People and Stories Keep Us Going Amidst Pandemic

While COVID stats continue to dominate the daily news and our community struggles to transition to this new normal, there are many great stories unfolding in Langley. On June 24th I was fortunate to celebrate Mr. Bud Freeston’s 100th birthday! I first had the pleasure of meeting Bud through teacher Gord Dennison at Aldergrove Community Secondary School when Bud spoke at a Remembrance Day Ceremony many years ago.

Bud served in the Canadian Black Watch During WWII and is truly a Canadian hero. Unfortunately, due to COVID he was forced to isolate in his care home away from friends who gathered on his birthday to wish him well. However, it was great to see his face light up as a bagpiper performed in the parking lot while Bud stood out on his second story deck. There was not a dry eye amongst those gathered. Not even a pandemic could rob us of this memory.

Once again I continue to be reminded of the great efforts of those in Langley and around the world to stay connected and support each other. My admiration is extended to all of the families that worked alongside educators and support staff to adjust to our new realities, take part in remote learning, and support our essential service workers and vulnerable families. Grad ceremonies were different but also incredibly meaningful. As a District we also continued to make strides in improving literacy, numeracy, and transitions, opening a new high school, re-purposing a site to support another middle school, engaging in public consultation in the D. W. Poppy and Aldergrove regions, and working with youth to address mental health issues within our community.

Certainly, a challenging year but now without plenty to still celebrate. Yet, once again it is the people, we have had the chance to sustain friendships with, the new acquaintances we have come to know, and the families we have taken the time to help through hardships that provide us with our best memories. Wonderful people like Bud.

Have a great summer and remember to stay safe.

Gord