Author to speak about Island coal mining at Parksville Museum

Traces of industry are everywhere, if you know where to look on Vancouver Island

Author and retired professor Lynne Bowen will be at the Parksville Museum and Archives tonight (Tuesday

Author Lynne Bowen is tonight’s guest speaker at the Parksville Museum and Archives.

Bowen will be speaking about Vancouver Island’s coal mining history — which she calls “a very interesting story.”

“There are a lot of people who don’t realize how important coal mining has been to this area,” said Bowen, a retired professor with a Masters degree in history and author of seven published novels.

“Other than the Hudson’s Bay Company, coal mining was really the only reason people came to Vancouver Island in the early days,” said Bowen. “It really was a coal mining community and that entails a lot of pollution, a lot of people working very hard, a lot of death from explosions in mines and rock cave ins — it’s a very interesting story.”

Bowen said her fascination of the coal mining era comes as a result of coal miners themselves.

“When I first started working with a group of retired coal miners it surprised me how poetic they were,” said Bowen. “They spoke so movingly about working underground — it didn’t bother them and they were very philosophical about it.”

Bowen said traces of the coal mine industry are apparent all over the Island — if you know where to look.

Bowen will be speaking tonight (Tuesday, March 18) starting at 7 p.m. at the Parksville Museum and Archives.

Admission is free of charge.

The Parksville Museum and Archives is located at 1245 East Island Highway in Parksville.

For more information call 250-248-6966.

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