Frances Backhouse is the guest speaker at a special Nov. 19 event at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.

Events fill Langley’s Douglas Day

As well as the annual pioneer dinner, there’s a fort event.

The Fort Langley National Historic Site features a mural of the ceremony in 1858 when the Crown colony was created.

The area’s first governor, James Douglas, made the proclamation Nov. 19 in the Big House.

And now the fort will mark Douglas Day with a special evening program starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19.

Learn more about the history with author Frances Backhouse, who wrote Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver.

Backhouse is the author of six books, including Once They Were Hats. Her previous book, Children of the Klondike, won the 2010 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize.

She is also a veteran freelance magazine writer and teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Victoria.

Fort Langley resident Mark Forsythe is the host that evening, and people can enjoy refreshments, music, and a re-enactment of the proclamation of the colony, in addition to the book reading.

Regular admission rates apply.

Pioneers honoured

Each year on Nov. 19, some very special people are recognized.

Langley Township and City host the annual Pioneer Banquet to honour those residents.

On Wednesday, hundreds of pioneers and guests gathered at the Langley Events Centre for the annual celebration, where they enjoyed a catered lunch, entertainment, special presentations, and a chance to catch up with friends. Historic site volunteers in costume act as servers.

To be considered a pioneer, a person must be at least 70 years of age and have lived in the Langley community for at least 60 years.

Organizers send out invitations to known pioneers but anyone who qualifies can contact the 604-534-3211 or to attend.

The gathering is organized with help from a dedicated volunteer committee and held on the day B.C. was proclaimed a Crown colony. Douglas Day has been recognized in the Township of Langley since the 1920s. The banquet has been held annually since 1946.

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