The late founding Aldergrove Rotary president, Brian Thomasson, is hoped to be honoured with a memorial bench in Aldergrove where he enacted many positive changes throughout the years. (Aldergrove Star files)

Brian’s bench in Aldergrove sought as tribute to ‘true friend’

Late Rotary president, Brian Thomasson, served the Aldergrove community for decades

“Aldergrove has got to be one of the best places to live,” founding Aldergrove Rotary president Brian Thomasson said at the club’s 30th anniversary meeting in January.

Thomasson, a long-time teacher, died in July at age 75, after a battle with cancer.

The Good Samaritan expressed his love for the community by devoting himself to making it a better place, said fellow school administrator, Rotarian Charlie Fox.

“He was a community builder, whether through being a Rotarian or as a board member of the Aldergrove Credit Union and the Otter Co-op, or in the role of school administrator at several local schools, his heart was in the community.”

A ‘true friend’

Thomasson – who became “a true friend to many” – moved to Aldergrove from Cloverdale in 1972.

From there, he began his teaching career at former South Otter school, Patricia Elementary.

When Rotarians were asked to describe their fondest memories during the club’s 30th anniversary meeting, many made mention of Thomasson.

Lee Sawatzky said that every year, “without fail,” Thomasson would call him on his birthday. And every year, the Rotarian would be charmed by his friendship.

Thomasson’s obituary detailed that he will be remembered as a “great friend who never forgot a face, or a birthday.”

“We would often joke that a stranger was just a friend that Brian hadn’t met yet,” family detailed in his eulogy.

We are getting closer to our fundraising goal to dedicate a memorial bench in an Aldergrove Park for our dear friend…

Posted by Otter Co-op on Thursday, August 6, 2020

Community chips in

His death inspired Otter Co-op, where Thomasson was a board member, to launch a campaign to raise funds for a memorial bench in his honour.

The funds were raised on GoFundMe, on behalf of Thomasson’s surviving wife and family.

The crowdfunding campaign for the commemoration surpassed its $3,400 goal Tuesday, by more than $2,000.

In total $5,395 was chipped in by the Aldergrove community, which included $2,000 from Aldergrove Credit Union where Thomasson also served on the board.

Memorial bench in works

With approval from the Langley Township, a new and dedicated bench will serve as a place for rest and remembrance – at an Aldergrove park of his family’s choosing.

Familiar to the founding Rotary president was the Aldergrove Athletic Park.

Thomasson spearheaded the sale of Patricia Hall to secure an integral piece of funding for the Rotary Fieldhouse in the south area of the park, Fox explained.

It provided Aldergrove with a multi-purpose facility with washrooms, a meeting room, and storage space for sports teams.

READ MORE: Aldergrove Rotarians surprise ailing friend with convoy of driveway visits

Not only that, several cement picnic tables nearest to Aldergrove Secondary in the park were also donated by the former teacher.

Rotarian Janet Ingram-Johnson said she remembers Thomasson as someone who delighted in life, despite tragedy.

“He was, above all, a kind man I feel honoured to have known.”


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

Just Posted

LETTER: Pitt Meadows man calls on B.C. government to better fund parks

Investment in parks will pay off for the future, letter writer says

Independent candidate plans to run in Langley East

Tara Reeve is concerned about the coronavirus pandemic

MAP: COVID-19 positive tests increase 59% from July to August in Langley

As of August 31, number of reported cases increased to 219 from 138 in July, BC CDC reports

Langley mother charged in death of daughter to go on trial

Kerryann Lewis’s trial is scheduled to start in mid-October

Man charged in Langley triple murder back in court

Kia Ebrahimian will be back in court again in late October

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

Abbotsford family looking for pair of stolen Shih Tzu puppies

Breeder Kate Classon stated that someone stole the pooches from her Abbotsford home on Sept. 21

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Most Read