Pioneers and Transportation Trailblazers Honoured at Douglas Day

It is a special day where people who have contributed to the community for decades are celebrated for making Langley the place it is today.

Douglas Day was celebrated by the Township of Langley and the City of Langley on Sunday, November 19 with a banquet for local pioneers. Members of the community who are at least 70 years of age and have lived in the Township or City for at least 60 of those years were welcomed to the Langley Events Centre, where they caught up with old friends, enjoyed lunch and entertainment, and were fêted for all they have given to Langley.

“This is a wonderful community, a place many people want to live and work in,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “Many of the things we value today were established by residents who put down roots in Langley decades ago. Their hard work, ideals, and vision helped shape the way of life we enjoy now. It truly is a pleasure to honour our pioneers on Douglas Day and thank them for their contributions.”

Douglas Day is an annual event named in honour of Governor James Douglas. His proclamation at the Big House in Fort Langley on November 19, 1858, brought the crown colony of British Columbia into being and earned the community the title of “The Birthplace of BC.”

The Township of Langley has been recognizing Douglas Day since the 1920s, and the annual banquet has been held for more than 60 years.

In 1946, the celebration of Douglas Day was established by the Township as a municipal bylaw. The province’s shortest piece of legislation, the Douglas Day Act, states, “November 19 of each year is Douglas Day throughout British Columbia.” While many municipalities in the Lower Mainland celebrated Douglas Day in the past, Langley is one of the few to continue the tradition.

The annual Douglas Day banquet is organized with the assistance of a dedicated committee and volunteers, and each year features a different theme. The 2017 event, which celebrated the 159th anniversary of the founding of the crown colony of BC, recognized the community’s transportation pioneers.

From canoes used on the Fraser River by the Aboriginal people, the Hudson’s Bay Company ships that sailed into Fort Langley, and the horses and buggies used by pioneering farmers, to automobiles, the railways and Interurban that connected early communities, and our modern-day airport and highways, transportation innovations have brought people, goods, and business to Langley and played an enormous role in the development of the community.

For more information, please contact Special Events Coordinator Sarah Morris at 604-533-6148 or smorris@tol.ca


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