Fort Langley November 19, 1858

british columbi flag

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Birth of British Columbia.  On that date, the inauguration of the Crown Colony of British Columbia took place.  The event took place in the Big House at Fort Langley on November 19, 1858, when Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, the newly appointed Chief Justice, swore in James Douglas as the first Governor of the Crown Colony of British Columbia.

With a little time in the afternoon, Viv and I decided we should pop over to Fort Langley to see what was still going on.  Fort Langley is a charming village that is well worth a visit. In some ways it is reminiscent of the village of Hudson to the west of Montreal, although on a somewhat larger scale.  There is also a National Historic Site where you can see a restored version of the fort and settlement set up by the fur trade organization called the Hudson’s Bay Company to trade with the First Nations of the West Coast.  Although most of the festivities took place over the previous weekend, there were still cameras and lights very evident to record this momentous day.

Given the British feeling engendered by such a visit, a cuppa tea seemed called for.  As we wandered towards the quieter southern end of the main street (Glover Road), we were delighted and very surprised to spot the Yorkshire Tea Shoppe a little set back to the east of the street. It has only been open a short while but it will certainly do well.  The lady proprietor, Claire, hails from Hull in England and does indeed provide an authentic taste of Britain.  You can even get hot scones, Devon cream and jam!  It’s a place to be highly recommended and we’ll certainly be back.

Some Relevant Books

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Eat BC. Fresh, Local and Tasty

Eat BC October 2008
Eat BC! in its October 2008 campaign celebrates all the goodness and flavours of BC healthy foods that are available in favourite restaurants and grocery stores. For full details, you can check out the full page ads that are appearing in the Vancouver Sun.

British Columbia Restaurant And Foodservices Association
British Columbia Agriculture Council

The program is a joint project by the British Columbia Restaurant & Foodservices Association (BCRFA) and the British Columbia Agriculture Council (BCAC):

The aim is to raise awareness and encourage a preference for BC foods and beverages. By supporting local growers and suppliers you help the environment, reducing your carbon-footprint by limiting the amount of shipping and fuel consumption needed to get the seasonal foods to you. The more local food we consume, the higher the demand = the more farmers are needed to supply the products and voila! a healthier local economy, more local jobs within agriculture and a stronger, more vibrant local food system. BC food and beverages – Fresher, Faster!

In many ways, it mirrors the activities of the Slow Food movement, which now has over 85,000 members in 132 countries.

Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

Fort Langley Cranberry Festival
British Columbia Best Place On Earth

In British Columbia, it’s almost impossible to be unaware of the fine food choices that are everywhere around us. For example this weekend, the 13th Annual Fort Langley Cranberry Festival takes place.

B.C. is the third largest producer of cranberries in the world. The Fort Langley Cranberry Festival is the only cranberry festival in BC and one of only three festivals in Canada celebrating the cranberry harvest season. It is no secret why B.C. residents rate their province the best place on earth.