By Wanda Squirell
On Monday March 7, 2011 at approximately 5:15 PM, Langley RCMP was called by the BC Ambulance Service to attend to the home at 9438 Glover Road regarding the death of an adult male. Officers determined that Mr. George B. Antone, age 71 and an elder of the Kwantlen First Nation, was found deceased by a family member and was the victim of an apparent homicide. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team as well as Langley Serious Crime and RCMP Upper Fraser Valley First Nation Policing Unit are working with the cooperation and with the full support of the Kwantlen First Nation Council in efforts to determine what led to the homicide of this well loved elder.
Antone lived in a two-story white house on the west side of Glover Road, near a stream and close to the entrance of the campground. He was a widower, father of one, and had a large family with relatives on the reserve and up and down the river in many communities. He was an active fisherman and logger and was considered a hardworking individual that participated in community events. Antone was also an important member of the elder advisory group of the Kwantlen Band. Tumia Knott, a band councilor, called him a “beautiful man” and said Antone held “a special place in a lot of our hearts. This is a huge tragic loss.”
Photographer John Gordon of the Langley Times interviewed Antone last year for a feature in a publication called Sideroads. In his profile, Antone offered advice to the youth of Vancouver Island. “Live by the golden rule,” he said. “You give your best and try to help people. That’s how I like to work. Everybody needs a hand now and then.”
Antone lived on McMillan Island until he was seven years old. He was then taken to a residential school for the next decade. The first residential facility was on Cooper Island. He later would be moved to one in Sechelt. Life was tough for the children in residential homes. The children were forbidden from speaking their own language. “They told us to talk like them. We were called savages,” Antone recalled. “The food was terrible.” So bad, in fact, that as a 16-year old he stood almost six feet tall but weighed only 127 pounds. Some children tried to escape by swimming for shore. Most drowned, and when their parents came to visit them, they were told that their children had run away. “It was real sad the way they treated us,” he said. “We still got strapped every day; it was a very sad part of our lives, that residential school. My son got to go to school in Langley. He was lucky.”
Police are reaching out to the local Langley Community and Kwantlen First Nation to appeal for additional information. According to Corporal Dale Carr of IHIT, “The leadership of the Kwantlen First Nation has been a great help with facilitating interviews and assisting with contacting potential witnesses.”
Investigators are asking anyone that has information to contact them, no matter what the information is it may benefit the investigation. “Often times people have information and for one reason or another they feel it has no benefit to the investigation, we need people to call with information and allow the investigators to assess the value of the information” says Corporal Carr.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling the IHIT TIP Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448). If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-222-TIPS.