All seats have now been SOLD! Thank you for supporting this important cause and hope you will be among the 310 who will enjoy the concert Sunday evening.
Concert produced by Birthplace of B.C. Gallery
or call Brenda at 604 882-1191.
A brief live auction by Jim Marsh of Canam Auctions will be included in the Oct 17 Concert.
1. Day Cruise & Dinner for 4 aboard 40 ft boat with Barb & Arne Mykle
2. & 3. Two pairs hand-knit socks by Langley Pioneer, Alice Johnson
4. Acrylic painting of Willoughby Hall by Al Colton, Langley’s Dean of Art
5. Dinner for 2 at the Willoughby Hall Harvest Dinner (last 2 tickets remaining to this popular annual community dinner)
All proceeds to the Willoughby Community Hall Society
The Langley Times * Wednesday, October 6, 2010* by Brenda Anderson
Click here for story on Concert: Langley Times – A matter of heritage.
Best Western, Langley
Prospera Credit Union
Mary and Ron Martini
Gwen and Tony McCamley
Fort Langley Lions
Langley Willoughby Women’s Institute
Platinum Group of Companies
Bob Bailey ReMax Treeland Realty
Joel Schacter ReMax Treeland Realty
Northland Mechanical Contracting
McElhaney Consulting Services
Fred Adab Architect
and thank you also to
Liana Savard has been an active director, educator and performer of music for the past 16 years. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies (Capilano College) and a Master of Music degree (University of Alberta). Liana currently is the artistic director of the Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir and has a thriving vocal studio at the Langley Community Music School.
Carl and Joel Kory are an amazing father-son guitar duo performing as “Y” Music. Carl has performed throughout North America with various acts such as Afterglow, Sabor, Lucid Dream and the Tim Bachman Band. Joel watched his dad since he was a youngster and was destined to follow in his footsteps. Together they form an instinctive guitar duo, genetically in rhythm with harmony of musical purpose. Their new CD “Live to Play – Play to Live” has just been released.
Cole Armour is an inspirational singer who has been performing since he was nine years old (Merritt Mountain Musical Festival (2008 & 2009). He took gold in every category at the Kiwanis Fraser Valley International Music Festival. He was the first child ever to win the PNE’s Red Robinson Talent Showdown. Click here to listen to Cole’s vocal talent.
Ryan Faas is a jazz pianist, composer, music teacher and accompanist living in Langley, B.C.
He holds an honours Bachelor of Music degree focussing on jazz piano from the University of Alberta. He studied with prominent Edmonton jazz pianists Chris Andrew and Bob Thompson.
Click here to sample music by Ryan Faas.
According to Maureen Pepin (ROADS and Other Place Names in Langley, B.C), the name of Willoughby is now attached to an area of northwest Langley, as well as to the new elementary school, the Willoughby Hall, and the old Willoughby School (which was restored in 1998 and is located near its original site on 208).
The area was originally named “Willoughby” after a man named Willoughby Singer who owned a little store beside the Hall on 208 in the 1920’s. The family, including the daughter Joan, sold groceries and ran the local post office.
In the early 1920s, the settlers in the Willoughby area decided to build a hall to hold the classes for local students. In order to raise funds they held Saturday night dances in various homes, with a portable gramophone and records being carried around to provide music. These evenings were a success, and John Bray donated the land for the hall. Classes were held there until the Willoughby Elementary School opening in 1931.
The first hall, built in 1921, was replaced by the current structure , which officially opened with festivities on January 14, 1938. Built as a community cooperative effort, the hall is still owned and operated by the Willoughby Hall Society.
The entire Willoughby area is now undergoing urban development. A proposed development of lands adjacent to the hall will include restoration of the hall including a new foundation.
The Langley Heritage Society has also committed to further improvements for the hall in memory of long-time Willoughby volunteers, Shirley and Roy Baker.
It was an unfortunate fire that brought Roy and Shirley Baker back to Langley. But for the Township of Langley, it could be called a fortuitous fire, because the couple stayed, and became stalwart volunteers in their community.
Daughter Linda Baker recalls that her parents had been planning to build a new home in Surrey and Roy had lumber already piled on the lot, when the Willoughby house Roy had bought from his father had burned down.
Because the insurance company would only cover the loss if the home was rebuilt to be lived in, Roy and Shirley decided to move all the lumber from the Surrey lot to the Willoughby lot, and to rebuild their first home there.
They were no strangers to Langley.
Roy had been born in 1931 in Willoughby, and raised on Alexander Road (now 208 Street) the son of Ernest Edgar and Elizabeth (nee Treliving) Baker. Roy had an older brother Gordon, and a sister, Lillian.
Both Roy and Gordon, as young men, served as volunteer firemen in the Willoughby area.
Linda Baker says that when Roy was born, his father walked down Alexander Road, on his way to Murrayville, to register the birth at the Township Hall in Murrayville. Along the way, Ernest stopped to visit various Alexander Road neighbours, to fill them in on the good news of the Baker’s new arrival.
Congratulatory drinks were in order, and when Ernest arrived at the hall, he mistakenly registered his new son as Edward Roy, rather than Roy Edward, a fact which resulted in some sharp words from his wife Elizabeth.
But Linda said her father, nevertheless, was always called Roy.
He attended school both at Willoughby Elementary, and at Milner, and it was while playing baseball at Milner, in Grade 7 and 8, that he met a lifelong friend, Ted Smaback.
At the time the two boys were rivals on the field, Ted playing ball for Fort Langley.
Later Ted and his wife Alfie became neighbours to the Bakers in Willoughby, for 28 years. The couples had children of about the same age.
Alfie describes Shirley as “a wonderful caring person,” who didn’t seek recognition for her volunteer work.
“She was a kind of a behind the scenes worker,” said Alfie.
“They were both great people, good neighbours,” said Ted Smaback.
Smaback said that after attending high school at the original Langley Secondary School on Fraser Highway, Roy took a job at Canadian White Pine lumber mill in New Westminster, and became a planerman.
Shirley was born in Vancouver, in 1936, but her father, George Burdett, had grown up in Langley, and Shirley’s mother Frances in Port Kells. Shirley had a brother Robert, still living, and a little sister, Arlene, also deceased. Mother Frances is still living. She is 95, and lives at Harrison Landing.
Although Shirley began her schooling at Henry Hudson Elementary School in Vancouver, the Burdett’s moved to West Langley when Shirley was about 8 or 9 years old. She attended West Langley Elementary School and later Langley Senior Secondary.
Both, as children, were participants in the community life that revolved around their respective Community Hall.
Linda Baker recalls a family tradition of community involvement and volunteerism. Shirley’s parents, and her grandparents, George Sr. and Ada Burdett, helped build the West Langley Hall, along with their brother-in-law, George Kirby.
And her father Roy remembered being put to bed on a pile of coats with other young children, in the corner of Willoughby Community Hall, while his parents danced to music from a record player.
After Roy and Shirley moved their lumber from the Surrey lot to Willoughby, to rebuild the burned out house, they remained in Willoughby, although they built and moved to two new homes, all in Willoughby, Linda said.
Gordon Hill remembers Roy and Gordon Baker as older boys of Willoughby, while he was growing up.
“They were involved in the fire hall, and anything to do with the community.”
Hill came with his parents to Willoughby in about 1942, and recalls that there was no fire hall in the area at that time.
He remembers as a young child that a meeting was held at Willoughby Community Hall, to discuss construction of a fire hall. His own father attended, as did Ernest Baker.
The outcome was that Hill’s father donated land for the fire hall, and community volunteers helped to build it.
The Hill family got the land back after the war, when the fire hall was moved, and renovated into a house, which still stands in Willoughby.
Karl Dreise, president of the Willoughby Community Hall Society, said Roy Baker became more actively involved in the hall again in the 1980s.
“Both were very community oriented,” said Dreise, of the Bakers.
Shirley was an early member of the Langley Willoughby Women’s Community Institute, and also very much involved in the Heritage Society, he said.
“She put 100 per cent into the assignment, and she was very reliable.”
“Whenever we had a problem (at the hall) I could count on Roy and a few other neighbours being there lickety-split,” Dreise said.
He described Roy as easygoing and good natured.
“I could call on him, or he would take the initiative himself, and fix things.”
Alice Johnson, a long-time volunteer with the Willoughby Hall Society said that Shirley Baker was not only involved in the Women’s Institute, and the Langley Heritage Society, she was also an organizer for the Baby Clinic for more than 30 years.
“She was our membership secretary for Willoughby Hall, and for the Women’s Institute,” said Johnson.
Roy had been a great handyman who was always willing to help out at the hall, she said.
Linda Baker said her mother had been the organizer for the Baby Clinics, scheduling and notifying other volunteers and taking a volunteer position herself, for 37 years.
The volunteers took care of paperwork and other chores to free up the public health nurses who provided inoculations and other care for new babies and their mothers. She was among three nominees one year, for Volunteer of the Year, for her work with the Baby Clinics.
Shirley also won the Volunteer of the Year award from the Fraser Health Authority in 2007. Daughter Linda said that when the executive was reading out her mom’s accolades he noted that Shirley had been volunteering longer than he had been alive. “Mom wasn’t too sure how to take that remark, but I know she was as gracious as ever,” Linda said.
In addition to her work with the Willoughby Hall Society, the Heritage Society and the Baby Clinics, Shirley Baker made time for other community work as well.
She served on a committee that spearheaded construction of the Al Anderson Memorial Pool in Langley City, and worked with the Langley Centennial Museum History Group, doing research on various original families of the area.
Baker said her father Roy, as well as being a volunteer handyman at the hall, always made the potatoes for the Harvest Dinner, as well as taking part in maintenance required after the dances.
At the hall dinners, Shirley took memberships for the hall, said Alice Johnson.
Roy died in May, 2002, while Shirley passed away in June of 2009. In addition to daughter Linda, the couple has a son, David. David lives in Merritt with his wife Susan, and daughters Lauren and Justine.
Shirley Baker left in her will money for the Langley Heritage Society, which the society proposes to use for an enhancement project at the Willoughby Community Hall to commemorate the couple’s community volunteerism.
The original Willoughby Hall, built in the 1920s, was destroyed by fire. It was replaced by the current structure at 208 Street and 83 Avenue, officially opened on Jan. 14, 1938, a year after the society was incorporated under the Societies Act.
According to Willoughby Hall Society president Karl Dreise, the hall continues today as a very active centre for the community, with a variety of activities, including dancing for young people.
Heritage Matters Concert organized and produced by Birthplace of B.C. Historic Trust