Well-known Langley City mechanic and garage owner Walt Barron passed away on Dec. 27, at the age of 87.
In addition to his work, he was active in the community, particularly with the Elks Lodge. He served as president of the Elks Clubs of B.C. in 1979.
Mr. Barron was born in Lacombe, Alberta in 1927 and moved with his family to Langley at the age of 10. By 1943, he was working with his father William Barron at a garage in what is now downtown Langley City, next to the Langley Hotel.
The service station was originally opened by Walt’s father in 1938 as a Signal Oil station. When Standard Oil of B.C., now Chevron Canada, took over Signal, it became a Chevron station and remained one until the pumps were shut off in early 1997.
At that time, Walt and his brother Del, who later joined him in working at the station, were the longest-operating Chevron dealers in B.C.
Walt and Del bought the business from their father in 1957, and operated it for another 40 years.
In a Times article published in January, 1997, when the pumps were finally closed, Walt recalled selling gas to famous actor Humphrey Bogart, who stopped for gas in 1946. He was on his way to Hope at the time.
The Barrons had many loyal customers and a large number of them came out to mark the closing of the building in August, 1997.
After closing the pumps in January, 1997, the Barron brothers continued to service vehicles until August, when Walt retired and Del moved the shop to a new location. The building was later torn down, and the site is now a parking lot.
The Barrons were among the pioneer Langley garage owners honoured at the annual Douglas Day lunch in November.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. at the George Preston Recreation Centre, 20699 42 Avenue.
Mr. Barron is survived by his son Mark and daughter Ramona (Brian). His brother Del also survives him.