A sign of progress

Volunteer restoring Fort Langley IGA sign locates important part

Mark Unrau says he can complete the restoration of the old IGA sign from the burned-out Fort Langley store now that he has been able to locate a crucial part.



After many weeks of frustration, Langley custom car builder Mark Unrau finally found the crucial part he needs to complete the restoration of the 50-year-old IGA sign from the burned-out Fort Langley store.

Heat from the Jan. 3 fire had melted the plastic on one side of the sign, and Unrau, a loyal store customer who volunteered to restore it for free on his own time, was unable to find someone willing to make a mold of the undamaged side to create a replacement.

Then Unrau mentioned the problem to the Lee family who owned the store.

That was when he learned there was a second sign of the same vintage, somewhere on the lot where the store burned to the ground.

Unrau found it under a cedar tree Monday afternoon (July 25).

He brought it back to his shop and cleaned off the accumulated muck and paint overspray from the part he needed, the backlit plastic oval with the old-style IGA logo on a bright red background.

It was untouched by the fire and in very good shape, with a few barely noticeable scratches and minor stains.

“Choice,” Urau said Tuesday, as he rolled it out of the Vintage Coach Works shop on Landmark Way for a Times photograph.

Unrau is now considering how to match the brighter colours of his new acquisition with the faded plastic of the fire-damaged sign.

“I’ve been at a dead stop,” Unrau said.

“Now I can get going with it.”

While he was stalled by the plastic problem, Unrau continued to work on the metal pieces.

Among other things, the rusted sign supports have been sand-blasted, re-welded and re-painted in a smooth powder-coat finish.

He said other Langley companies have helped with the project, including Balkan Signs, U-blast, Quik-Shot and Hi-Pro Coatings.

He is still looking for someone who can handle plastic moldings.

Unrau has been shopping at the IGA, the only supermarket in Fort Langley, for 20 years.

He has nothing but good things to say about the Lees, the family who own and operate the store and are known for service with a personal touch.

When the Lees modernized the more than 70-year-old building at Glover Road and Mavis Avenue a few years ago, they kept the old-style IGA sign that had been hung outside the entrance five decades ago.

When Unrau saw the sign had managed to escape the blaze relatively unscathed, he offered to repair it free of charge.

It was the first time he’s ever volunteered for anything, he said.

Just Posted

Cupcakes against cancer: Langley parents rally to help family

Christine Tulloch, a crusader against cancer, has suffered a third relapse

Aldergrove chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Anti-gang forum aimed at helping Langley parents keep teens safe

Preventing gang recruitment is the focus of a forum to be held next week

Langley Blaze display depth despite temporary loss of pitchers

Injury and invitation to play for Team Canada leave team down three

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Man pleads guilty in Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Most Read