Langley RCMP are on the lookout for the driver of a tractor who mowed down a First World War commemorative maple tree in Fort Langley, less than 48 hours after it was planted.
The tractor took out the tiny sugar maple sapling, along with two new street signs for Brenda Alberts Way (96 Avenue), some time late on Monday night, said Mark Forsythe, a board member with the Langely Heritage Society.
The tree had just been planted at the corner of 96 Avenue and Glover Road on Sunday in a special ceremony held by the Township of Langley. The sapling was meant to replace a nearly 100-year-old bigleaf maple that was cut down in January due to disease.
“The person responsible was not located,” Cpl. Holly Largy, Langley RCMP media relations officer, told the Times.
“Witnesses (were) spoken to but the individual could not be identified.”
Both the new sugar maple, and the original bigleaf maple, were planted in honour of A.W. Wilson, a First World War soldier from Langley who was killed in action at Vimy Ridge, France in 1917.
Close to 400 young men and boys from Langley enlisted for service in the Great War of 1914 to 1918, at a time when the Township’s population was only 3,500. The Wilson Memorial Tree was one of many bigleaf maples planted at local intersections after a post-war initiative was undertaken in 1919 to honour the 36 Langley soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.solvecrime.ca.