St. Andrew's United Church in Fort Langley has been in use for more than 130 years. The Township its Heritage Advisory Committee are preparing to document the municipality’s history. They are seeking the public's input to create a comprehensive picture of the municipality's past.

St. Andrew's United Church in Fort Langley has been in use for more than 130 years. The Township its Heritage Advisory Committee are preparing to document the municipality’s history. They are seeking the public's input to create a comprehensive picture of the municipality's past.

Township taking a trip down memory lane

Anyone with stories, anecdotes or other memories they'd like to share, related to the Township's history invited to participate

Do you remember what it was like growing up in the Township of Langley? Do you have memories from the past, a story regarding something that happened in the community, or an anecdote about activities or events you were involved with?

If so, the Township of Langley would like to hear from you.

The Township and its Heritage Advisory Committee are preparing to document the municipality’s history by creating a Historic Context Statement and Thematic Framework.

Once complete, it will provide examples of how distinct events and eras of history shaped our community into what it is today.

Context and themes will act as a tool to help with heritage planning and conservation, and ensure local heritage values are understood. It will be used for assessing and preserving heritage sites and resources, and confirm they represent what Langley Township is.

“The Township of Langley has a rich and varied legacy, made up of many cultures and events,” said Elaine Horricks, Heritage Planner for the Township. “From its First Nations origins, through European settlement and the Hudson’s Bay Company era, our municipality has played a role in provincial and national consolidation, contributed to resource and trade, and has a diverse agricultural history.”

“Our heritage serves as a link to the past and continues to be a source of local pride today,” she said.

In creating the Historic Context Statement and Thematic Framework, “we are not rewriting history,” Horricks said. Much has already been written about the Township’s past, and that information is being compiled for the project, along with knowledge obtained from specialists and historians – and from the general public, whose experiences and remembrances define community life in the Township.

“We want to gather all the components that make up who we are,” Horricks said, noting that memories and stories from residents on everything from taking part in sports activities to growing up on a farm will help fill in the gaps. “If members of the public know anything about Langley Township’s past, we want to hear from them. No matter what they tell us, it is going to be worthwhile, and that oral history will help create a record of our shared history.”

Over the next few weeks, a series of workshops will be held on a variety of topics, and members of the public are encouraged to take part in the discussions, share their knowledge, and provide information to help create the Historic Context Statement and Themes. They include:

• Langley’s Built Heritage: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Natural and Cultural Landscapes: Friday, Feb. 17, 9 a.m. to noon

• Agriculture: Wednesday, March 1, 1p.m.to 4 p.m.

• Sports and Recreation: Thursday, March 2, 9 a.m. to noon

• The Arts in Langley: Thursday, March 2, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

To participate, register in advance by contacting the Community Development Division at 604-533-6152, or email oursharedhistory@tol.ca.

Further details, including the workshop locations, will be provided at that time.

A public open house will also be held in early spring to gather further input and determine if anything has been missed.

The creation of a Historic Context Statement and Thematic Framework is included in the goals of the Township’s Heritage Strategy, which calls for the development of an improved information base for the identification of Langley’s heritage resources.

The document, which is based on a Parks Canada model, will be presented to Township Council in June, prior to Canada Day on July 1.

“This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday and this document, which explores and identifies our history in Langley, aligns with Canada’s 2017 National Heritage Day theme of ‘My Canada,’” Horricks said.

More information on the project will soon be available online at tol.ca/oursharedhistory.

For more information, contact Township of Langley Heritage Planner Elaine Horricks at 604-533-6176 or ehorricks@tol.ca.