Only days after it officially named the 200 Street pedestrian overpass after an unknown two-year-old boy who watched excitedly as it was being built, Langley Township council announced it is naming an airport access road after John Beales, a pilot, philanthropist and former mayor and school trustee.
The $1.7 million Cole Harmony pedestrian overpass, which takes walkers from one side of 200 Street to the other at 68 Avenue, is named after Cole McDonald, and his aunt, Harmony.
The bridge opened in May, 2011. Its naming was harshly condemned after Councillor Kim Richter proposed it “in honour” of the pair. The naming had first been suggested by Cole’s father.
Councillor Grant Ward was the only council member to vote against the name last year, arguing that council failed to follow its own policy governing the naming of fixed assets such as bridges.
This practice is normally reserved for citizens who have a lengthy service to the Township.
The road which will honour the late mayor is a paved and tree-lined access road which runs parallel to 56 Avenue on the northern edge of Langley Regional Airport.
Beales served as trustee from 1957 to 1960, and was Township mayor from 1987 to 1993.
He died on June 30, 2003, a few weeks before his 79th birthday.
After the death of Beales, his son, Russell, described his father as a “social butterfly who loved having people around, loved telling stories about himself and everyone around.”
One of those was Steve Ferguson. Beales took the rookie councillor, helped him cut his political teeth and took him under his wing for two terms. Beales took Ferguson flying several times, often to look at areas that were the subject of issues at the council table at the time.
“He loved to look at Langley from his airplane,” Ferguson said.
“He had a great love for Langley.”
John Beales Way is to be officially commemorated, Mayor Jack Froese said, but a date has not yet been set.