A Langley pioneer has passed away.
Hugh Davis died peacefully surrounded by family on Oct. 2. He was 93.
Hugh, father of Township Councillor David Davis, was a dairy farmer on the Davistead Farm in Milner, which was originally purchased by his grandfather at a Hudson’s Bay Company auction in 1882.
Born in 1924 in the same room in the same house as his father, Henry, Hugh witnessed many historical events unfold in Langley, such as the arrival of electricity in 1933.
Every day he would go for coffee at Fraser Valley Auctions, and had a very big network of friends, David said of his father.
“When you live 93 years and you’re well liked, you know a lot of people,” David said.
On the day he died, Hugh started his morning out like any other, with his ritual of having a shower and going to the auction.
“He went to the auction and half fainted … and when we got him back to Langley to see why he fainted, I guess he had what they refer to as a brain bleed. And so he just closed his eyes. The doctor said if he ever had a choice how to leave the world, that would be his choice, to just go to sleep. We held his hand until 10:30 in the evening and took his last breath. It was very peaceful.”
In an interview with the Langley Times in 2012, Hugh shared many memories of growing up in Milner.
There was the time the Mufford boys took the car out (when they didn’t have permission), for example. This was at a time when there was only one other motorized vehicle in Langley — the police car, Hugh had said.
“So they took it out and managed to hit the one other car around — the police car,” he remembered.
Hugh noted that there wouldn’t even be a Milner Chapel — the heritage church founded by his grandfather — if his grandparents hadn’t married.
“My great-grandmother wouldn’t let my grandma come here unless there was a church to worship at,” he said.
So Hugh’s grandfather rode around on horseback to raise money from the farmers in the area to build Milner Chapel, a church that still stands (but was moved to its current location on 216 Street and completely refurbished).
A celebration of life will be held on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. at the King’s School, 21783 76B St.
“Somebody commented, the last day of his life he died with his boots off, so we’re going to cremate him in gumboots,” David said.
— with files from Tricia Leslie