Volunteers and community groups helped make Fort Langley a destination
Editor: Re: letter to the editor from Mike Neilson (The Times, March 18).
In his letter, Neilson wrote “we returned after 30 years to find the small, tired hamlet a “vibrant” thriving bedroom community.” He went on to say: “Fort Langley has become a destination point of considerable interest with a refurbished Fort, a Cranberry Festival and noteable shops, etc.”
For the record, the people interested and involved in re-creating Fort Langley as a vibrant historic destination worked on the OCP and heritage guidelines. Before that, they founded the Friends of the Fort, the Langley Heritage Society, the Derby Reach Park Association, the Fort Langley Legacy Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce office and others.
Through these organizations, they added immeasurably to the assets of the Fort, they built a bronze statue of Sir James Douglas, they worked with the Township to increase the collections at the museums, they moved and furnished the entire CN Station site, they worked on trails, provided the Trans-Canada Trail kiosk, looked after the heritage-designated community hall, provided a tourist info booth and saved Fort Langley cranberry fields from being Vancouver’s main garbage dump.
Then Neilson came back to find a vibrant village that now has over 250,000 visitors a year and is a ‘bedroom community’. Most of the people we have to thank are the people who are proud to show ‘yellow hands’ signifiying ‘hands on heritage’.
I comment as one who has been involved for over 40 years.