Langley Looking Back:

Interesting items from the files of the Langley Advance, publishing since 1931.

Eighty Years Ago

July 22, 1937

• A bucket brigade was used to fight a Sunday morning fire at the Mills Brothers lumber mill, after inexperienced operators (not firefighters) had damaged the intake on the pumper truck while pumping out a gravel pit the previous week. The mill was destroyed, but in the absence of any significant wind, firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to a nearby shingle mill, offices, and piles of dressed lumber.

Seventy Years Ago

July 24, 1947

• A second special meeting of the Langley Amateur Athletic Association, called to discuss purchase of 10 acres of Michaud land next to Athletic Park, failed to reach a decision, although a surveyor was engaged to draft a plan for the area. Some members felt the gullies on the property would mean further costs before it could be used to play ball.

• The high school planned double shifts for September. The school board hired 27 teachers, including a principal, librarian, and home economics instructor, to staff the 24 classes.

Sixty Years Ago

July 18, 1957

• Shifting shop closures from Wednesdays to Mondays resulted in a drop in business for several stores. After two weeks, Mrs. G.S. Bishop, Bill Gary, and Mrs. Herlihy appealed to City council to reconsider its new shopping hours bylaw.

• Alderman John Conder succeeded Jack Petty as the City’s parks chairman.

Fifty Years Ago

July 20, 1967

• B.C.’s egg marketing board came into being through an order-in-council in Victoria, with major ramifications for Langley’s poultrymen.

• The Langley Flippers scored their first win of the season in an inter-club swim meet with a joint entry from Aldergrove and Fort Langley.

• Barry Brandow left for Winnipeg to compete in the Pan Am Games as a pitcher for the New Westminster Blue Boys softball team.

Forty Years Ago

July 20, 1977

• Death of a 14-year-old girl at the intersection of Fraser Highway and Old Yale Road prompted council to look into rearranging the oddly configured corner. Alderman Stan Fraser commented, “It’s a pity somebody had to die before we look into it.”

• The school board and Township council worked on anti-vandalism programs to stem increasing incidents of wanton destruction.

• Plans for creation of the Fraser Industrial Centre by Gloucester Properties at the northeast corner of the 264th Street freeway interchange were blocked by the Central Fraser Valley Regional District.

Thirty Years Ago

July 22, 1987

• Weldco-Beales confirmed it was moving out of Langley, shutting down its Fernridge plant and reopening in Port Kells.

• Inspector T. Coles said helicopter operations at Langley Airport were “most unsatisfactory.”

Twenty Years Ago

July 18, 1997

• Necrotizing fasciitis, a disease that experts said had a one in a million chance of striking in a given year, hit Langley for the sixth time in 10 months. The latest case of the flesh-eating disease appeared in a Surrey man who came to Langley Memorial Hospital for emergency treatment. Doctors insisted at a public meeting held to discuss the issue that the six cases were random, and not linked.

• Seventy-six speakers had their say on the Vicwood proposal for a subdivision at the southern foot of 200th Street. The council meeting, held at Wix-Brown Elementary School, ran from 7 p.m. on Monday to 6:20 a.m. on Tuesday. One speaker, Keven Wickham, had been allowed to go on for two and a half hours before he was finally stopped at 4:45 a.m. after a legal opinion was obtained that he had been given reasonable time to present his case. The only break in the meeting occurred when Audrey Wright collapsed in the audience (she later cited the length of the meeting and the physical and emotional heat in the room for her malady) and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was treated and released. Councillor Mel Kositsky had unsuccessfully requested an adjournment at 11 p.m., in concern for fellow Coun. Muriel Arnason’s health. Arnason left the meeting at 1:30 a.m. The public hearings had begun with 25 delegations speaking on the Township’s proposed mushroom bylaw.

• An anticipated free vote on same-sex legislation in Victoria had Langley’s two Liberal MLAs in opposing camps. Lynn Stephens said she planned to vote in favour of protecting homosexual relationships, while Rich Coleman, in favour of “the concept” but opposed to redefinition of “spouse” and “marriage-like,” said he would vote against the bill.

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