Letters to the Editor

History is the story of change

Editor: I am writing in response to the letter from I. McKaig (The Times, March 20). I agree that Fort Langley, being the first capital of B.C., is very much treasured historically by the community and residents. And while Fort Langley is a jewel to us all, I would not rely on sites such as Wikipedia to tell me this, as sites like these are open to public editing and can be changed by anyone who thinks they can best describe a place or theory. I would much rather go to the village to experience it firsthand.

There have been many changes within the community of Fort Langley over the years. None of them have threatened the history of the area. History is something that has happened — typically big momentous occasions — such as bridge openings and ferries closing down. It is something that we create and make happen and comes about through change.

Without change, we would not have the things we take for granted such as cars, electricity or even something as simple as sidewalks. If we wanted to preserve the true heritage of Fort Langley, we would have none of these things. The heritage of our community is based on the people and memories, not the buildings or land within it.

Volunteers have helped to preserve the heritage, but part of creating heritage is not preventing it from being created. History was never created by conforming to rules, but by trying something new. The proposed Coulter Berry building may not conform to current guidelines which are there to help council make decisions for the community, but that is the good thing about guidelines. They are not laws, which must be strictly adhered to, but guidelines that are flexible to the needed changes.

Change is all around us, with the construction of roadways and developments popping up all over Langley. Change happens when things don’t work anymore. This allows people to change their minds on what they see is right for their community, based on new information or values.

What one group of people think is right may change over time. What one councillor or individual sees as a right fit for the community, another may not. But democracy rules and majority will always have the final say. As the numbers from the three-night public hearing show, the majority is for this history-maker.

Alex Holmes,

Fort Langley

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