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
- British Columbia: Spirit of the People by Jean Barman
- Lonely Planet British Columbia, 3rd Edition (Regional Guide) by Ryan Ver Berkmoes
- The West beyond the West: A History of British Columbia by Jean Barman
- British Columbia Wine Country by John Schreiner