Jim McGregor / Special for Black Press Media
Langley Community Halls have always played a major role in providing a gathering place for people in the area.
History shows that they have been part of the growth of each of Langley’s neighborhoods since their first establishment.
Today, Langley is home to 15 community halls, each owned and operated by a hall company.
Nine of these halls have been recognized or legally protected for their heritage value.
Heritage Hall, formerly known as Aldergrove OAP Hall, located at 3015 273rd.St., has been such a place for many organizations to meet, dance and share potlucks since the early 1960s.
In fact, it was on May 6, 1960, that Aldergrove Organization of Old Age Pensioners (OAPO) Branch No. 71 was founded in a building that once housed the Aldergrove Volunteer Fire Department and the Township of Langley construction site.
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Dave Inward is vice-president of the Aldergrove Arts Club, which meets in the room.
“The Aldergrove Old Age Pensioners (OAP) initially leased the building from the township for one dollar a year and then subsequently purchased it,” he said.
Over the years, the hall has hosted a wide variety of events and activities.
The room serves as the base for OAPO activities – everything from luncheons and dances to nativity scenes, whist nights and carpet bowling.
But it also hosted many community events such as rock and gem club shows, art club meetings and shows, parties and family reunions, and it also served as a polling place .
Aldergrove Art’s Council President Faith Dahl recently held a ceilidh for the first time at this location.
“It was a huge success, people had so much fun and we raised over $1,000 – which will help maintain the building,” Dahl explained.
“We rely on our hall rentals and grants to maintain the facility.”
Recent Horizon grants have helped upgrade the sound system and renovate the kitchen, restrooms and plumbing.
Inward says these renovations add to the room’s appeal.
“People love performing here. We have a beautiful stage, a great sound system, great acoustics and comfortable chairs for the audience,” he said.
Dahl says the name change came about recently, after a meeting with Aldergrove Arts Club and Aldergrove OAP.
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“We’ve seen more and more people asking ‘What is the OAP room and where is it in Aldergrove?’ A lot of people knew about the building surrounded by a fence, but thought it was vacant, so we thought a new name and sign would help.
They rely on dedicated volunteers to keep the building in shape, Inward noted.
“We have a lot of good handymen on board and we use a lot of volunteer labour.”
The room is now used seven days a week, which means that it has to be maintained.
“We have more grants going and hopefully we can do more upgrades,” Inward said.
Dahl agrees that the hall is a great gathering place for the community.
“Once a month we have a potluck here on Sundays, followed by bingo. This dinner has been going on for years and people look forward to it every month.
The Township of Langley Community Halls Source Book sums it up nicely.
“These rooms are an integral part of modern Langley. They were built over the past century through community fundraising efforts and donations of land, materials, and labor. Their building fabric embodies older building styles and building methods. Their interiors reflect their former uses as gathering places and community centers for all ages. »
For more information on the new Heritage Hall in Aldergrove and rental details, people are welcome to call Dave Inward at 604-857-7700.