A few early risers donned their coats and scarves and braved the chilly temperature Friday morning to walk on the iconic White Rock Pier on its 100th anniversary.

White Rock pier turns 100

The official opening ceremony for the city landmark took place on Nov. 14, 1914.

The 100th anniversary of the opening of White Rock’s pier came on Friday morning without official fanfare – just the quiet appreciation of strollers walking in the footsteps of generations before them.

The official opening ceremony for the city landmark took place on Nov. 14, 1914, with then-MP Col. J.D. Taylor and provincial parliament member F.J. MacKenzie among the dignitaries, according to Lorraine Ellenwood’s authoritative history, Years of Promise – White Rock 1858-1958.

Conceived in peacetime as a federally funded wharf to accommodate steamers from Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver – and perhaps even international trade – the pier had already been overshadowed by larger events in the world.

Work on the wooden structure, started in July of that year, had already been completed in August – the same month that a series of political ultimatums in Europe escalated into the First World War. The impact on Canada of the outbreak of hostilities was cited as the main reason the official pier opening was pushed back to November.

The completion of the Panama Canal the same year spelled the end of dreams of Semiahmoo Bay as an international trade centre and, aside from federal Fisheries boats and smaller vessels, the pier became largely a decorative attraction for both pedestrians and, until the 1950s, motorists. Discussions of having the pier as a terminus for island ferries ultimately came to naught.

The battering effect of storms on the pier had long led to calls for a permanent rock breakwater at the end which was added in 1953.

Although even as early as 1949 a newspaper editorial asserted the pier had no real use, it has always been a point of pride for locals.

When, in 1976, the then Federal Department of Transportation ruled that it was no longer going to be responsible for repair and maintenance of the “unused” pier, a popular movement – spearheaded by local yachting enthusiast Art Bates (who died last  month at age 93) – succeeded in having the pier transferred to the city, which has maintained it, as a cornerstone of city recreation policy, ever since.

A commemorative Party on the Pier was held this year on Aug. 28, serving as a fundraiser for the local arts community.

Peace Arch News would love to see your photographs of the pier taken on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014.If we get enough, we will post an online slideshow.Please email high-res photos to editor@peacearchnews.com



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. announces regional cancer treatment centre to be included in new Surrey hospital

Services expected to include treatment, supportive care, research, education, innovative technologies

Cloverdale store owner giving away free face shields

Tricia Ellingsen offering more than 200 free protective shields

Two new recycling trucks on the way for White Rock

Council approves higher cost to reduce operations yard problems

Politicians want Surrey’s Civic Distinction Awards done ‘virtually,’ not postponed

City staff recommended they be put off to the fall of 2021 because of the pandemic

Tree falls across road in Surrey

Crews on scene to clear the debris

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

As CERB winds down, labour group asks Liberals to rethink EI

The government estimates four million people will be moved onto EI after CERB ends

‘Tiny home’ being built for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Online campaign raises $59,000 for custom cargo trailer for Katie Hobson

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

2016 kidnapping, extortion by Hells Angels member related to Hope cannabis grow ops

Various Hope area grow ops connected to distribution network in Edmonton, court documents detail

Most Read

l -->