Nick Mullins grew up a proud 4th generation miner in the Appalachia coalfields, but the impact that industry is having on the land and communities of southwest Virginia and east Kentucky has caused him to reconsider his family trade.
“I went to work in the mines hoping to give my children a better future. I quit for the same reason” wrote Mullins in his blog The Thoughtful Coal Miner.
Mullins quit mining and went back to school. Now he and his wife Rustina, along with their two children age 10 and 13, are traveling across the continent sharing their story, their observations, and their hopes for a sustainable future on what they’ve called the Breaking Clean Tour.
The Mullins family will be in Cumberland on Saturday June 20 for the 30th annual Miners’ Memorial Weekend and will deliver the keynote address at the community supper held that evening at the Cultural Centre.
“Coal was never my friend. It was a well laid economic trap that I, and many other Appalachian youths, fell into.”
Miners’ Memorial Weekend begins Thursday, June 18 with a special staged reading of a new play on Ginger Goodwin presented by Nanaimo’s TheatreOne. On Friday there is a guided walking tour of Cumberland’s historic Chinatown, followed by the Songs of the Workers open-mic pub night. Saturday includes a pancake breakfast at the CRI, memorial ceremony at the Cumberland and Chinese cemeteries, Spanish Civil War combatants tribute, guided tour of the Cumberland Museum and the community supper.
Tickets to the supper and Nick Mullins’ presentation are $20 and $17 and are available at www.cumberlandmuseum.ca/events. All proceeds from the events support exhibits and programs at the Cumberland Museum & Archives.
A full schedule and further details are available at: www.facebook.com/events/931020283585952/ or