Meetings Second Wednesday of every month – 7:30 PM  (Social time 7PM-7:30PM)

Burnside Lawn Bowling Club
274 Hampton Rd
Victoria B.C.
V8Z 1H1

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2022/23 Meeting Schedule: * NB – All Meetings Are Held the Second Wednesday of Every Month.

2022 – Nov 09
2022 – Dec 14
2023 – Jan 11
2023 – Feb 15
2023 – Mar 08
2023 – Apr 12

2023 – May 10

VIPMA Committee

Andrew Zradicka

Joe Bellows

Sean Maruca

Aneil Haere

Donna Chaytor

Everett Nylander

Outing Hosts 2022

Joe Bellows
Sean Maruca
Brian Rigby

Kenny Jamieson


VIPMA (V.I. Placer Miner’s Association) evolved in 1997, giving a voice to miners in the Leech River area. Individually Placer Miners received different information from inspectors.  VIPMA became a place to have a common voice, hear the truth and make decisions, which governed them as a body, giving miners a common direction to follow.  Collaboration forced inspectors to standardize inspections and permitting.  VIPMA came into existence under the direction of Don Razzo and Bruce Chaytor, Bill Friar, Ron MacDonald and Cal Web.  Don Razzo passed away several years ago, and the club panners enjoy his legacy of claims being the Iron Wheel, Golden Boy and Martin’s Gulch.  Founding member Bruce Chaytor held the presidency from it’s inception until June 13, 2018, as he has stepped down with retirement.  Cal Webb, was the original Secretary of the Organization retiring in 2018 and unfortunately passed away 2021.  Bill Friar a founding member holds now a Golden Membership.  Time thrashes by but the lure of gold continues, evident in the beautiful nuggets still found on these historical claims.  For our members wanting information contact VIPMA is a group of Placer Miners determined to keep history alive.

Leechtown Cairn in March 22, 2000

Leechtown Cairn March 22, 2000 deterioration evidenced on photos.

2014 VIPMA spearheaded a project to replace the Cairn – the project centered on the 2014 – 150th Anniversary of the Discovery of Gold At Leechtown.

Various stakeholders contributed to it’s imminent success under the direction of Donna Chaytor – Treasurer to VIPMA since 2006.

July 19, 2014 the new Leechtown Monument was unveiled by The Honorable Judith Guichon and President Bruce Chaytor of VIPMA.

We do not believe anyone will be destroying this monument.


The original bronze Cairn Plaque was stolen many years ago.  If the plaque could be found and returned to VIPMA it would be appreciated as it is an integral part of this history.  Please contact if anyone has information regarding this plaque.  It may be just buried in a basement somewhere, collecting dust, we believe it belongs in the Sooke Museum. 

Beautiful nugget found by member Ron Walton  Camera flash displays it’s hidden beauty. Photo “approximate size of the nugget”.  Great find from the golden hills of Southern Vancouver Island.


Placer derived from Spanish, placera, meaning “alluvial sand.” It refers to mining precious metal deposits (particularly gold and gemstones) found in these deposits – of sand and gravel in modern or ancient stream beds.. The metal and/or gemstones, moved by stream flow from original sources such as a vein, is typically only a minuscule portion of the total deposit. The containing material may be too loose to safely mine by tunneling. Where water under pressure is available, it is used to mine, move, and separate precious material from the deposit. Placer mining (pronounced “plass-er”) is the mining of alluvial deposits for minerals. This may be done by open-pit (also called open-cast mining) or by various forms of tunneling into ancient riverbeds. Excavation may be accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining) surface excavating equipment or tunneling equipmen

Individuals today explore alternatives to family fun included is prospecting for gold, both as a recreational activity and as an effort to make extra money.

The gold pan is important.  Whether dredging, using large equipment such as trommels and other equipment, it all comes down to panning it out.   

VIPMA generally puts on a panning demonstration at the Rock and Gem Show held annually.  Come and try your hand at panning in 2023. 

Finding gold is elusive – the mother lode a quest by many. A great time with family or friends, exploring rivers, learning geology, discovering forestry, learning about wildlife having a fine time. Simply play with rocks, water and mud. Gold is where you find it – work hard you may find a few nuggets. 

Check out Mining Methods

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