To the editor,
Re: Mine efforts appreciated, Letters, Oct. 19.
Based on the press release published in your newspaper Oct. 12, the letter offered thanks to Sandra Larocque and her dedicated group and also to MLA Doug Routley for apparently securing grant money for repairs at Morden Mine. Unfortunately, the press release did not mention the one person who is entirely responsible for securing the grant. That person is Helen Tilley, one of the founders of Friends of Morden Mine, who notified provincial tourism officials about Morden’s plight last year.
While this $25,000 investment in a long-neglected provincial park is a welcome development, the public should understand that the amount of money allocated is a drop in the bucket compared to the need and will not save the perilously eroded structures for the future, as Environment Minister Donaldson’s comments contained in the press release seemed to suggest. What the money will do is buy some time before the complex work of a major restoration project can be undertaken. Back in 2014 the cost for that was estimated at $2.8 million by the most authoritative engineering study done to date on the Morden structures.
As much as it will cost, a Morden restoration project will require less than half the amount spent on the Kinsol Trestle in the Cowichan Valley a few years ago.While Kinsol is a significant heritage site, Morden is in another class altogether as the only headframe and tipple remaining on Vancouver Island.
Morden is in need of a total restoration program – and urgently, before it collapses.
Eric Ricker, past co-president, Friends of the Morden Mine