Jim Dyck looks forward to finding out what a day off work feels like after he closes Frontier Building Supply in Fort Langley on May 31.

Fort business man moves beyond the final Frontier

Iconic Fort Langley hardware store closes its doors for good – but not without one last big party

Fort Langley has had a troubled year. When fire destroyed the IGA grocery store on Jan. 4, it left more than a blackened corner where the village’s only major grocery had stood for 70 years. It put a big dent in the local economy.

One of the challenges of the IGA fire was saving Frontier Building Supply from the flames.

Township firefighters saved the building, but the business has suffered as a result of reduced traffic, and is closing its doors at the end of May.

The people of Fort Langley won’t let business owner Jim Dyck go quietly.

They are giving him and his wife Margo a send-off to remember on Friday, June 17 at the Fort Langley Community Hall. Tickets are $10 each and are available at Wendel’s Cafe and Yellowhead Trading.

Everyone is welcome, said Janice Robertson, one of  the organizers. The evening promises to be special and casual, she said.

The music will be from the ’60s, and there will be performers and refreshments. True to Fort Langley’s community spirit, some local restaurants are donating finger food.

As emcee, sculptor and comedienne Elaine Brewer-White promises to keep the affair lively.

The departure of such an integral part of the village is heartbreaking, Robertson said.

“It’s the end of an era, and most people think that way. It’s quite a loss to us,” she said.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will be used to send the Dycks on a second honeymoon.

They will need it. Jim has been working 77 hours a week – 11 hours every day of the week. He took over the business from his parents, Bill and Blanche, who opened the shop in December, 1971.

He rules out retirement. “I just don’t want to work 365 days of the year.”

Dyck is planning a couple of months off, then will look for work to occupy him.

“I should be able to find a 40-hours-a-week job,” he said. “It will seem like part-time. It will be interesting to see what’s out there for an old guy.”

What made the job interesting for 61-year-old Dyck is that every day was different.

“It’s really an interesting mix of customers — dairy farmers, horsey people, the business community, the older residential community and the brand new residential community. They are all really passionate about living in Fort Langley and they like to support local businesses,” he said.

With the loss of the IGA, which is to be rebuilt, many Fort residents are driving outside the village for their purchases.

The turndown in business as a result of the IGA fire was the tipping point for Dyck.

“It was the last sign that maybe it was time to do something,” he said, adding that the store had been for sale for a year.

Interest was tepid, although Home Hardware had expressed interest, but did not pursue the purchase because the store space was too small.

“My desire was that it would sell so that it could stay here,” Dyck said. “I feel that it’s letting the town down, but it’s got to be.”

Few Fort Langley people have not stepped inside Frontier Building Supplies and not been seized by that sense of nostalgia and quaintness.

Almost a blend of country store and hardware shop, Frontier is where you can buy a bag of nails along with a jar of homemade chutney and a wooden bird feeder.

After May 31, all these will belong to a bygone era. Dyck will not.

“I want to stay involved in the town as much as I can,” he promised.

Just Posted

Langley City launches second phase of Nexus plan

Before rapid transit arrives, changes will be needed

Surrey RCMP say missing 57-year-old Aboriginal man last seen in Langley

Police say Antonio Teixeira was last seen in the 5700-block of Langley Bypass on Dec. 6

VIDEO: Cloverdale hockey parents, players rally against mayor’s plan to postpone arena

The future Cloverdale arena is one of many projects set to be delayed in Surrey’s draft budget

Young players skate with Kazakhstan National Team in Langley

World Junior Hockey Championships competitor conducts drills with minor players

Langley woman directs popular gospel concert

Gail Suderman’s Good Noise gospel choir’s first three shows are sold-out.

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Family calls for change after death of B.C. man at St. Paul’s Hospital

Hospital beds for patients with both medical and mental-health issues are ‘very limited’: coroner

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Most Read