Aldergrove pocket park re-named after late volunteer

David Beggs was known as ‘the Mayor of Springfield’ for all he did for his neighbourhood

Dozens filled a pocket park on the corner of Springfield Drive and Davis Crescent on Saturday, in remembrance of an Aldergrove man dubbed the “Mayor of Springfield.”

Friends and neighbours of the Beggs family gathered for the park’s renaming – to David Beggs Memorial Park – which hosts grass areas, a playground, benches, and a picnic table.

Beggs built one of the first houses in Springfield Village – a residential development south of Fraser Highway along the eastern border of Aldergrove – in 1978, where he lived with his wife Marilyn until his passing last July.

The father was a well-known resident of Springfield for four decades.

Beggs passed away at the age of 75 after initially seeing doctors for what he thought was bronchitis, his wife, Marilyn, said.

Upon further examination, cancer was detected in his lungs and was said to have spread to his bones.

His 38-year-old son Shawn stood behind the memorial plaque at the park, which served as somewhat of a pulpit during the dedication ceremonies.

The son shared memories made in the park that is within walking distance of the Springfield home they grew up in.

“He definitely will be missed,” Shawn said.

Throughout the years the park has been through “a lot of different changes,” the son explained. “It started with just one little swing set” that his dad even helped “put in the ground.”

As they grew up, the small park became a place for freeze tag, baseball, and even a football field.

“This place was everything to us,” Shawn emphasized, crediting his childhood best friend from the subdivision, Aaron Campbell, and former Township councillor Charlie Fox for making the memorial park a reality.

The vote to rename the Township-owned park was one of Fox’s “last act in council,” Campbell told the small crowd.

Shawn remembers days when his father would mow the lawn while he and Campbell would frolic in the playground.

And it wasn’t just the park that Beggs “ran” either. It was the entire subdivision, said his oldest son, Jason.

Beggs “knew everything that went on,” remaining vigilant at all hours to protect neighbours from becoming victims of crime, Jason recounted.

“My dad would clean up every pathway in Springfield so that mom wouldn’t get branches in her face when she walked to Safeway,” Shawn lauded.

Beggs was also known to perform repairs and general maintenance on homes for needy families in the community.

“You are more like him then you know,” his mother told her grieving son.

There were moments during the ceremony when Shawn paused his speech to recompose himself, holding back the lump formed in his throat from tears.

In other moments, his sister Donelle hunched over the sign crying, immediately comforted by hugs from neighbours and friends.

Friends at the gathering recalled memories of morning coffee talk with Beggs at A&W, or seeing the father out during all hours of night caring for his lawn, cleaning up the neighbourhood or performing repairs on the park.

“I wish I just could talk to him again,” Shawn admitted. “Just one more time.”

To which his mother replied: “Anytime you want to be with him – just come back here. You can talk to him here.”

Beggs left behind three daughters and two sons, as well as three grandchildren.

“People these days don’t care about things like he did – he cared about everyone and everything,” his son added.

Beggs was known to strike up a conversation with the “down and out,” just as much as he would with any other member of the community, Shawn said.

Beggs’ close friends attended the ceremony, recalling times of travel when they’d lose him to a lively conversation with strangers.

Before inviting neighbours and friends over for a celebratory coffee, tea, and refreshments at the family home, Beggs’ widow took a few moments alone with the dedication plaque, kissing her finger tips and laying them on the memorial – repeatedly whispering “I love you.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Budget impact on Langley – climate, safety, and eventually, transit

Langley Township’s mayor talked about possible local impacts

Proposed 6.67% tax increase to be considered at Langley City council meeting

City to borrow $10 million a year over the next five years to prepare for the arrival of SkyTrain

West Fine Art Show honours the legacy of Langley artist Peter Ewart

Upcoming show, which benefits the Langley School District Foundation, will run March 6 to 8

Kodiaks stand unbeaten in junior hockey playoffs

Aldergrove advances to second round despite the loss and gain of crucial players

Recreation registration gets user-friendly through new Township of Langley system

Swimming, skating, camps, and classes can be accessed using online portal launching on Feb. 25

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

UPDATE: TransLink gets injunction ahead of pipeline, Indigenous rights protest

The protest rally is in opposition to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipeline projects

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Most Read