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Rabbit holes - they are everywhere. Here is one that I stumbled across this morning while conducting more research on the New Westminster to Yale Waggon Road. Thus far I have resisted, which is a huge challenge for my curiosity gene. This article from the October 23 1875 BC Gazette has been put in my "outside of current parameters" file, which means I may go back to it in the future.

That said - if anyone else cares to fall down the rabbit hole of who was John Sicker and was he ever found, here are the starting details:

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The northern section of 264 Street - conversely known as Townline Road, Countyline Road and Highway 13 - officially came into existence on the 24th of July 1875 with a government declaration listed in the October 23rd, 1875 edition of the British Columbia Gazette. As many of you already know, parts of the New Westminster and Yale Waggon Road became the Trans Canada Highway and is now Fraser Highway.
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In 1874, Aldergrove wasn't on the Provincial Voters' List as a place. Neither was Abbotsford or Matsqui. There were places like "near Langley" and "Langley Prairie".

Moodyville (later Port Moody), Pitt River, Sumass and Chilliwhack (that's how they were spelled back then)are listed as places. Burrard Inlet, Hastings Mill, Granville and English Bay were all separate settlement areas, but there was no "Vancouver" as of yet. Nor was there a Burnaby, Surrey or Delta. There was "North Arm" and South Arm".

If you were a Vannetta descendant looking for William in this voters' list for Langley, you wouldn't have easily found him. He was listed in the Westminster Polling Division (different section) with his surname spelled wrong but still listed as living in Langley. Meanwhile, James W. Mackie, whose residence was in Langley (according to the Voters' List) - is listed in the New Westminster City polling district.

The lesson here: when conducting your family history or location research, always broaden your boundaries and use wildcards in your searches. =)

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British Columbia is celebrating the contributions of the Punjabi Canadian community to its economy, history and culture through the development of new educational supports, exhibits and online resources.

The project is part of the Province’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive society.

“The Punjabi community has a long and unique history that has contributed significantly to the strength and success of our province,” said Premier John Horgan. “The Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project will share these stories with future generations, while honouring the resilience and diversity of our multicultural communities.”

The Province is providing $1.14 million to the Abbotsford Community Foundation to create and deliver Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project in collaboration with the South Asian Studies Institute of the University of the Fraser Valley and other community partners.

Haq and History reflects on the right of Punjabi Canadians in British Columbia to record their vast and significant history, correct and enhance the public educational and historical records, and create community legacies that extend beyond the current time for future generations. The project will showcase the valuable contributions of the Punjabi community in B.C. to its economy, history and culture, and the community's resilience in the face of injustice and discrimination.

“British Columbians need opportunities to learn more about the people that comprise our diverse and multicultural society,” said George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “The Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project will provide great insight into a unique part of our province’s history, help build intercultural connections and foster respect and appreciation among people of all backgrounds.”

The project will continue to be developed over the next few years to include:

*provincewide digitization of South Asian Canadian collections, including artifacts, photos, texts, materials, oral histories and other resources for the online South Asian Canadian Digital Archive;

*creation of a travelling exhibition on South Asian Canadian history;

*documentation and marking of sites that are of historic importance to South Asian Canadians and B.C. communities;

*development of Punjabi Canadian learning resources for social studies curriculum in B.C. schools;

*research and development of an online comprehensive B.C. Labour Movements Social Histories Research Project; and

*production of a public history book - South Asian Canadian Social History Project.

“Education is key to fostering a greater respect and appreciation for one another across our multicultural society,” said Satwinder Kaur Bains, director of the South Asians Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley. “A primary goal of the project is to improve the historical record of the significant contributions of Punjabi Canadians, with the goal to reduce racism while underscoring the value of B.C.’s diverse society.”

The development of Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project was led by the Punjabi Legacies Advisory Committee with South Asian Canadian community partners in Golden, Prince George, Vancouver Island, Kelowna, Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford. This project is consistent with the call for development of educational resources on the histories and contributions of racialized and Indigenous communities in B.C., heard during the government’s community consultations on racism and hate in the summer of 2019.

Quick Facts:

*Established in 2015, the primary purpose of the Punjabi Canadian Legacy Advisory Committee is to support and develop ways to preserve, explore and share the contributions of South Asian Canadians.

*To date, projects completed under the committee include: the development of new educational materials for the Royal BC Museum’s Punjabi Pioneer Food History Project, consultations throughout the province with South Asian Canadian families and the creation of the South Asian Historic Places Project, an inventory of South Asian heritage sites with Heritage B.C.

*According to the latest census from Statistics Canada, 363,885 (8%) of British Columbians identified their ethnic origin as South Asian, with 38,725 (1%) specifying Punjabi.

*From 2014-18, police-reported hate crime increased in B.C. and South Asian Canadians were consistently among the top five racialized communities reporting incidents.

For more information about the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, visit:

#heritagematters #historymatters #ourcommunity
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From this simple little article/advertisement for Aldergrove Hardware's grand opening published on page 5 of the Langley Advance News, 20th of October 1966, we can learn a number of things.

The doors of the store faced south towards Super Valu. The Pincombe's lived at 26225 Fraser Highway, which would have been just to the west of the old Fraser Valley Bakery (Able Auction) building. We also know what Mrs. Pincombe looked like, and we have a photo of store co-owner Alf Dixon.

We can also see the names of some other Aldergrove residents. A few, like J. C. Breier, J. Legault and Jerry Zazula we already knew, but the others are new names to add to our research list.

We can also note that the future BC Government Liquor Store has not yet been built, but that sign may be offering the land for sale, or it could be a hardware store sign.

One other piece of trivia - Aldergrove Home Hardware still has the same phone number. 😉

#ourcommunity #heritagematters #communitybuilder
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One of the earliest real estate advertisements for Aldergrove, from the New Westminster Daily News, 15 September 1909. F. J. Hart originally owned the building that is now the Aldergrove Community Archives and Museum.

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Sixty years ago, one of Aldergrove's previously dead-end roads was being punched through to act as a Highway Bypass. If you know where Eyles Road is, you'll know it's not much of a bypass because it's only one mile long and only turns one way at its eastern end. It's a good thing they paved it, because in the photo it looks like a mud bog just waiting to happen.

That said, at the time it was the only link between Jackman Road and County Line Road north of the old Trans Canada Highway. It does provide access to the freeway when 264th is blocked - provided 272nd isn't closed for construction.

In 1960, 32nd Avenue did not go all the way through from 264th to 272nd.

#heritagematters #ourcommunity #wherearethoseroads
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Long before the Parkside Elementary gym was named in his honour, the Langley Advance did a feature on #communitybuilder, mind shaper and all-around great teacher and principal Mr. Charlie Bryenton.

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Mr. Alex Goostrey was a favourite teacher at Aldergrove Secondary who played a big part in #ourcommunity. The story doesn't mention that his grandfather James was an early Aldergrove settler who owned property at 8th Avenue & 272 Street. His father John Wesley was a student at Patricia Elementary (then called South Aldergrove School) in the early 1890's.

Sadly, Alex's son Mark was killed in a floatplane crash in Vancouver in 1978.

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Ian Reid is today's #communitybuilder. He was the first president of the newly formed Aldergrove Kinsmen, a group that went on to contribute so many good things to #ourcommunity, often spearheading large initiatives or getting involved with other activities.

The Aldergrove Kinsmen were very instrumental in relocating what is now our museum & archives as well as developing the little park which surrounds it - Aldergrove Kinsmen Heritage Park.

The current home of our library and the Langley Arts Club - the Aldergrove Kinsmen Centre would not have come to fruition without the very hard work of the Aldergrove Kinsmen and the Kinettes, their female counterpart.

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Today's #communitybuilder is WW2 veteran Mr. Alvin Fast. This feature article was printed before Aldergrove had its own Royal Canadian Legion but during his tenure, Mr. Fast also served on the executive (including as president) for Branch 265 Aldergrove, where he was a life-time member.

The article mentions that the family also operated a cold storage and meat sales business from their home, which was on Bradshaw Road (40th Avenue). Mr. Fast purchased his farm with the help of the Veterans Land Act.

When the business outgrew their home, the Fasts purchased the Otter Cold Storage facility which sat on the corner of 40th & Otter Road (248th Street). Some of you may recognize this as the current location of Bonetti's Meats. The Bonetti family purchased the business from Mr. Fast when he retired in 1973.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Fast were very active in the community as members and executive for the Otter Farmers Institute, the Otter (Aldergrove) Credit Union, Scouts, the PTA, St. Alban's Anglican Church and the Otter Women's Institute.

#ourcommunity #heritagematters #wewillrememberthem
Additional information from Volume 2 of The Place Between.
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Today's colourful neighbour and #communitybuilder lived in the Otter District. His former home recently underwent an extensive restoration and was recently added to theTownship of Langley's Community Heritage Register.

Eric Flowerdew served as a Township Councillor, School Board trustee, was a member of numerous service groups and has an annual volunteer award named for him in recognition of his commitment to #ourcommunity.

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Meet #communitybuilder Alfred Dixon, who along with his brother in law Ben Greer Jr, purchased the Beggs' Hardware Store in 1961. They also built the building that is home to Aldergrove Home Hardware.

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