Derek Doubleday was born in 1923 and grew up in Bottlesford, England. He attended King’s School for Boys in Grantham and graduated in 1939. Before and after serving in the RAF as a navigator, he worked in the Borough’s treasury office. Early in 1948, when Derek was 25, his family decided to move to Canada.

The Doubleday family moved to Jericho Road (72nd Avenue) in the Clayton area of Surrey. The family had a small farm with some pigs and chickens in an area of mostly small holdings although there were a few commercial chicken farms. Derek’s father was in the building trade as well as his older brothers, one a plumber, the other a brick mason. Derek was supposed to become a carpenter.

Fortunately for Derek, one of his neighbours brought him a Langley Advance which had an ad for an assistant clerk treasurer for the Township of Langley. He applied for the position, was accepted and starting work on December 1, 1948 as assistant to the clerk treasurer, John Campbell. The Municipal Hall was located in Murrayville directly across from the Murrayville School. Down the hill, the five corners consisted of a store, a church and a few houses.

The tiny Municipal Hall was built into the hillside. The upstairs was almost totally open with a counter for serving the public and a few crowded offices. The corners had little offices for Assessment, Taxation Collection, Building Inspection and Licence. There was an office for John Campbell and also a tiny one for Derek. A machine for printing the tax roll was in a small room. The offices for the Magistrate, Archie Payne, and the police, a corporal and a constable of the BC Provincial Police, were beside the Council Chambers which was also used as the Courtroom. The toilets were located in the basement which also had a cell for prisoners.

Public Works had a separate building occupied by Ken Major, Public Works Clerk, along with the Superintendent of Works. In total the entire municipal hall staff consisted of seven or eight staff and the Works Department had fiteen to eighteen employees.
According to Derek it was a very small staff for a very large area and he often emphasized the fact that many people didn’t appreciate just how large the municipality is. Even back in those days there were many issues to deal with. One of the biggest ones Derek said was transportation. Road paving was the biggest budget item. The Township had miles and miles of gravel roads, many were often impassable. Prior to the establishment of a road paving program the municipality only paved a bit adjacent to schools. Under Reeve Noel Booth the paving program was expanded somewhat. It was expanded further under Reeve George Brooks to pave several miles each year. The other problem was during the Depression years the many wooden bridges had fallen into disrepair. Between paving and replacing bridges there wasn’t much left in the budget for other things.

Another issue during Derek’s early time at the municipaliy was the construction of the Freeway. Derek said there was a lot of concern expressed by merchants in Langley Prairie that taking traffic off the Fraser Highway would kill their businesses. People were also upset because the Freeway would split the community.

Shortly after Derek married Gloria in October of 1954, they traveled in the United States and paid attention to the freeways – some had trees and green space on both sides – this park like impression struck Derek as having applicability to the Langley discussion about the Trans Canada Highway. Derek spoke to the MLA and others in Victoria about leaving green space, preserving trees and also planting trees. It was that kind of thing that Derek did quietly behind the scenes. He had a love for preserving green space and was instramental in the Township acquiring Williams Park and Ponder Park.

Derek was promoted to the Clerk Treasurer position in 1953. Lornie Coates later became Derek’s deputy clerk As the Township continued to grow over the years a separate Treasurer postion was created and Derek went on to become the Clerk Administrator. He retired in 1983, after serving the Township of Langley for over three decades. After his retirement Mayor Bill Blair and Township Council gave Derek Doubleday “the freedom of the muncipality”.