VIDEO: A return to an in-person celebration of pioneers draws more than 300 to Langley banquet

226 pioneers and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)226 pioneers and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Keith and Janet Foss were among 226 pioneers and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests, who attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Keith and Janet Foss were among 226 pioneers and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests, who attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
At 99, George Lockerby was among of the most senior of the pioneers to be honoured at the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)At 99, George Lockerby was among of the most senior of the pioneers to be honoured at the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Lynda and David Beales attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Lynda and David Beales attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A display of old-fashioned house appliances drew a smile from Dorothy Anderson.

“I still have a lot of them,” Anderson remarked, as she surveyed a collection that included heavy metal clothes irons that would be left on a wood stove to heat, a coal oil lamp, and one of the very first electric toasters that opened from the side.

And one surprisingly tiny butter churn, about the size of a jug of wine, that Anderson remarked was considerable smaller than the one she still has.

Anderson, co-founder of Langley’s Aldor Acres farm, was among 226 pioneers and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests who attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre.

For the first banquet to honour the contributions of long-time residents since the pandemic, the theme was “pioneer farmers and farming,” with archival photos courtesy of the Langley Centennial Museum, showing Langley farmers at work as far back the 1930s, to go with the exhibition of old-time appliances.

An archive photo showing Langley farmer Larry Murphy on a horse-drawn plough was taken in the Otter area in 1939 was one of several historic images on display at the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Langley Centennial Museum)

An archive photo showing Langley farmer Larry Murphy on a horse-drawn plough was taken in the Otter area in 1939 was one of several historic images on display at the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. It was the first in-person version of the annual event since 2019. (Langley Centennial Museum)

Langley Township Mayor Eric Woodward was “thrilled” to be emcee at the “first in-person banquet since 2019,” adding “hopefully never again” would the event have to be put on hold the way it was during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langleys honour local pioneers with virtual presentation

Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal delivered the toast to the King, noting it was the “first time in my life” that he had formally raised a glass to King Charles III.

Held since 1946, to celebrate Douglas Day, which commemorates Nov. 19, 1858, the date when Sir James Douglas proclaimed the colony of British Columbia at Fort Langley, the banquet honours Langley pioneers who are at least 70, and have lived in the Langleys for 60 years or more.

A vigorous Jim Bryce said he wanted to get some exercise, so he didn’t take the elevator to the third floor banquet hall, at LEC, opting to walk up the stairs instead. Bryce was among 226 seniors and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests who attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A vigorous Jim Bryce said he wanted to get some exercise, so he didn’t take the elevator to the third floor banquet hall, at LEC, opting to walk up the stairs instead. Bryce was among 226 seniors and spouses, along with 115 dignitaries and invited guests who attended the Douglas Day 2022 pioneers banquet on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

It started at the Fort Langley Community Hall with roughly 30 pioneers, outgrew the hall, then moved to the George Preston Recreation Centre, and finally to the LEC.

“It has evolved over the years into a very special community event,” Woodward commented.

He went on to praise pioneer farmers “for their tenacity and foresight that helped shape Langley into the community it is today.”

More photos from the day can be viewed at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Otter co-op turns 100


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