The Regional District of Mount Waddington is raising money to build a gazebo in Woss that would act as a memorial to workers who have perished in the logging industry.
Back in April of 2017, the Englewood Logging Train (which ran on a 90-kilometre logging line from Vernon Lake, through Woss, past Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park to Beaver Cove) was involved in an accident where three people were killed when the train derailed. The logging train was shut down by Western Forest Products last November, after 100 years of operation.
“I have initiated a campaign to construct a gazebo in Woss as a memorial to workers who have perished while working in the woods while also celebrating the history of logging in the Nimpkish Valley,” said Pat English, the Regional District of Mount Waddington’s Manager of economic development, at the RDMW Board of Directors meeting March 20.
“The original plan for the Nimpkish Valley Heritage Park included funds for a shelter to display historical information, and this will fulfill this element of the plan,” explained English.
The Nimpkish Valley Heritage Park is also currently home to Steam Locomotive 113, which was built in 1920 for rail logging is a registered historic site honouring the community’s heritage.
“We have received a commitment of $5,000 from TimberWest,” said English, adding, “Yesterday, I received official notice from Western Forest Products that they would donate $7,500 or the equivalent value of yellow cedar for the construction of the gazebo,” said English.
Port McNeill Mayor Shirley Ackland wondered if English had asked for a cash donation from Western in addition to the donation of the yellow cedar.
“They came to us and asked what we wanted to see, but this has already been identified,” said English, refering to WFP seeking community engagement regarding how best to honour the history of the Englewood Logging Train.
“I think a letter from you saying ‘thank you for the wood, but would you also make a cash donation to us’ would be appropriate too,” added Ackland.
“It’s in the works,” responded Dave Rushton, Area D Director for the Regional District of Mount Waddington and longtime executive with the Woss Residents Association.
The RDMW will also work with the ‘Namgis First Nation to include historic panels honouring their life in the Nimpkish Valley.
English noted they expect to receive financial and in-kind support from a number of other stakeholders, with the project coming in at a total cost of $80,000.