Looking Back: Langley’s history from the week of Dec. 22

Our history, as recorded in the pages of the Langley Advance.

Eighty Years Ago

December 17, 1936

The Langley Board of Trade met to discuss street lighting for Langley Prairie, but the special meeting was poorly attended. B.C. Electric offered to install to demonstration lamps west of the Masonic Hall.

Practical Christmas gifts being advertised by Duckworth’s Store included men’s Forsyth shirts and pyjamas, from $1.55 to $2.55, and ladies’ and men’s fancy blanket cloth dressing gowns at $2.95 apiece.

Seventy Years Ago

December 19, 1946

Reeve Noel Booth was returned by acclamation, and Grant Duckworth topped the school board polls in the Dec. 14 civic election.

Langley’s school board was considering wiring South Otter School for electricity.

Sixty Years Ago

December 20, 1956

A restrictive clause that could have denied water service to Langley for many years stood in the way of council’s approval of a draft bill designed to set up a Fraser Valley water board.

Fifty Years Ago

December 22, 1966

West Langley was to receive Langley’s first school board-sponsored kindergarten. The calls was to start in January.

The school board ratified an agreement awarding maintenance workers a wage hike of 25 cents per hour.

A new two-room prefabricated school was to be built in Fernridge, on McInnes Rd. (32nd Ave.) and Carvolth Rd. (200th St.).

Forty Years Ago

December 16, 1976

One youth was caught and another escaped into dense bush in Williams Park after a high-speed car chase ended with destruction of the stolen car they were driving. Electrical and telephone service to the Sperling area were disrupted by the crash.

Dueck Building Supplies Co. sold out to Lumberland Building Material Ltd.

Thirty Years Ago

December 17, 1986

Although in favour of regulating smoking in public places, City council unanimously turned down a smoking ban bylaw, saying it would be too hard to enforce.

Businessman George Preston, who ran as a Liberal in the 1969 provincial election, accepted the position of co-chairman on a committee formed to dig local Conservative MP Bob Wenman out of the debt he had accrued in a run at the provincial Social Credit Party leadership (which was won by Bill Vander Zalm).

Twenty Years Ago

December 18, 1996

Dozens of elderly residents were evacuated from their homes when fire alarms sounded in Rainbow Lodge. Fire chief Jim McGregor credited regular fire drills for the orderly evacuation that ensued. The only injury was mild smoke inhalation by a woman in which a minor stove fire had set off the alarms.

A petition circulated by the “Coalition to Save Langley” collected more than 2,000 on a call for newly appointed Township aministrator Mark Bakken’s resignation. Meanwhile, Coun. Heather McMullan said Bakken’s hiring by Mayor John Scholtens and his Langley Leadership Team councillors constituted hiring fairness. She called for the mayor’s resignation and launched an official complaint with the provincial ombudsman.

After operating for more than 70 years in about the same location in downtown Langley City (previously Langley Prairie), the Royal Bank relocated to Willowbrook.

After almost eight years in a Brazilian prison, all the time claiming innocence of the kidnapping charge that got her there, Langley’s Christine Lamont admitted she and her fiance, David Spencer, were guilty.

An Abbotsford police officer who shot a youth in Langley left Langley Provincial Court with a conditional discharge. He was to keep the peace and maintain good behaviour for nine months, after which charges would be dropped.

Drilling rigs were set up by the Ministry of Environment to test groundwater in the North Otter area after a gasoline spill at a nearby gas station. The rigs came a couple of weeks after residents had been informed that the spill – which health and environment authorities had known about a full eight months earlier – may have contaminated their drinking water.


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