They visited, they sang, they reminisced and enjoyed lunch, and most importantly, they were honoured for everything they have done to make Langley the exceptional place it is.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, the annual Douglas Day event was held by the Township of Langley and the City of Langley to celebrate the men and women whose hard work, knowledge, and values laid the foundation for what our community is today.
Hundreds of local pioneers – Township and City residents aged 70 and over who have lived at least 60 years of their lives in Langley – gathered at the Langley Events Centre for special presentations, entertainment by The Cypress Creek Duo, and a chance to catch up with friends.
“This is an event we look forward to every year,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “Our pioneers have contributed so much and continue to enhance our community by sharing their wisdom and giving their time and efforts to help others. We are honoured to be able to celebrate them this way.”
“We are honoured to be in the presence of the pioneer families who formed the foundation of the Langleys,” said City of Langley Mayor Ted Schaffer. “Douglas Day is a tribute to our history and a celebration of the continuous commitment to our community. I am delighted to be a part of a celebratory event dedicated to giving thanks and showing respect to the people who have shaped our neighbourhoods.”
Organized with help from a dedicated volunteer committee, Douglas Day also marks the anniversary of the creation of our province. It is named in honour of Governor James Douglas, whose proclamation at the Big House in Fort Langley on November 19, 1858 brought the crown colony of British Columbia into being.
Douglas Day has been recognized in the Township of Langley since the 1920s and the annual banquet has been held for more than 60 years. In 1946, the celebration of Douglas Day was established by municipal bylaw. While many municipalities in the Lower Mainland celebrated Douglas Day in the past, Langley is one of the few to continue the tradition.
This year, Douglas Day paid special tribute to Langley’s pioneer medical services, recognizing the early doctors, healthcare providers, and Langley Memorial Hospital staff and volunteers who helped those who were sick, hurt, or having babies in Langley’s early years.
Rodney and Ada Deans of Aldergrove are descendants of the Shortreed pioneer family. Langley celebrated Douglas Day and the founding of B.C. on Nov. 19.