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Abbotsford book details life of former Matsqui mayor and Mt. Lehman history

Gordon Taylor pens A Mount Lehman Native Son about his dad, Doug
Gordon Taylor of Abbotsford has written the book A Mount Lehman Native Son: The Life and Times of Doug Taylor about his dad and the history of Mt. Lehman. (Submitted photo)

An Abbotsford man has written a book that details the life and achievements of his dad, Doug Taylor, a former councillor and mayor of Matsqui.

The book by Gordon Taylor is titled A Mount Lehman Native Son: The Life and Times of Doug Taylor.

Gordon is the eldest son of Doug – who died in 1998 at the age of 73 – and still resides on the farm acquired by the Taylor family in 1887.

Doug and his wife, Elsie, raised four children together in Mt. Lehman.

Doug first started in business with his brother Jim. They established a feed warehouse on Ross Road and also had a small general store, gas pump and feed shed just south of Mt. Lehman United Church.

In 1945, with their father Buster, they ran Taylor’s Farm Service, a general store. In 1949, Doug added a general insurance agency.

Doug ran for the Progressive Conservative Party and was defeated by Harold Hicks by only three votes at the nominating convention.

In the 1960s, he ran as the provincial Conservative candidate in two provincial elections. After his dad died in 1966, Doug successfully contested the municipal council seat that had been held by his father.

He then served as mayor for eight years and again as an alderman from 1977-78 and 1980-81.

While on council, Doug was responsible for the planning of the former Abbotsford courthouse and Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, as well as the expansion and construction of the water system that serves the outlying areas of the municipality.

Doug was also involved in finding a permanent home for the Mt. Lehman Library and the setup of the Mt. Lehman fire hall, where he served as a volunteer firefighter, rising to fire captain after 14 years of service.

He served for many years with the Royal Westminster Militia Regiment, rising to the rank of lieutenant, and was the president of the Red Ensign Club of Canada, an organization formed in opposition to the federal government’s legislation to change Canada’s national flag.

Doug also had an appetite for local history and would spend hours researching and answering questions about the Mt. Lehman area.

Gordon, who has been practising law in B.C. since 1975, says his dad left behind many notes in anticipation of writing a book himself to highlight his heritage and the history of Mt. Lehman.

“Due to his death, I had to step up, try to marshal all his notes, and attempt to write his story as I perceive it,” Gordon states on an online post about the book.

Gordon said in addition to conducting to conducting his own genealogical research, he had to research the various organizations in Mt. Lehman that were prominent in his family’s history.

“There is a dearth of comprehensive writing about the history of Mount Lehman,” Gordon states.

A Mount Lehman Native Son has been published by Friesen Press and can be ordered online from them or through Amazon.

Abbotsford News Staff

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