Posts Tagged ‘mining’


  1. Introductions
  2. Financial Report
  3. Recycling Depot – Old Victoria Rd
  4. Building Proposal Presentation – 253 Victoria Rd
  5. Rowe House
  6. Public Safety – RCMP report
  7. Gung Haggis Fat Choy – Review
  8. Samaritan House – Use of Vacant Lot
  9.  Constitution
    Other Business:
  10. Mining

Treasurer S. LaRoque reported the following:

  • The General account has a balance of $2,684.72 after all expenses for Gung Haggis Fat Choy
  • The Picnic account balance is $4,871.69

Presenters on behalf of The Regional Recycling Group:  Paul Shorney/Tim Waite. Debbie Jenner, City Neighbourhood Planning, was also present to address questions.
This privately owned/operated company provides facilities for public recycling.  They operate several sites on the island and in BC.  Tim presented their proposal for a new facility to serve the South End of Nanaimo.  Rezoning to Light Industrial would be required for 2 lots (1044/1048).  The proposed site on Old Victoria Road across from Petroglyph Park falls within the Chase River catchment area, they will present to those residents next week.
The facility would:

  • operate under the requirements of the Government Stewardship Program.
  • handle recyclables including Hazardous materials such as batteries, paints and solvents, electronics and glass.
  • Be open from 8:30-5:30 Mon – Sat and 10-4 on Sundays.
  • Emphasize environmentally and user-friendly construction, landscaping and traffic solutions.  Drawings and maps of the building design and landscaping were presented in support.
  • Construction would begin in May with completion by Fall 2014.

During question period, concerns were expressed regarding pollution from processing of glass and hazardous materials.  The presenters assured those present that all processing and storage would be handled indoors. Traffic concerns were also addressed, showing a minimally invasive truck and traffic route from the highway to the site.
Presenters emphasized the public-spirited nature of the company.

Gary Noble of the City Planning Department presented a revised proposal by the new owner for an 18 unit Condo or Rental development at this site. In his proposal, the new owner has tried to address community desires expressed in response to previous development submissions by the former owner(s).
The following was presented:

  • Rezoning would be required to Downtown 12/Mixed Use
  • It would be a 3-storey building at Farquhar and Victoria
  • 3 Units would access off Victoria and 15 off Farquhar
  • Each unit would be 600sq.ft.
  • There would be 1 parking space and 1 bicycle space per Unit
  • One CarShare space would be provided at the complex.
  • Architect Bill Edmunds designed the buildings to fit with local ambiance.
  • Proposed Exterior finishes incorporate Hardie Board/Craftsman  style.
  • Ground Floor windows would be Commercial Type and Grade.
  • In discussion, the Community expressed an overall positive attitude toward the proposal, but indicated a preference for owner-occupied use.

Steve Arnett gave an update on Rowe House.  He described the facility’s resident rooms and common areas. There are presently 5 residents.  The facility can accommodate 14.
Requirements for residence are:

  • between 17 and 30 yrs.
  • All residents are currently employed
  • compliance with house rules
  • The residence is currently supervised by Caseworker Linda Milford, Gord Fuller and himself.
  • No complaints from neighbours after 6 mos.
  • A Surveillance Camera System is in place and can monitored 24/7 by computer remote
  • 25 hours of direct supervision each week.
  • Stringent resident screening
  • no guests after 11pm

Reported the following policing items of interest to the community:

  • Spike in crime, due primarily to 2 individuals.
  • a Findlayson block has been a problem area/drug house
  • Residences on Nicol St. continue to experience problem calls but there is a new on-site manager.
  • A problem property was also noted at Albert/Milton for our information.
  • The Patricia site has been foreclosed on.
  • Our attention was called to changing laws regarding medicinal marijuana grow operations, liquor sales and prostitution laws.
  • The City has ordered the demolition of Manson’s Store at the corner of Farquhar and Haliburton.  The order is currently under appeal by the owner.
  • City is still considering appropriate action toward the burned-out structures on Gillespie Street.

SECA put forward proposal to print more of our brochures outlining proper procedures for reporting nuisance properties and make them available on our blog.


  • Kudos were given to Sidney and Sandra for their hard work in organizing this event.
  • Sincere thanks also went out to all the volunteers who assisted them.
  • The event was well-attended and profitable.
  • Concensus was that it should be repeated and expanded.


  • The vacant lot behind Samaritan House across from Robinson Rentals is a City Right of Way.
  • Samaritan House wishes to utilize it for overflow parking.
  • Gord Fuller and Sandra LaRoque volunteered to meet with Jack Anderson to view the lot and report their recommendation to the executive.


  • Kathryn Hazel has reviewed the Constitution and will bring comments to the executive meeting.
  • She noted that the Constitution is old (1982), needs updating which is a lengthy process.
  • We should attempt to complete it by the next AGM.


10. Mining

  • A short report was given on the contents of the City Coal Mine Map currently on display at the Museum.
  • The Map only shows mining activity to 1902 and no street overlay is provided.
  • The City’s responsibility to share the information from the current Study in Progress with affected properties was questioned.

Adjourned at 9 pm.  Next General Meeting March 5, 7pm at Princess Royal 260 Irwin St.

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You are invited to:

The Friends of Morden Mine Reception

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of start-up work at Morden

Saturday, September 29, 2012, 1:30 P.M.,

At the Nanaimo Museum:

The Friends of the Morden Mine are hosting:

 a buffet style, light lunch.

Honouring the miners in a toast to Morden.

Accomplished author and historian Tom Paterson will deliver a talk titled

“’Coal Was Not Always A Dirty Word”.

A presentation ceremony and exhibit display are planned.

The Friends of Morden Mine are inviting descendants of the Morden Colliery Miners to pay homage to their ancestors by providing information and by adding  to a growing list of Morden miners.

The Morden Mine Exhibit will be displayed at the museum until the 3rd week in November.

Please invite your friends and associates and contribute to making this important celebration a success!

All those who plan to attend are encouraged to send an e-mail to info@mordenmine.com under the heading Celebration

Visit us online at www. mordenmine.com

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A Fall Black Track Tour

If you haven’t been on one of Tom’s tours, you are in for a real treat.
Join Tom Paterson’s final 2012 heritage walking tour of Nanaimo area old coal mining and railroad sites.  Only twenty spaces are available.
Contact cchristo@shaw.ca or phone  250-714-0377  for reservations.  Ticket prices are:  $30.00 for one person; $25.00 each for two or more in a party. 
Each ticket comes with a year’s free membership in FOMM.
Tom is the author of over 24 historical books about Vancouver Island, a long-time columnist for The Cowichan Valley Citizen, a contributor to many other B.C. newspapers and magazines, and a well-known heritage activist known most recently for his work on the successful Kinsol Trestle campaign. 
Tom donates all proceeds to Friends of Morden Mine, a registered charity, to assist in their goal of preserving Morden Colliery’s 99 year old reinforced concrete above-ground head frame and tipple, as a memorial to all coal miners on Vancouver Island.  Its 1913 structures are the earliest of two such structures  in North America.  Parks Canada has designated Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park as an “Historic Place.” 

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A few South Enders have been on this tour. which is chock FULL of fascinating mining stories!  Check it out…..

Tom Paterson, well-known Vancouver Island historian, columnist, and writer, is noted for his hosting of “Black Track” tours of Morden Colliery, other area coal mining sites and rail lines. With his extensive knowledge of coal mining history and his engaging and dynamic delivery, he has a special ability to recreate the spirit of early coal mining days. Tom has just announced the date of his spring tour. It will be held on Sunday, May 6th. The itinerary will be similar to those of previous tours but this year will end between 2:00 pm to 3 pm at South Wellington Day, the bi-annual event hosted by the South Wellington community at its Cranberry Community Hall.

The tour’s first stop after Morden will be No. 5, South Wellington (Dunsmuir’s Canadian Colleries).  Other mine sites to be visited are Alexandra/Richardson/Fiddick (Pacific Coast Coal Mines Ltd.); Fiddick’s Junction; No. 10 South Wellington (Canadian Collieries); Granby (Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Co.) The tour will end this year at South Wellington Day, the bi-annual event hosted by the South Wellington community at its Cranberry Community Hall.

If you are interested in participating, please email cchristo@shaw.ca or phone 250-714-0377. Ticket prices remain $30.00 for one individual, $25.00 each for two or more in a party and now includes one year’s free membership in Friends of Morden Mine for each ticket holder.

Tom donates all tour proceeds to Friends of Morden Mine to support efforts to bring about preservation of the unique, nearly 100 year old, rapidly deteriorating headframe and tipple still standing at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park.

Typically tours assemble at 10:00 a.m. at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park in front of the head frame. Each participant is asked to bring water or juice, a packed lunch/snacks sufficient to sustain them for the length of the tour, typically about four hours. Hats, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and clothing to protect from possible brambles or wayward branches, suitable for forecast weather, are also recommended. Transportation will be pooled to drive participants to various mine sites, but participants are asked to provide their own to and from the park. Participants are reminded that to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all tour members, they should refrain from wandering off by themselves or engaging in conversations that impede the ability of others to hear the commentary.  The walking tour is rated as moderate to easy. 

Notes: “Black Track” refers to those South Wellington area railway lines informally used by miners and residents as a “public thoroughfare” or walking track. Coal dust so thickly coated the lines that they became known locally as the “Black Track.”

Morden’s 1913 headframe and tipple were innovative in their use of reinforced concrete and are the only such remaining above-ground structures on Vancouver Island, and the earliest in North America we believe. Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park has been named as an Historic Place by Parks Canada.

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SECA members took part in the Labour Day Picnic held at Transfer Beach, Ladysmith, by displaying the SECA Miners Heritage Photo Collection.  Throughout the day, there were crowds of people  examining the photos and making comments about ancestors or people they knew who had been in the mines. It was a gorgeous day and everyone had a fine time, including a number of MLA’s and City Councilors,  including Doug Routley, Leonard Krog – who MC’d – and Fred Pattje.

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On May 3, 1887  the Nanaimo No.1 Esplanade Mine exploded, one of the biggest accidents in Nanaimo’s history.  On May 7, the citizens of Nanaimo will gather to remember this tragic event.

Operated by the Vancouver Coal Company, the Number One mine opened in 1884 at the foot of Milton Street in Nanaimo. Its shafts and tunnels extended under the harbour to Protection and Newcastle Islands and to the Nanaimo River.

The explosion started deep underground, after explosives were laid improperly. The mine burned for a full day.  Although many miners died instantly, others were trapped by the explosion. These men wrote farewell messages in the dust of their shovels. Nearly 150 children lost their fathers and 46 women became widows.  Only 7 survived.

Amongst those who died were 53 Chinese workers, listed simply in Minister of Mines records by their employee numbers. Those numbers, as well as the names of the workers, are listed on a historical kiosk, which has been recently upgraded and refurbished.

Storytellers at the event include retired journalist and writer Roger Stonebanks, and Muriel MacKay-Ross a native daughter of Nanaimo.

Attendees may wish to bring a single flower to lay at the memorial, to remember the 150 lost miners who didn’t get to see the spring flowers.

The event, which will take place on Saturday May 7th between 1 and 3 PM, will be held at the historical kiosk at the corner of Esplanade and Milton Street.  It will be hosted by the South End Community Association .

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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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