Looking Back: Langley’s history from the week of March 10

Eighty Years Ago

March 5, 1936

• Ice blocked the channel at Fort Langley, the sudden chill weather thus trapping several fishing boats.

• Frozen pipes and other storm troubles took up most of the agenda at the school board meeting. Ex-reeve (ex-mayor) Noel Booth complained about the pails and dippers that constituted the drinking facilities at a number of schools, expressing concern that they may be related to the illnesses that were running rampant through the district.

• The Langley Prairie Women’s Institute met at Mrs. Clive Rogers’s home to discuss establishing a municipal hospital.

Seventy Years Ago

March 7, 1946

• Local singer Kathleen Rose placed second in the finals of the Ontario Music Festival.

• Echo Lidster moved to Victoria to take up her appointement as supervisor of Provincial Junior Clubs.

• Langley Kinsmen planned a Kountry Karnival at Athletic Park, to raise funds to build a health centre.

Sixty Years Ago

March 8, 1956

• Education Week was introduced with a service of family worship in the Langley High School auditorium.

• Langley teachers won a 3.4 per cent increase which was expected to cost the district $15,500.

• Fire gutted one of Langley’s historic homes, leaving a family of seven homeless. The Wahl home, one of Murrayville’s oldest buildings, had previously served as a barbershop and a billiards hall.

• Plans to do away with the Barnston Island ferry and replace it with a bridge were endorsed by Fort Langley and the District Board of Trade.

Fifty Years Ago

March 10, 1966

• Local schools were missing alomost 30 per cent of their students to two strains of influenza that also ravaged the area’s businesses. Langley High School’s usual student population of 870 was reduced to 262.

• A 16-year-old Langley girl successfully returned to school just three weeks after Vancouver surgeons performed open heart surgery to close a hole in her heart.

• Donations to Langley Centennial Museum included a wood carving of 1858 Fort Langley, hand-made bed spreads, a marble mantle clock, and a fish harpoon.

Forty Years Ago

March 4, 1976

• A $500,000 fire that destroyed a new section of Otter Elemen­tary School prompted a fire prevention meeting between Langley municipal council, the school board, volunteer fire departments, the RCMP, the fire marshal’s office, and local patrol services. It was the fifth major fire in a local school in five years.

• Three to four inches of snow caused cancellation of Langley Arts Council’s Arts in the Park program, and lowered the price of cows at a local cattle auction.

• An abortive attempt to build a school in the Brookswood-Fernridge area left the school board with an $18,000 bill for architectural fees.

Thirty Years Ago

March 5, 1986

• Langley school trustees voted unanimously to close Lochiel Elementary School. Parents of the 67 students affected vowed to take their case to the Ministry of Education.

• An angry crowd of Brooks­wood/Fernridge residents went to City Hall to demand the closure of Weldco-Beales steel fabricating.

Wayne McCannan, a Langley travel agent imprisoned in Guatemala for 111 days, gave word he would be returning home to Langley.

Twenty Years Ago

March 6, 1996

• Langley Township council voted 4-3 to designate Willoughby-Willowbrook as the next area for development.

• Former NHL player Garth Butcher became the owner of Sussex Group SRC Realty.

• The Vancouver Junior Board of Trade named Fire Warden Rob Jones-Cook of Langley the 1995 Firefighter of the Year.


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