The City of Surrey has come a long way from country roads and farmers’ fields

Happy 20th birthday, Surrey

From country roads and farmers’ fields, to highrises and rapid transit, we have seen the changes.

Re: Sept. 11, 2013 – 20 years since Surrey became a city.

Twenty years ago, the municipality of Surrey took a big step into the future.

The council of the day – Mayor Bob Bose and Couns. Gary Watkins, Marvin Hunt, Judy Higginbotham, Bruce Ralston, Judy Villeneuve, Bill Fomich, Bonnie Shrenk, and myself decided it was time to grow up or a 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 Park and the city celebrations.

From the days of reeves and provincial police to a 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 city 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 of a  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 the mayor and the city councillors of 1993 for their contributions.  We had our battles and growing pains. There were some 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 today. The future is bright and I’m proud to be a Surreyite. Happy birthday, Surrey!


Gary T. Robinson

Former City of Surrey councillor

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