Albert 'Ginger' Goodwin, 1911 - Courtesy of the Cumberland Museum and Archives [C110-002]

Albert 'Ginger' Goodwin, affectionately named for his fiery red hair, was an immigrant coal miner from England who came to Cumberland in 1910 to find some of the most dangerous mines in the world.  Goodwin's experiences in the bitter 1912-14 Vancouver Island Coal Miner’s Strike shaped him into an outspoken activist and leader in BC’s rebellious early labour movement. 

At the height of WWI, Goodwin led over 1000 workers into a strike for the 8-hour day in Trail, B.C. and soon found himself conscripted to join the fight overseas, despite ailing health.

Goodwin returned to Cumberland, where he was aided by local families as he hid out with other conscription evaders in the mountains.  But authorities were searching tirelessly for the anti-capitalist, anti-war 'agitator'.

Then, on July 27th, 1918, under mysterious – many say suspicious – circumstances, Goodwin was killed by a lone Provincial Police Constable named Dan Campbell, with no witnesses present.  Cumberland mourned, and as news spread to Vancouver, workers voted to ‘down tools’ in protest of their fellow worker’s ‘murder’.  The result was the first general strike in Canadian history, and out of it, a folk hero was born.

A section of Vancouver Island Highway near Cumberland was briefly named 'Ginger Goodwin Way', but in 2001 the incumbent Liberal Provincial Government quietly removed the signs.  Those who remember Goodwin today gather around his grave every year during 'Miners' Memorial Weekend'.

Goodwin's unique headstone at Cumberland Cemetery

Ginger Goodwin Way sign in 1990s.