Looking Back: March 29, 2018

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

Eighty Years Ago

March 24, 1938

• Merchants wanted to know where their fire siren was, after contributing to its purchase months earlier. The committee struck to buy the siren so that the fire brigade could be summoned more efficiently in times of emergency had failed to install it.

• B.C.’s population was boosted to 800,000 by 88,700 people who had migrated west from the Prairies since the 1931 census.

Seventy Years Ago

March 25, 1948

• B.C. Electric Co. announced it would open a branch office in Langley.

• Fire hazards at Willoughby School reported by the fire brigade included a faulty oil stove and a doorway that was too narrow.

Sixty Years Ago

March 27, 1958

• A colour guard of Royal Engineers was coming to Fort Langley to resume duties at the old fort, which the corps had relinquished 100 years earlier. The guard was to remain and participate in centenary celebrations through August.

• Fort Langley Women’s Institute donated $600 towards improvements to the corridors of the Fort Langley Community Hall.

Fifty Years Ago

March 28, 1968

• Second-year student Linda Schram of Portland, Oregon, was crowned Trinity Junior College’s homecoming queen. TJC Homecoming ceremonies included the crowning, two basketball games, and a parade through Langley City.

• After 17 years at the helm, Harry S. Berry retired as president and director of the B.C. Artificial Insemination Centre. His eldest son, Bill Berry, was chosen to replace him as Langley’s representative on the board.

Forty Years Ago

March 29, 1978

• The B.C. Land Commission ordered an intensive soil survey of the 600 acres of Gloucester Properties’ proposed Fraser Industrial Centre. The ALC wanted to know the land’s true agricultural potential.

• A report indicating that the provincial attorney-general’s office intended to build a new courthouse to serve Langley, Surrey, and White Rock was dismissed by officials as “just a proposal.”

Thirty Years Ago

March 23, 1988

• It was announced that a $2.8 million theatre complex, offices, and a residential high rise were to be built in the gravel Square One lot in downtown Langley City.

• Despite months of spirited opposition from a group of parents, it was announced that Anderson Elementary would close in June, because of high operating costs associated with a small student population. Anderson was one of a number of “small schools” to get the axe.

Twenty Years Ago

March 27, 1998

• Three giant entertainment centre proposals, including up to 45 or more movie theatres, were on the table in the Langleys. One was for 18 theatres, an Imax theatre, retail shops, and a food court on the former Thunderbird Equestrian Centre north of the freeway and east of 200th Street. Another, calling for eight theatres, restaurants, and stores was proposed for the Willowbrook area. Meanwhile, a Langley City project with 12 to 16 cinemas, an Imax theatre, stores, and restaurants had passed second reading by council and was slated to begin in 1999.

• Eighteen-year veteran councillor Muriel Arnason, hospitalized with undisclosed symptoms, was expected to miss her first Township council meeting.

• Township mayor John Scholtens and councillor Karen Kersey joined picket lines protesting imminent closure of the post office at Porter’s Store in Murrayville. Canada Post relented, and the 80-year-old service was continued.

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