Twenty years ago last Wednesday, the Municipality of Surrey took a big step into the future (Surrey celebrates 20 years, Sept. 10).
The council of the day – Mayor Bob Bose, Couns. Garry Watkins, Marvin Hunt, Judy Higginbotham, Bruce Ralston, Judy Villeneuve, Bill Fomich, Bonnie Schrenk and myself – decided it was time to grow up or at least graduate to adulthood and begin to take our place as one of Canada’s great cities.
From country roads and farmers’ fields, to highrises and rapid transit, we have seen the changes.
From “The City of Parks” to “The Future Lives Here.”
It all started in 1879 when Surrey settlers were given letters patent to form a District Municipality, and then in 1993 we became a city.
I remember cutting and serving the cake in Bear Creek and the city celebrations. From the days of reeves and provincial police to the city of culture and parks, Surrey has seen it all.
There is so much more to come.
I want to thank the people of Surrey who elected me and gave me a chance as a Surrey ‘boy’ to have the honour of being an alderman, then a councillor and to be a small part of Surrey becoming a city.
We have gone from 165,000 people in the ’80s to a city with nearly half a million now. Challenges have been met, mistakes have been made and Surrey has grown to become a leader in so many ways.
I also want to recognize mayor Bose and the city councillors of 1993 for their contributions. We had our battles and growing pains in the councils of the day. There were some very strong personalities and lots of articulate and passionate debate, which in my view led to some very good decisions.
We were unanimous in the decision to become a city, and the results of that decision can be seen throughout Surrey. We took the steps to get to where we are today.
The future is bright and I’m proud to be a Surreyite.
Happy birthday, Surrey!
Gary T. Robinson, Surrey