New history book highlights Abbotsford’s change from village to city

Book signing event on May 28 at Trethewey House

A book signing will be held at Trethewey House on May 28.

A book signing will be held at Trethewey House on May 28.

A new book on Abbotsford’s history will document the community’s change from a village to a city.

The MSA Museum Society has announced the publication of Abbotsford, from Village to City: A Commitment to Excellence and Innovation.

The book is edited by local poet and historian Robert Martens and museum archivist Anneleen van Dijk. It highlights Abbotsford’s growth and development in industry, health and community care, justice services, culture, and environmental consciousness.

“It is inspirational to see so many people from such a wide range of backgrounds contributing to this project. This book represents Abbotsford’s journey from a village to the city it is today,” said van Dijk.

With written contributions by more than forty local authors, most of whom were personally involved in the stories they tell, the result is a collection of essays with intimacy and passion. Topics include the origins and evolution of UFV, Community Services, and the Abbotsford Airshow, as well as the story of the city’s populist resistance to the construction of the SE2 power plant in Sumas, Wash.

On May 25 at the 7 p.m. meeting of city council, the first copy of a limited edition printing of the book will be presented  to former Mayor George F. Ferguson, to whom the book is dedicated.

The book was the brainchild of former librarian David Giesbrecht. Dorothy van der Ree, retired director of the MSA Museum Society, guided the book through to its conclusion with the support of a committed volunteer book committee.

The MSA Museum Society will hold a book launch on Thursday, May 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Trethewey House Heritage site (2313 Ware St.). Writers will be present to sign purchased copies and refreshments will be served.