| Thursday, July 21, 2011 |
is a division of Postmedia Network Inc. Our offices are located at Suite 112 6375 - 202nd St., Langley, B.C. V2Y 1N1 The Langley Advance is published on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and is delivered to homes and businesses in Langley City, all areas of Langley Township, and Cloverdale.
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Future started 80 years ago We’re 80 years old this weekend. The bond between Langley and the Langley Advance actually began to be forged before July 23, 1931, when the first edition of the community’s longest-standing newspaper rolled off the presses and hit the streets. It started with an invitation from the community. The bond between Langley and the Advance began to form when the Langley Board of Trade (now the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce) was created by a small group of visionaries who wanted their community to grow into a new and vibrant future. They believed that the road to progress could only be approached alongside a community newspaper that Langley could call its own – a newspaper that could help bring the community together by offering local business a voice, by keeping tabs on the politicians, and by keeping the community informed about itself. Along came E.J. Cox, a printer/editor/ publisher who like so many Prairie folk during the Great Depression era came west to find a new start with greater opportunities. Cox struck a bargain with the fledgling Board of Trade, and with the community as a whole: he would support Langley with a progressive, honest, and fair newspaper, if the community would embrace that newspaper as its own. The early success of the Langley Advance, at a time when so many businesses – new and long-established – were failing, was a testament to the strength of the bond that was formed between the community and its newspaper. And as Langley has grown and progressed into the vibrant future predicted by those visionaries of 80 years ago, the Langley Advance has grown with it – not just because it has been part of the community it has served, but because the community and its newspaper have grown together throughout those 80 years. – B.G.
Is this summer’s rain getting you down?
Vote at… www.langleyadvance.com Last week’s question…
Will the toll hikes for the Golden Ears Bridge impact your use of the bridge? Yes – I’ll drive around when I can
Yes – I’d rather swim than pay
No – It’s not a lot
No – I have no choice
No – It’s still cheapest
No – I never use it
The town where everyone’s new Painful truth
where most of the Willowbrook Mall now stands, and when a big shopping trip meant heading to Surrey or Bellingham. Those memories are foreign to the vast majority of our residents, for whom Langley has always been Matthew Claxton a blur of beige houses stretching from Walnut email@example.com Grove to Brookswood, with malls in the middle and some green stuff to the east. If you’re reading this in Langley, the odds Langley has one of the longest recorded are good that you are a newcomer to the histories of any community west of the Rocky community. Mountains and north of the 49th Parallel. Yet Langley’s population has more than doubled its communal memory is staggeringly short. in my own lifetime, and it’s set to double Local governments, history buffs, and the again before I retire. Langley, like many other community’s elder statesmen have tried to suburbs, is a place with a great deal of history weave that heritage into our identity. We’re the in danger of being swamped by a tide of new Birthplace of B.C., you know! arrivals. So welcome, new Langley But who moves here for histfolks! Here’s the quick history of ory? It’s a nice extra, but when First, there the past 10,000 years or so. my folks moved here, they were First, there was ice. Then it mostly happy to trade a quarwas ice. Then melted, and there was a river, and ter acre lot in Richmond for a it melted, and eventually people who showed up full acre in the Township. The there was a paddling boats they carved out of equivalent deal today: sell your whole trees using sharp rocks and 800-square-foot Yaletown condo river… fire. People were tough back then. and buy a 2,500-square-foot Then more people came to trade townhouse in Willoughby. furs, and to sell stuff to gold miners, and to And you know what? The dream of giving cut down all the trees that had stood here your kids their own bedroom instead of a consince the ice melted, and to farm the muddy verted closet is a perfectly valid one. fields that were left once the trees were sawed It’s a dream we seem dedicated to providing up. The trees ran out, the sawmills vanished, for the next 30 years. Langley’s population will the farms spread and everyone forgot that this almost double in that time. Willoughby, which had once been a dark, thick old growth forest, was farmland when I got my first paycheque haunted by mountain lions and silent deer. from the Advance more than a decade ago, will Villages grew like mushroom rings after the be a densely packed community of condos rain, threw out roads to one another, paved with nary an unplanned grove of trees. Today’s those roads. Bridges connected the little viltransplanted hipster from East Van will be lages to the bigger cities across the river, and tomorrow’s elder statesman of Langley. folks with cars noticed there was cheap land to If Langley is to be a community, rather than be had. Suburban Langley was born, less than somewhere we simply keep our stuff, it needs half a century ago. a history. It needs a collective sense of itself, That’s where we now live, and why most of one that allows us to build and grow and us live here. My family moved here in 1980, change from a common centre. If we know which has the odd effect of making me an old where we come from, we’ll know better where timer in Langley terms – I’ve lived here for far we’re going. longer than the median or average amount of So repeat after me: First there was ice. Then time, even if I’m a complete noob compared to it melted, and there was a river… people named Mufford or Poppy or Gabriel. So Visit Matthew Claxton’s blog, Evolving Langley, at http://tiny.cc/A0D3W at www.langleyadvance.com I dimly remember when goats cropped grass
Letters to the editor . . . may be edited for clarity, length, or legal reasons. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication, however names may be withheld from print upon request. Letters may be published on the Internet, in print, or both. Publication of letters by The Langley Advance should not be construed as endorsement of or agreement with the views expressed. Copyright in letters and other materials submitted voluntarily to the Publisher and accepted for publication remains with the author, but the Publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic, or other forms.
Published on Jul 21, 2011