Anthony John Britton, a long time Chilliwack resident born and raised here, passed away August 1st. Tony, as he was better known as, worked at the Royal Hotel for the Berry Family for a whopping 45 years! Serving in the Royal beer parlour, Tony earned the respect of both customers and fellow employees making many long-time friends during his tenure at the Royal.
Tony, along with his co-worker Jack Pulford also had their “fifteen minutes” of fame in 1952 while working at the Royal Hotel, when their photo appeared in newspapers. What caught the eye of the photographer was the sight of both men, donned in their white shirts and black bow ties wearing roller skates! Yes, they put on the skates as a form of protest – the liquor laws of the time had been changed to allow waiters to serve only one beer at a time per patron. The problem was, after a hard day’s work, patrons were thirsty and often finished their beers in a couple of gulps. The waiters could not keep up with demand. So, in protest Tony and Jack put on their roller skates in order to bring beverages quicker to the thirsty crowds. The roller-skate wearing waiters had to hang up their skates after a few days as their antics caught the attention of the liquor control board who promptly put on the brakes.
Tony is survived by a large family including his wife of sixty-four years Lorena Rose, six children, numerous grandchildren and extended family members. The Royal Hotel extends their sympathy to the family as they mourn the loss of Tony Britton.
Tony is pictured on the left in this photo from the Chilliwack Archives