The Government of British Columbia is providing $25,000 to conserve historic coal mine structures in Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park near Nanaimo.
Built in 1913, the remaining structures of the Morden Colliery in South Wellington are the last legacies of a coal mining industry on Vancouver Island that lasted for 80 years and employed thousands of miners. In its first year of operation, the mine produced 76,000 tonnes of coal.
The conservation work at the Morden Colliery will include:
- Assessing the mine shaft to ensure it is safe and secure;
- Removing unsecured timbers from the headframe;
- Removing organic debris that has collected around the structure; and
- Beginning the stabilization of the headframe and tipple.
The park helps educate visitors on the rich heritage values associated with the coal mining industry of Vancouver Island. The Regional District of Nanaimo also maintains a trail that runs adjacent to the park to the Nanaimo River, along a historic railway right-of-way. A short trail with interpretive signage is also found within the park.
In 2016, more than 32,000 visitors explored Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park.
The project has been made possible by collaboration between the Heritage Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, providing $20,000, and BC Parks, which is providing $5,000 through the Park Enhancement Fund.
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development –
“This work will bring history to life, and at the same time, honour the coal miners who lived, worked and died in Vancouver Island coal mines, while building families and creating strong communities. Eight island communities had coal mines, but the structures at the Morden Colliery are the last that remain. Restoring the mine’s headframe and tipple will help remind visitors to the park of Vancouver Island’s rich coal mining history.
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park and its coal mine structures play an important role in educating visitors on the significant heritage values associated with coal mining on Vancouver Island. I am thankful these historic coal mine structures will be conserved, so visitors can continue to enjoy this piece of history.”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“Morden Colliery is an important part of our shared history, and it’s important that we’re able to preserve this place and what it means for future generations.”
Sandra Larocque, Friends of the Morden Mine representative –
“We are delighted that the significance of this industrial landscape is being acknowledged through this collaboration with government, and hope that this project will stimulate further interest in making these unique structures a touchstone to B.C.’s coal mining history.”