out power in science experiment gone wrong

Langley’s history as told through the files of the Langley Advance.

Eighty Years Ago

October 13, 1938

• Relief cases dominated the council meeting. Local NDP MLA Len Shepherd and a Surrey councillor appeared in support of the Langley Taxpayers and Relief Workers Association.

• A Mission resident raised interest in separate incorporation of Langley Prairie, when he told a local audience about the benefits his home town had received through the Incorporated Villages Act. He admitted that Mission had been part of an unincorporated area before it achieved village status, and that it might be more difficult for Langley Prairie to secede from the Township of Langley.

Seventy Years Ago

October 14, 1948

• Cost of tile for Carvolth Road (200th Street) had risen 60 per cent over the previous year, according to works superintendent Grant Urquhart.

Sixty Years Ago

October 9, 1958

• Only 44 per cent of Langley City voters cast their ballots in favour of the ill-fated $390,000 water system bylaw.

• City council started to put the cost of street lighting into general revenue, instead of under the previous local improvement entry.

Fifty Years Ago

October 10, 1968

• Fort Langley Board of Trade was miffed at council’s decision to hold the annual Douglas Day Banquet in Langley Secondary School’s gymnasium once again. Council overruled the Douglas Day Committee’s call to return the dinner to Fort Langley.

Forty Years Ago

October 11, 1978

• A runaway science experiment was blamed for an electrical failure that affected parts of Langley, Aldergrove, and Matsqui. A four-foot hot-air balloon had escaped its moorings at D.W. Poppy Junior Secondary and shorted out power lines near the school.

• A number of dead and severely starved horses were discovered by SPCA officials acting on a neighbour’s complaint. Charges of cruelty were laid against a northwest Langley resident.

• City mayor Bob Duckworth announced he would seek re-election.

Thirty Years Ago

October 12, 1988

• Langley Memorial Hospital prepared to open its new wing with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a release of 1,000 balloons.

• Changes to federal riding boundaries created a “tremendous problem,” according to Fraser Valley West’s returning officer, who said voters were confused about which riding they were in.

Twenty Years Ago

October 13, 1998

• Langley Township engineering director Jamie Umpleby left for a job in the private sector.

Final arrangements were being made for the Langley Chamber of Commerce’s Crystal Ball and Business Excellence Awards.

• The Langley Hospice Society held a grand opening for its new thrift store.

• RCMP officers applied for a search warrant as part of their investigation into fraud allegations involving computerization of records at Township hall.

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