Willoughby is one of the fastest growing areas of Langley at present. The area around 208th Street, at about 78th Avenue, where the Willoughby Town Centre is now situated, has changed significantly since John and Kathleen Ellens owned it back in the 1940s. (Langley Centennial Museum & Archives/Langley Advance collection)

Langley Then & Now: March 8

This week, we offer a different view of Willoughby.

Then & Now is a weekly feature brought to you by the Langley Advance Times, in partnership with the Langley Centennial Museum & Archives.

If you have a Langley Then & Now submission you’d like to share, please email in to: editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.



Did you know that during this week in Langley history…

Eighty Years Ago

March 2, 1939

  • The name “Aldergrove” was chosen by pioneers who lived in the area, according to a local history collected by students of Langley High School. The students cited R. Jackman and A. Goldsmith as sources.

Seventy Years Ago

March 3, 1949

  • The Veterans Land Act opened an office in Langley Prairie, in space leased from lawyer L.M. McDonald. There were 102 VLA holders in Langley, including 40 farmers, five commercial fishermen, and 52 smallholders.
  • Langley and Aldergrove Co-ops moved closer to amalgamation, after a 67-6 vote in favour in Aldergrove. Shares were to be exchanged on an equal basis for shares in the combined organization. The Aldergrove group had existed independently for five years.

Sixty Years Ago

February 26, 1959

  • Jim Blair, 14, scored a perfect 140 points in a judging competition held in conjunction with selection of the all-Canadian Holstein for the current show season.
  • Langley Rotary received its charter from the hands of District Governor Mentor Boney.

Fifty Years Ago

February 27, 1969

  • Amalgamation of Langley City and Township RCMP forces was to take place April 1.
  • Wayne Sommerfeldt was re-elected president of the West Langley Community Hall Association. Iris Secord was secretary, and Roy Myren was vice-president.
  • Langley High School mathematics teacher Orin Melsness was elected present of Langley Rotary Club.

Forty Years Ago

February 28, 1979

  • Mayor George Dridiger was one of the customers of a mechanic embroiled in a controversy over operating a business out of his home without an appropriate business licence.
  • A feedlot operator said he planned to sue his Otter Road (240th Street) neighbours after they had blocked his driveway, forcing delay in offloading a shipment of cattle that had arrived from the Interior. Among the neighbours named was Township Alerman Jim Lee.

Thirty Years Ago

March 1, 1989

  • Marathon bargaining through the weekend had gained significant results, said school board chairman Marlene Grinnell, who then lamented that teachers were still planing to embark on a program of rotating strikes.
  • A Langley arcade operator was jailed six months for attacking a bylaw enforcement officer with a two-by-four.

Twenty Years Ago

March 2, 1999

  • Grant Gettling sold the long overdue Northwest Langley Ice Arena to Ewen Stewart in a deal the was hoped would get two sheet sof ice up and running by September.
  • Councillor Muriel Arnason was incensed by revelations that senior administrators had spent millions of dollars on Township projects without council’s line-by-line approvals.
  • A new freeway interchange at 200th Street was short listed for provincial approval. It was up against two other projects in the run for available money.
  • With former Township councillor Steve Ferguson (defeated in the 1996 elections) and newcomer Todd McLeod having already declared their intent to try and unseat Langley Leadership Team Mayor John Scholtens in November, the Langley Citizens Coalition was gearing up its election machine. It was expected that sitting Councillor Heather McMullan would carry the LCC banner into the mayoralty race.
  • Cell companies asked Township council to delay approval of a request for construction of a cell tower at Gloucester Estates, north of Aldergrove. Rogers Cantel and Microcell noted that the Wireless Development Services proposal to build a tower and rent cell space to other companies was the first application of its kind in B.C., and they had not yet decided whether or not they were interested.


Willoughby is one of the fastest growing areas of Langley at present. The area around 208th Street, at about 78th Avenue, where the Willoughby Town Centre is now situated, has changed significantly since John and Kathleen Ellens owned it back in the 1940s. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

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