The Surrey Historical Society awarded former MP John Aldag with a certificate of appreciation Feb. 8.
The SHS thanked Aldag for his support in helping the group do some of the heavy lifting in relocating and restoring the 130-year-old Anniedale School.
“It wouldn’t have happened if this gentleman wouldn’t have gotten involved with it,” said SHS president Michael Gibbs.
The school, along with the 1881 Surrey Municipal Hall, were recently opened to the SHS for a brief tour.
Gibbs said both buildings have been fully restored and will be open to the public soon. He noted there is no set date for a grand opening yet, but he thinks it may happen in the spring.
Gibbs added that Aldag also helped the SHS bring attention to the Henry Houston Scott story. He said Aldag even spoke about it in Ottawa.
“I don’t know in our history if the Surrey Historical Society ever had anything discussed in the House of Commons before.”
Aldag thanked the SHS and said he was happy to help out with any future heritage projects.
Surrey Historical Society today presented a Certificate of Recognition to @jwaldag . Former MP John Aldag's support enabled the transporting and restoration of the 127-year-old Historic Anniedale School to the Museum Surrey heritage campus in #Cloverdalebc #SurreyBC #History pic.twitter.com/OHVfBIFI56
— Ursula Maxwell-Lewis (@YouTravel) February 8, 2020
“Because of my background, heritage is something that I care very passionately about,” Aldag said. “I didn’t do public service for the recognition. For me it was just about trying to make the community better.”
Aldag said he is going to remain “very involved” in heritage initiatives.
“We cannot, as heritage proponents, let our guard down. The work is not done,” he said. “We are still losing way too much of our built heritage on a daily, weekly, and annual basis in this country. Communities like Surrey are developing so quickly, there are gems of architectural significance, houses and buildings, that are being torn down.”
Gibbs said he hopes Aldag can also help the SHS in their next quest to have the New Westminster Bridge, built in 1904, designated as a national historic site.
“That bridge was fundamental to the developmental history of Surrey and the Lower Mainland,” Gibbs said. “I believe it’s also one of the longest continually used bridges in Canada. It’s an amazing piece of architecture.”