Archive for July, 2010

It’s the gala-gala event of the summer!! And it’s right in the neighbourhood!

Some extra notes (that wouldn’t fit on the poster):

  • Bring  a chair to sit on.
  • Potluck squares and cookies gratefully received.
  • Cash donations support SECA (and much appreciated.)

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Thanks for Nothing, City!!

Hey, that title got your attention, didn’t it?  Well, nothing is exactly what’s there now…and there are a bunch of happy neighbours.  You may not know this, but in cases of buildings showing major deterioration (75%), council can order the owner to demolish the structure.

The dilapidated house on this Irwin Street property was a hiding spot for questionable activities a few years ago Since then, it just morphed into a  neighbourhood eyesore and a bit of a fire worry.   Now the property looks…almost peaceful….:)

Thank you to City Staff for all your help in cleaning up the South End!


New exhibit brings mining history to life

Darrell Bellaart, The Daily News, Published: Monday, July 19, 2010

Nanaimo’s coal mining history has been brought to life like residents have never seen before in a new exhibit at the Nanaimo Museum.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

History of Coal Mining in Nanaimo

Following in the footsteps of Spanish explorer Alejandro Malaspina, whose purpose was to explore the Strait of Georgia, the Hudson`s Bay Company established a fortified post in the area in 1849, and the discovery of coal in 1852 led to permanent settlement. In 1854, 24 families arrived from England to settle in Colvile Town, the name first given the settlement, after Andrew Colvile, governor of the HBC. The name was gradually discontinued and was little used after 1860.

In 1862 the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company bought out the HBC mines and expanded operations. Completion of the Esquimalt to Nanaimo Railway (1886) spurred development. The city grew with its increasing coal output. Production from the three main seams in the area reached its peak in 1923 when more than 1 million tons were mined. Once the easily accessible coal was mined, however, it became increasingly dangerous and expensive to extract the fuel and by the early 1950s the city turned to forest products.


The South End’s Mr. Clean been discovered!

Every once in a while, just like magic, Art Bins around the South End are emptied out…at least the ones that I look after are.  I’ve always wondered who did it, just assumed it was the neighbours.  But early one Saturday morning a few weeks ago,  I found out.

Why, it’s John Cross!  Not only did he take a whole load of neighbourhood litter to the dump, he came back and picked up a sofa that someone had ditched in Cinderella Lane  (which could have undone much of our good work) and hauled it away, too!

John, it’s having people like you who see something that needs to be done and just DO IT that is truly making a difference here in the South End.  We’re lucky and grateful that you are an active part of the neighbourhood!

I was looking for a halo image, but they only had crowns.

p.s. I mentioned Mr Clean from an ability standpoint.  But…dare I say it….is there a slight resemblance?  Or have I just been sitting at the computer a little too long…?

BTW, John, did you dispose of this unique model?  Or did someone actually BUY this sales pitch…?

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Next monthly meeting is Wednesday August 4 @ 7 PM.

Princess Royal Centre, corner of Irwin and Farquhar.

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Our reminder last month went out a few days after the picnic, when we were still trying to catch our breath.  Now we’re back to breathing normally, and want to acknowledge the tremendous circle of supporters who helped make this year’s picnic such a rousing success.

Major Donors

Our goal is to make this day one where families can enjoy a day of fun without opening their wallets.  Without our corporate and community donors, this would not be possible.

We would especially like to thank Coastland Wood Industries and the Serauxmen Service Club for their generous donations of $1,000 each.

Coastal Community Credit Union deserves recognition as well for their contribution of $850.00

And we are truly grateful to the following organizations for their $500 donations:

We received $200-$250 contributions from:

  • Richardson Foods Group
  • Canexus Chemical Canada LP
  • Felice Cavallotti Lodge

Thank you all.  You’ve really helped us make a difference.

Goods and Services Donations:

Other donors helped us by offering goods free of charge:

  • Thrifty Foods and Coca-Cola donated all the supplies for the Hot Dog and Drink stand, allowing us to reduce the prices. Thanks Jerry Jaggers.
  • Dairy Queen generously provided all the supplies for the Seniors Strawberry Social Tea
  • The Women of the Moose work hard to put on the wonderful pancake breakfast and then return our cheque.
  • Rona provided the tent, the BBQ and the propane for Gord’s famous BBQ hot dogs
  • Brian Baxter fromVan Houtte provided free coffee throughout the day.
  • And McDonalds donated iced coffee as well as their $ contribution.

Others volunteered their services unpaid and they deserve a great big pat on the back:

  • Mike’s DJ Service, for the music throughout the day, and the PA system
  • David Gogo, for singing us mining songs
  • Sonja Tait and Leslie Gueulette volunteered to do face painting (and were a big hit.)
  • City Staffer Chris Sholberg, for organizing a terrific heritage display and corking on his day off
  • Jill Stannard, for leading the always-popular Heritage Walk.


A myriad of people and organizations helped out in many with ways: cash donations , items for the silent auction, prizes for the pet parade, and supplies.   We appreciate:

  • AC Taxi
  • Autotech
  • Barry Hall
  • Buckerfield’s
  • Buy Sell and Trade
  • Calico Cat Tea House
  • Cascada International
  • Cercomm Electronics
  • Chevron
  • Chilo Transport
  • Classic Care Carpet Cleaning
  • Days Inn  Harbourview
  • Dream With Me
  • Fitness Edge
  • Fred Wicks
  • Gallazin and sons Locksmith
  • Gates And Grills
  • Gina’s Mexican Cafe
  • Harbour Chandler
  • High View Terrace residents
  • Jack Daniels Auto Repairs
  • Jumpin’ Jimminies  Play Centre
  • Kal Tire
  • Laird Wheaton GM
  • Laura Ramsay (in memory of)
  • Len  Nelson
  • Linde Canada
  • Mary Hamilton
  • Mid-Island Collision
  • Northwest Wire and Rope
  • Olde Nanaimo Brewery
  • Petro Canada
  • Pharmasave Southgate
  • Ripley’s Ranch Pet Food
  • Robinson Rentals
  • RU Computing
  • Share Cost Rentals
  • Shar Kare
  • Sinclair Supply  (former Dougherty Heating)
  • Speedy Auto Glass
  • The Book Exchange
  • The Diners Rendezvous
  • Tom Harris Cellular
  • Trend Diesel
  • V.I. Aluminum Railings
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Bouquets of thanks to Muriel MacKay Ross for donating the lovely tree  that was dedicated to the memory of Laura Ann Ramsay.

We were grateful for the tents that were generously provided by:  Steve Marshall Ford, Mid-Island Co-op, Coastal Community Credit Union, and the City of Nanaimo Parks and Recreation.

And we truly appreciate DBL Disposal’s extra support on this our first year where we required extra pottys…:)


There are a handful of people who donated countless hours of time to organize the event.  The official committee included:

Douglas Hardie, Charles Torhjelm,  Sandra Zuccolini, Ed Chan, Rebecca Chan, Larry Gambone,  and Gord Fuller.

Special thanks to Jim Robertson, who organized the Seniors Strawberry Social Tea in memory of Laura Ramsay.

Yvonne Van der Kooi wants to appreciate Pam James, Nicole Busby, and the volunteers from the Leaders in Training program who did a fabulous job with all the art tent work!

Gord Fuller, in charge of the hotdog stand, wants to offer his sincerest thanx to the Leaders in Training as well, who, in his words: “courageously and valiantly volunteered to help serve up close to 500 hotdogs & Pop to the frenzied ravenous and salivating hoards wishing one of SECA’s Gourmet BBQ delights.” And also to Wayne Chudeck and Rosie Rivera.

The Art Bins appreciate Jan Smart and Harold the Handy for the beautification help.

And a ton of people who jumped in in various ways to help out!


Our apologies to anyone we might have missed!  There are so many parts and people, and the list is getting bigger and better as we get bigger and better.  We are truly grateful!

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Annual Heritage Building Paint-Out and Shoot- Out August 2nd

Arts Council and City of Nanaimo – Heritage Commission Partner to Host Heritage Building Paint/Photography event for Coaltown Festivities

The annual Heritage Building: Paint-Out & Shoot- Out will be held August 2nd in conjunction with Coaltown Festival activities. This event is a partnership between the Nanaimo Arts Council and the City of Nanaimo Heritage Commission. It is open to members and non-members. Painters and photographers will meet at 10:00am at the Nanaimo Museum. Each person will choose a sealed envelope with the name/address of a local heritage building, then paint/photograph the building, and return at the end of the day for judging and the distribution of cash prizes. Forms and fees are available at the Arts Council gallery #259 Nanaimo North – Town Centre or at nanaimoartscouncil.ca. For more information call Odette Laramee at the Nanaimo Arts Council 250.729.3947.

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A Public Hearing was held on July 8 to consider rezoning Port Place Mall to permit the use of land for a highrise building of 26 storeys.


Yes, it got passed.  For followup discussion, check out the posts on the  Nanaimo City Hall blog.

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Looking for a place to call home.

Got an e-mail from someone who would like to move into the South End:

She has some health and mobility problems, but as she says: “the brain is still fully charged.”

“A suite in a home would be really nice – I just can’t handle stairs and need to be able to bring my walker/wheelchair indoors so they don’t get damaged or stolen – even a garage would do as long as there is an outlet for charging.  I don’t use equipment indoors at home.  I would be ideal for someone who likes to travel or has to be away for work – I’m always home.”

She is mature, responsible, and living on a small disability pension, doesn’t need fancy-schmancy, just a clean, relatively quiet, safe place to call home that is fairly close to a bus stop.    She’s hoping for rent @ $6-650.

If you have a place that might be suitable for her, just connect with us here
southendcommunityassociation  [at] gmail.com  and we’ll get you connected.

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He blends in with the neighbourhood pretty well, doens't he?

Please say hello to Art Bin #28, who has been officially christened “Evel Knievil” for 2 reasons:

1.  You’d have to be a bit of a daredevil to hang around the corner of Milton and Esplanade Streets 24 hours a day

2.  He’s already flipped his lid, so he can’t get hurt too badly.

BUT…Evil has been a busy guy.  You know what they say…”when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” In a little under 2 weeks, the block of Esplanade Street under his command has become almost pristine, and he’s even persuaded people sneaking down to the water past the railroad tracks to leave little gifts (or perhaps they are bribes…to ease the guilt of trespassing…:)

And Evel has made some friends, too.  The guys at Van Kam Freightways Ltd

Wendell Hirt, Mike Ball, and Scott Henning toss the first load

have graciously agreed to help get rid of the litter he collects.  We really appreciate their help.   Yay Van Kam!!  Thanks for helping us out!

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Balmoral transformation brightens lives of tenants

South-end residents supportive of innovative project

Derek Spalding, Daily News, Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Transformation of old city hotel now nearly complete

Mental health and addiction workers support clients and build model for rest of city

Derek Spalding, The Daily News, Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Robert Barron, The Daily News,Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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It was an absolute honour (and thrill) for us to have David Gogo come and sing. If you don't know, he's from local mining stock.

Well, it just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

It was such a full day that my dog Myrtle came home at 4 PM and went directly to bed.  (Wonder how many kids did that…:)

I asked a few people for their best memories of the day.  Here goes:

“A young mother was visiting Nanaimo from the US and was so impressed by what we were doing and that it was all for free. Another person said it’s too bad something like this couldn’t happen every Saturday.” (Then we’d all be in bed at 4 PM, say the organizers, tiredly..:)

~thanks to Larry Gambone, who worked on the mining and heritage components

Above and beyond the call of duty.  The Tidesmen who serenaded folks at the senior’s Laura Ramsay Memorial Tea actually went table by table and in some cases took requests.
And Zigster the Trickster (after his regular performance and much to the delight of the audience ) went to several tables and did card tricks; the most amazing of all he was when he turned $20 bills into a $100.00 bill wearing a short sleeved shirt.” (No word yet on whether the Liberals will try to recruit him to magically transform the image of the dreaded HST..:)
~ thanks to Charles Torhjelm (picnic founder)

This year's Pet Parade judges went formal with Top Hats



A thrilling footie match was held between the lithe, aggressive, fleet, light-footed, gazelle-like kids and youth and the wise, panting, wheezing, decrepit, tortoise-like adults.  It was a stunning match with the outnumbered adults being inundated time and again by the tireless, indefatigable youth!

Perhaps the highlight of the match was Douglas Hardie’s glide move past six, hapless defenders, followed by A THIRTY YARD SIZZLER, that tore the netting from the goal posts!!!  Douglas was last seen running down Haliburton, shirt over head, screaming “SCOTLAND FOREVER!!! GGGGGGGGGOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!”

~ thanks to Ed Chan  (hey, I think he’s newsletter writer material, eh…?)

We’re all still in recovery mode, haven’t had time yet to properly pull together a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped, from sponsors, to the city, to volunteers.  Watch for that coming soon.

In the meantime, Larry has pulled together a glorious record of the day.  Click here to watch it in full living colour.

Yay South End! Muy fabuloso! (That’s Spanish for “we’re pretty darn great!”)

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