Fifty years ago, Haney was a large unincorporated area, comprised mostly of houses on lots measured in acres. Today, it is part of Maple Ridge.

From Burnaby, it was considered a Day Trip to Haney, even though it was a daily commute for the fellow that my parents knew there. He taught Woodworking at Burnaby Central Senior Secondary School.

My parents generally disapproved of me calling anyone Aunt or Uncle if they were not related, but he was always Uncle Fred. During my two years as a student at Burnaby Central, I only saw him there a few times as the Shop area of the school, where he taught, was at one end of the school, and none of my courses were in the Trades. I doubt that I would have seen him at all at school if my parents did not have me pick up or drop off something for him or his wife.

Fred lived in Haney because he was passionate about growing Rhododendrons. He bought the property for its soil conditions and the stream that ran through the property. His award-winning Rhododendrons would never have won an award if it were not for that stream. Many summers had long stretches of dry weather and watering restrictions that he could ignore because he watered his Rhododendrons from the stream, not the Haney water supply.

Though not as frequent as those visits, we also took Day Trips to nearby Alouette Lake. It was a great place to swim. In fact, on a sunny summer weekday when I was about 10 years old, my grandparents, my mother and spent much of the day there. I believe it was the last time that my grandfather and my mother ever swam. Although she could not swim, my grandmother waded into the water as well.