Friends of the Morden Mine

Welcome to the Friends of the Morden Mine website. We are a non-profit society dedicated to the preservation of the most complete above-ground remains of an historic coal mine on Vancouver Island and the earliest of two such reinforced concrete structures in North America. The still standing 74 foot (22.5 m.) head frame and adjacent tipple of what was once Morden Colliery are located in Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park in South Wellington, just south of Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Since our society was formed in 2003, we have been actively promoting awareness of the need for preservation of Morden's structures, built in 1913, as well as the history of Morden Colliery and the men who worked there. Preservation of these now 101 year old structures is a race against time. The deterioration of concrete components of the head frame and tipple structures is escalating at an alarming rate. Every spring more dislodged chunks of concrete can be found on the ground below the structures and more reinforcing steel becomes exposed to the elements. We need your help and welcome new members and donations as we continue our efforts to publicize and educate the public about Morden Mine and to persuade the Province to fix the heritage structures that are integral to this park. We are a registered charity and issue income tax receipts for monetary donations.

We welcome comments, suggestions, information, volunteer assistance, and contributions of various materials, such as newspaper clippings, letters, maps, for the Friends of Morden Mine fond at Nanaimo Community Archives.

For those wishing to contact us our e-mail is


Friends of the Morden Mine was established in 2003 under the B.C. Society Act (RSBC 1996, ch433) In 2006, the society applied and was approved for charitable status.

  1. The name of the Society is: FRIENDS OF THE MORDEN MINE.

  2. The purposes of the Society are:
    (a) To form a society under the Societies Act to promote awareness, interest, understanding and support for the preservation and restoration of the Morden Colliery and railway within the boundaries of Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park.

    (b) To research and preserve the history of the Morden Colliery, railway and the terminal facilities at Boat Harbour on Vancouver Island.

    (c) To collect and preserve artefacts and archival material relating to the Morden Colliery.

    (d) To provide interpretive opportunities to educational groups, tourists and the public.

    (e) To organize and promote special events related to the mine and the coal mining industry on Vancouver Island.

    (f) To enter into agreements with the Province of British Columbia, other government bodies, and organizations sharing similar purposes for the benefit of all.
  3. In the event of winding up or dissolution of the Society, any funds of the society remaining after the satisfaction of its debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such organizations that work for the benefit of the Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park or organizations promoting the same objective of this Society, as may be determined by the members of the Society at the time of winding up or dissolution; and if effect cannot be given to the aforesaid provision, then such funds shall be given or transferred to some other organizations, provided that such organization referred to in this paragraph shall be a charitable organization, a charitable corporation, or a charitable trust recognized by Revenue Canada as being qualified as such under the provisions of the “Income Tax Act” of Canada from time to time in effect. This provision is unalterable.


The bylaws of the society are those set out in Schedule B to the Society Act, with the following variations, deletions and additions:

  • Bylaw 25(1) of Part 5 be revised to:
The number of directors must be 7 or a greater number determined from time to time at a general meeting.

Directors: 2014/2015

Honorary President: David Gogo. Noted blues guitarist/singer from Nanaimo, dedicated to preservation of local mining history.

Co-President: John Hofman. Chair of Nanaimo Community Heritage Comission, professional engineer.

Co-President: Eric Ricker. Former professor of Educational Policy, Dalhousie University, raised in Nanaimo, living here in retirement. Writer/editor currently involved in community planning and heritage issues. Director in charge of fundraising.

Vice-President: Tom Paterson. Historian, author, columnist, heritage activist, well known for his efforts supporting Morden Colliery's remediation as a unique coal mining monument on Vancouver Island and elsewhere.

Treasurer: Louise Shuker. Businesswoman. Volunteer involvement with Alpine Canada, School District 68 as secondary school treasurer and other capacities. Great grandaughter and granddaughter of two Nanaimo area coal mining families.

Directors at Large:

David Dunaway: 'Long time neighbour of tipple and headframe: long time witness to the neglect.' Environmental activist.

Jennifer Goodbrand: Raised in the Cowichan Valley. Heritage and environmental activist. Member of Cowichan Valley Naturalists.

Chris Scholberg: Community/heritage planner, City of Nanaimo.

BC Parks Liason:

Drew Chapman: BC Parks. Area Supervisor, Arrowsmith.