The significance of Mount Battery

The Scouts, Rovers and Venturers who have help care for the cairn hope others who visit will read the plaque and examine the time capsule.

First Haney Venturers (from left) Matthew Bennett

Many hikers have climbed ‘Mount Battery’ for it sweeping view of the Lower Mainland.

Actually named Alouette Mountain, it is the rounded mountain to the east of the familiar ‘Golden Ears.’

This reference spot was chosen in 1929 by the Department of the Interior Geodetic Survey of Canada, along with two other control places on Mount Cheam and Brockton Point.

The large batteries that gave the mountain its name were carried there by pack horses to operate the bight light needed for the surveying project.

The batteries were left behind after the survey was done.

The 56th Alouettes (First Hammond Rover troop), led by the late Bud de Wolf, hiked to the top of this mountain in 1956 with cement and supplies to erect a cairn on the survey site.

They returned in 1957 to build the cairn and place a copper plaque there, where it remains.

Three members of the troop – Tony Wanstall, Dick Middleton and Ken Hemminger – went back again in 1958 to do remedial work on the cairn.

Over the years, winter weather and lightning damaged the cairn.

In August 1999, leaders from the First Haney Scout Troop – Jonathan Smyth and Jim Peck – took a group up the mountain to check on the cairn.

They had to camp lower down the mountain because of winter-like conditions and postponed repair work until October 2000.

The reconstruction of the cairn involved donations of mortar and rebar from Haney Builders, while Prism Helicopters delivered the supplies – which was faster than doing so by horse.

First Haney Venturers Advisors and members conducted the repairs, and placed there a time capsule, containing badges, photos and historic details of the site and cairn.

Another day hike to the site took place on Aug. 31. The group of Venturers was led by Smyth, now commissioner of the First Haney Scouts.

The group left Mike Lake at 7 a.m., heading up the incline trail –a relic of the Abernethy and Lougheed Lumber Company railroad logging operation.

After a strenuous hike, the group spent 90 minutes at the top, cleaning and caulking damage on the cairn. This was followed by an investiture ceremony.

There are none of the original large batteries left behind after the 1929 trip. Smyth did find a small battery post, possibly leftover from that initial visit.

All the Scouts, Rovers and Venturers who have help care for the cairn hope others who visit there will read the plaque and examine the time capsule. They are a part of local history.

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