Agassiz Circa 1905.

Planning ahead for Agassiz’ 125th anniversary

Local historian asks Council to start thinking ahead for 2020

Agassiz looks good for her age. This old dame of a town is coming up on her 125th birthday and local historian Bev Kennedy thinks we should do something to honour her quasquicentennial.

Agassiz was incorporated in 1895. That means in 2020 this community will officially be 125 years old.

“We have a lot of history and have a lot to celebrate,” Kennedy said in a delegation to the District of Kent Council. “We should be very, very proud of our history and our pioneers.”

Her plan was to put the idea on Council’s radar so there is time to think about what can be done to commemorate the historic event. Kennedy has been collecting ideas from many individuals and shared just a few with Council. They included creating an ad hoc celebration committee, twinning with another community such as Kent County in England or doing a legacy project such as building a covered pool or restoring the old cemetery on Limbert Mountain. The District of Kent historic minute books could be transcribed and digitized. The community could honour and commemorate those who have shaped our community over the last 125 years.

“The list of ideas of course is endless,” said Kennedy.

To pull off such a celebration, there could be collaboration from anyone and everyone interested including schools, service groups, governments and more. They could use strategies like social media and crowd funding as well as source out funding programs.

“This is a massive project and we need everybody involved,” said Kennedy.

The District of Kent has a longer history than many other communities in B.C. Of 113 Districts, towns and villages in B.C., there are only six other places that were incorporated before Agassiz.

“We live in a very young country and British Columbia is a very young province,” Kennedy remarked.

In 1995, Agassiz had a pageant to honour 100 years of history. Kennedy says it was a wonderful community-wide event, with perhaps almost as many in the play as in the audience.

“It behooves us to do something bigger and better [now],” Mayor John Van Laerhoven remarked after Kennedy’s presentation. Van Laerhoven says they as a Council will discuss later how they might be able to budget for festivities and what the next steps might be.

“She offered some great ideas on what we can do,” Van Laerhoven remarked.

If you are interested in being involved or have ideas to share, you can contact Bev Kennedy at 796-2459.