About 500 people took part in the 60th annual Langley Walk on Sunday, May 1.
For some, the resumption of the in-person version of the annual event was the continuation of a long-standing family tradition.
Sisters Linda Marshall, and Debbie McGregor, attended to honour the memory of their late father Stan Van Meer, on the 10th anniversary of his passing.
Van Meer took part every year from 1976 until he passed away .
His family has carried on his tradition, with children and grandchildren adding more badges every year there was a walk.
Van Meers’ orange Langley Walk shirt, which was covered in dozens of badges, has been passed on to grandson Justin, who has added his own badges to the collection.
To take part, McGregor came down from Salmon Arm and Marshall travelled from Chilliwack along wit their families.
“We just carry on his legend,” Marshall told the Langley Advance Times.
“We’re happy to be here again,” McGregor remarked.
McGregor remembered her dad, a planner with the Township of Langley as “fun, a good guy, very involved with the community, even with the City of Langley.”
They walked the 5K route from McLeod park through Langley City and back.
“It was awesome,” Marshall said.
First held in 1963, the walk was established by Pete Swensson, the Township of Langley’s first recreation director, who was a strong believer in the benefits of physical activity.
His motto was, ‘Walk away your ills, instead of taking pills.’”
On Sunday, Swensson’s son Dennis, and his family, took part.
Also participating was the granddaughter of Eric Flowerdew, Pauline, and her family.
Flowerdew was the Township councillor who was instrumental in procuring the initial parks and recreation budget, and hired Swensson.
READ ALSO: 59th annual Langley Walk goes virtual again
City Mayor Val van den Broek and acting Township mayor David Davis welcomed participants.
“The Langley walk is a wonderful way to welcome spring, get the community together and explore this beautiful place we call home,” van den Broek said.
“At the end of the walk, everyone receive a commemorative crest,” Davis noted.
“If you look around, you will see some people have a lot of them and have been collecting the crests for decades.”
At “93 and a half,” Langley City resident Dale Attrell was one of the older participants.
Attrell, who founded a seniors walking club, has been taking part in the Langley Walk since 1976.
“I kind of had to slow down because of my knees,” Attrell explained.
READ ALSO: Langley seniors walking club keeps going despite poor weather
Long time friends Nicole Boehlke, from Langley City and Tricia McLean, from North Otter, were happily returning after “for or five” years away from the walk.
“Life got busy for us,” Boehlke explained.
“10K is long with a stroller,” observed McLean.
More photos can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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