New highway signs to commemorate labour leader Albert (Ginger) Goodwin were unveiled at the annual Miners Memorial in Cumberland.
The signs were introduced by Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“As we approach the centennial of his death, it is very fitting that we dedicate Highway 19 near Cumberland to Ginger Goodwin, who was one of the most prominent figures in our labour history, and fought for rights and protection for workers,” said Trevena.
Similar signs were installed in 1996 with the opening of the Inland Island Highway to the Comox Valley, but were removed in 2001.
“Ginger Goodwin was a pioneer in the B.C. labour movement, and a passionate advocate for health and safety in the workplace, and I am very pleased government will honour his memory by reinstating Ginger Goodwin Way along approximately 12 kilometres of Highway 19,” said Fraser.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has also installed five new signs to direct travellers to the Cumberland Cemetery, where the Ginger Goodwin Stop of Interest sign is located.
“Ginger Goodwin was an important historical figure on Vancouver Island, who helped shape the labour movement in its earlier years,” said Irene Lanzinger, president of the BC Federation of Labour. “On the 100th anniversary of his death, the Ginger Goodwin Way dedication is an important gesture by our government to honour his memory, and his significant contributions to working people.”
- Cumberland was a coal mining centre from 1888 until the 1960s.
- At least 260 people died in work-related accidents in the Cumberland mines.
- Ginger Goodwin came to Cumberland in 1910, took part in the 1912-14 Vancouver Island coal miners’ strike and became an important figure in the labour movement toward establishing worker rights. He was killed near Cumberland on July 27, 1918.
British Columbia’s Stop of Interest signs were first displayed on provincial routes in 1958 to share stories of the people, places and events that helped shape B.C.’s history. More information is available at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/traveller-information/stop-of-interest