Fraser Valley
Fort Langley

Abbottsford . YXX
Pitt Meadows

First Nations Sites
Gold Rush Trail
Flight Museum
Harrison Resorts
Lakes, Rivers
Manning Park
Mount Baker
Ski Areas
Youth Programs

Abbotsford International Airshow
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003

Mission's Westminster Abbey:
For Whom the Bell Tolls

Arriving at a wooden railway platform in Mission City aboard the West Coast Express from Vancouver, we capped off our day with an overnight stay at Westminster Abbey. This combination made the weekend one to be remembered for a lifetime. This spiritual banquet was complemented by wholesome meals, joining the brothers for a farm-style breakfast that set us up for our drive to Abbotsford Airport and WestJet's Alberta bound flight. Operated by the Archdiocese of Vancouver, BC, Westminster Abbey stands like a proud sentinel on the highest point of a wooded hill above the City of Mission. We took one of several trails which led to a vantage point, where we could can see the river and its entire valley east and west, framed by the Coast Mountains, and to the south, Mount Baker, USA, capped with its usual topping of snow.  

Here at Westminster Abbey, the monks have created a pastoral, self-sufficient way of life, and it was an honour to visit and break bread with them. The carefully tended the grounds are spacious with rolling contours and plenty of park area. Our guest rooms were spotless clean, quiet and comfortable. A donation to the Monastery fund is the privilege. We loved to hear the toll of the monastery bell tower, a Mission landmark. Imagine how this heavenly scene must have appeared to the founders. They came from Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon in 1939 to create a new centre of monastic life, and to expand the teaching and administration of Christ the King Seminary at Ladner. Westminster Abbey became independent in 1948 and moved to its present site in 1954. The priesthood is the abbey's special apostolate, fostering vocational programs. The Priest monks are active and supportive in the community.
Visiting hours at Westminster Abbey are as follows: Weekdays 1:30 to 4 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. to 4 pm

For details contact: Rev. Peter Nygren, OSB
Westminster Abbey, Mission,
34224 Dewdney Trunk Road, Mission, BC V2V 4J2
Tel. 604-826-8975, Fax: 604-826-8725

Xá:ytem (Hatzic Rock) Longhouse
Interpretive Centre

When visiting the City of Mission, BC, across the Fraser River from Abbotsford, one of the key attractions you should see is an archaeological village, of which Xá:ytem, (hay-tum) or Hatzic Rock is the dominant feature. This Sto:lo village is said to be the oldest known dwelling site in British Columbia, dated at up to 9000 years old. The immense rock has special spiritual significance to the Sto:lo. Recently, staff has begun to catalogue over 8,000 lithic (stone) artifacts at the Xá:ytem location, and is creating a web site to showcase ancient stone tools. and other objects.

The variety of artifacts discovered to date and still being found in the "Valley of the Stone People" provides treasures that form an on-going record of the cultural history of the Northwest Pacific Coast. The valley's dominant tribal group belongs to the Sto:lo First Nations. Of 18 recognized Sto:lo bands, some names that come most easily to mind are the Cheam (wild strawberry place), Kwantlen and Matsqui. (easy portage).

Declared a heritage site of national historic significance by the Federal Government in 1992, this was the first native spiritual site in Canada to so acknowledged. The Stó:lo Nation and the Province of British Columbia are partners in the site's management.
The Xá:ytem Interpretive centre is open from June to September.
Admission; $4.00.
35087 Lougheed Hwy., Mission, BC V2L 6T1
Ph: (604) 820-9725 Fax: (604) 820-9735,

For more details:
Other web sites of interest on this topic:
Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
Archaeology Museum, Simon Fraser University