Porsches and history prove a good mix

One of 40 Porsches following a historic route passed by the historic Porters Bistro building at the intersection of Old Yale Road and 216th Street in Langley on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)One of 40 Porsches following a historic route passed by the historic Porters Bistro building at the intersection of Old Yale Road and 216th Street in Langley on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Gary Walker, with wife Lena, led 39 Porsches on a historic tour of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)Gary Walker, with wife Lena, led 39 Porsches on a historic tour of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Former Langley school principal Gary Walker, and historian Graham MacDonell share an interest in the past. Walker led 39 Porsches on a historic tour of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, May 1. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Former Langley school principal Gary Walker, and historian Graham MacDonell share an interest in the past. Walker led 39 Porsches on a historic tour of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, May 1. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
40 Porsches on a tour of the Fraser Valley arrived in historic Yale on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)40 Porsches on a tour of the Fraser Valley arrived in historic Yale on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A retired Langley school principal who organized a historical tour of the Fraser Valley for Porsche owners is planning to do it again.

On May 1, Cloverdale resident Gary Walker led 39 other Porsches on a route retracing the historic Old Yale Trail gold rush route of the 1880’s through New Westminster, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Rosedale, Cheam First Nation, Popkum, and Hope before finishing at the Yale Historical Society, with a quiz.

“I just thought it would be cool to do something where you learn something,” Walker told the Langley Advance Times.

The educational ride for the Porsche Club Of America – Canada West region was sold out, with a waiting list.

“A lot of people were saying how much they enjoy it,” he related.

Walker is thinking about doing another one later in the year, possibly heading to Barkerville.

Cloverdale resident Gary Walker, with wife Lena, led 39 Porsches on a historic tour of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Cloverdale resident Gary Walker, with wife Lena, led 39 Porsches on a historic tour of the Fraser Valley on Sunday, May 1. (Graham MacDonell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

To mark the occasion, Walker swapped the wheel rims on his Porsche for ones with gold trim, a reference to the gold rush days of the original roads.

Walker’s route didn’t follow the original trail precisely.

Sometime it sent the cars along nearby paved roads because the original trail would be tough to traverse and Porsches ride close to the ground,.

“When you’re in a Porsche sitting this low, you want to avoid tracks and ruts,” Walker remarked.

READ MORE: Former Langley principal organizes a trip through history, in a Porsche

He also learned not to trust electronic maps to follow a historical route.

“Google always wants to take you back to the fastest route, so I just scrubbed the maps,” Walker said.

Walker, a history and geography major, worked at Noel Booth, Coghlan, Glenwood, Murrayville and Lochiel schools in Langley before leaving to launch No. 1 collision, which specialises in high-end cars.

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An additional participant was Graham MacDonell, a history buff from Abbotsford, who drives a Toyota, and took photos of the day, as well as assembling a selection of historical maps showing the original route.

MacDonell gave Walker a thumbs-up for organizing the ride.

“We both have an interest in teaching about the history of the region,” MacDonell remarked.

“Any time we can promote learning about the Fraser Valley, I’m there.”


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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