Memorial for murder victim Miles Gallagher on July 9

The family is hoping people will donate to create 'Miles Backpacks' to be distributed to the homeless in Langley.

Wells 'Miles' Gallagher

Wells 'Miles' Gallagher

The public is invited to honour the life and legacy of Wells ‘Miles’ Gallagher at Christian Life Assembly on Thursday, July 9 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, people can donate at CLA to create ‘Miles Backpacks’ that will be filled with essentials and distributed to people living on the streets of Langley.

Tributes to ‘Miles’ have been pouring in to the family through the Remembering Wells ‘Miles’ Gallagher Facebook page and through letters to The Times.

Gallagher, who was 37 years old when he was killed outside the Baseline Pub in Langley City on June 1, was a fixture in Langley City for years. He was often wearing a black trench coat or dark clothing, hanging around outside the 7-Eleven, Save-On Foods and Starbucks in the Valley Fair shopping centre.

Gallagher grew up in Langley, and suffered from severe schizophrenia since he was young. His sister Danielle Hagen said her parents tried and tried to get him long-term care, but because he was an adult he would check himself out of mental health facilities once he felt better.

Once back on the streets, he would spiral back into the depth of his schizophrenia. He was often seen sitting on the ground, rocking back and forth and whispering to himself.

But the community around him did care, and did the best they could. It turns out many did give him coffee, food and money, and engaged in conversation.

He was stabbed to death in what appears to be a random attack outside the pub in the early evening of June 1. A 21-year-old homeless man, David Van Den Brink, was arrested a couple of blocks away.

He was to make a brief court appearance today (Wednesday) in Surrey Provincial Court, facing a charge of second degree murder.

The family plans to scatter Gallagher’s ashes at the family place on a lake, where a plaque will be put up stating “Wells Landing.”

Hagen said she is expecting a fair number of the homeless population in Langley to attend the memorial. She hopes to provide sandwiches and water for them.

One Langley City woman who never knew Gallagher but considered him as part of her day-to-day life felt so impacted by his death, she is paying for a brass plaque for him.

But members of the family would really like to have a memorial bench put at the shopping centre where he spent so much of his time. If you know of any way this can happen, Hagen can be contacted through  the Facebook page.

Those interested in donating to the Miles backpack project can do so at CLA, 21277 56 Ave., or by calling the church at 604-530-7344.