Is there a doctor in your house?

Dr. Albert McBurney was Langley
Dr. Albert McBurney was Langley's second physician. He arrived in Fort Langley in 1914 and practised in the community until he retired in 1950, yet this is the only photograph of Dr. McBurney the Langley Centennial Museum owns. They have put out a call to the community for photos of Dr. McBurney to be used in an upcoming exhibit.
— image credit: submitted photo

Staff at the Langley Centennial Museum are  hoping that the community can help them locate photographs of the late Dr. Albert McBurney in time for their upcoming exhibit, “From Bedpans to Bandages: The History of Medicine in Langley.”

The exhibit is scheduled to run from July 16 until Sept. 8.

“Sometimes research for upcoming exhibits allows us to see where we have some holes in our collection, and allows us to involve the community in our hunt,” said museum curator Kobi Christian.

“This photo (shown at right) seems to be the only one around, but there might be more out there.”

Dr. McBurney was Langley’s second doctor. Born in Quebec in 1884, he earned his medical degree at McGill and moved west in 1911.  He and his wife, Olive, arrived in Fort Langley in 1914. Dr. McBurney took over Dr. Marr’s practice while Marr served overseas.

After Marr’s return, the McBurneys moved to Langley Prairie in 1919 and practiced there.

McBurney had a reputation as a kind and caring doctor in a growing community where times were often tough. He was known for taking care of those who were unable to pay, and for making house calls to help the sick and injured in need at all times and in all weather before Langley Memorial Hospital was built.

Dr. McBurney was involved in the Masonic Lodge, the Aldergrove Elks Lodge, the Royal Canadian Legion, and Langley Prairie’s May Day event.  He was the creator of the Langley Amateur Athletic Association and president of the Langley Tennis Club.  He also served as Langley’s municipal medical health officer and coroner until he retired in 1950.

He died the next year, a few days after suffering a stroke.

It’s because of his hard work and dedication to the community that the museum is convinced there are more photos of him out there.

Anyone with photos of Dr. McBurney or his family, which they would be willing to share with the museum, is asked to contact Christian at 604-532-3536 or email her at kchristian@tol.ca.

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