Looking Back: Fort Langley garage gutted by fire in 1969

Local history from the pages of the Langley Advance.

Eighty Years Ago

January 12, 1939

  • F.B. Dick was elected president of the Langley Board of Trade.
  • According to 1937 figures, Langley Teachers’ Association claimed, local high school teachers’ $1,266 per year salaries, and elementary teachers’ $864, compared to provincial averages of $2,028 and $1,192, respectively.

Seventy Years Ago

January 13, 1949

  • John Jeffery proposed that council build a parking lot on Douglas Crescent, alongside the Athletic Hall property, to relieve congestion on the main street.
  • Council bought a $450 radio for the police car, in lieu of hiring another officer. The three-man force was covering a population of 13,000, while current standards called for one officer per 3,000 citizens.

Sixty Years Ago

January 8, 1959

  • Load and speed limits were to be imposed as frost left Langley’s roads. Temperatures had dipped from 13ºF (-10.5ºC) on Jan. 2 to 11.5ºF (-11.4ºC) on Jan. 3, and back to 13.5ºF (-10.3ºC) on Jan. 4. Restrictions would lower speed limits to 20 miles per hour (30 km/h), ban all unnecessary hauling, and force truck operators to obtain permits for half the usual weights.

Fifty Years Ago

January 9, 1969

  1. Gasoline ignited by a cutting torch destroyed a 22-year-old business in Fort Langley. Seney Garage was gutted, but the fire was isolated from the underground storage tanks. Destruction of two cars and a graders brought the damage total to $25,000.
  2. Langley’s first baby of 1969 was Nancy Lynn Emery.
  3. Langley City aldermen raised their own pay from $700 per year to $1,200. The mayor’s $2,000 salary was raised by a similar percentage.

Forty Years Ago

January 10, 1979

  1. A 74-year-old man and a 93-year-old woman died in a fire that swept through the Langley Lodge intermediate care facility. Civic leaders praised staff and firefighters for keeping the death toll down.
  2. Delays in construction of the Langley Bypass extension from Glover Road to Fraser Highway were blamed on a broken promise by a provincial cabinet minister. City Mayor Bob Duckworth said Highways Minister Alex Fraser had promised his department would buy the last parcel needed for the project.

Thirty Years Ago

January 11, 1989

  • City administrator Dave Christensen told a standing-room-only crowd in council’s chambers that he was resigning because he could not work with the new mayor, Joe Lopushinsky. Christensen said Lopushinsky had supported a criminal investigation that had led to charges laid against him. While Christensen was later cleared of all charges of breach of trust against him, he said his reputation had been hurt, and he neither liked nor respected Lopushinsky.

Twenty Years Ago

January 12, 1999

  • After the mortgage holder foreclosed on Grant Gettling’s Northwest Langley Arena project, Ewen Stewart suggested that he could get the project – already three years behind schedule – opened by September.
  • After three years of running things, Ken Bain turned over the reins of Langley Christmas Bureau operations to Joan Chesney.
  • Langley rolled out the red carpet to welcome a delegation of business and political leaders from China.

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