Morden Mine a symbol worth saving

With the exception, perhaps, of the Bastion, Morden Mine is the most important symbol we have of Nanaimo’s past.

To the Editor,

Re: Morden Mine group seeks support, March 5.

Your readers might like to know that the provincial government, after providing much encouragement to our society over the years in the form of financial and other assistance, abruptly changed course after the current Minister of Environment, Mary Polak, was appointed in 2013.

That’s why we have now asked the Regional District of Nanaimo to do what B.C. Parks refuses to do. Our hope has been that the RDN will model itself after the Cowichan Valley Regional District, which, when facing a similar situation with respect to the historic Kinsol Trestle, managed to save that important heritage site from demolition.

The RDN is looking at grant opportunities for Morden Mine, as well as lobbying the province. Our society has already examined grant opportunities. There are none other than the one currently available to the RDN and that’s because the repair cost is simply too high.

Second, the province has effectively ‘orphaned’ Morden, even though it’s a provincial park.

Third, the most recent engineering study, carried out by a team of experts drawn from three companies, has stated quite bluntly that restoration work is needed immediately. That’s no exaggeration – Morden could implode at any time.

Over the years our society has acquired the support of municipal officials, local MLAs, community leaders and local media. On that basis, I believe it is fair to say that the residents of this area want this extremely rare industrial site saved. Morden was the third reinforced concrete tipple ever constructed and is the second oldest surviving at 102 years of age.

With the exception, perhaps, of the Bastion, Morden Mine is the most important symbol we have of Nanaimo’s past. Whatever needs to be done by the RDN should be done to make certain Morden is saved as an important example of living history.

Eric Rickerco-presidentFriends of the Morden Mine

Nanaimo News Bulletin