Nanaimo Museum’s Brother XII and Lantern Tours

Nanaimo Museum

Press Release

Tuesday, October 6 2015

One of Nanaimo’s (and DeCourcy Island’s) most legendary former residents is featured in a new tour by the Nanaimo Museum. The Brother XII Tour stops at downtown locations connected to the infamous former cult leader; tours are on Wednesdays, October 14, 21 and 28. The Lantern Tour is returning for its third season and includes stories of a grisly axe murder, public hangings and reputed ghost sightings. The Lantern Tour takes place on Fridays, October 16, 23 and 30. Pre-registration is required for both tours. 

The Brother XII Tour was inspired by interest in the notorious cult leader and his colony at Cedar by the Sea in the 1920s. “We regularly receive questions about Brother XII from people within the community and other areas,” says Aimee Greenaway, Interpretation Curator at the Nanaimo Museum. “The Halloween season seemed like the ideal time to launch a Brother XII tour because every aspect of his story is mysterious.” The tour will visit downtown locations that had businesses frequented by Brother XII such as Filmer’s Printers where some of BrotherXII’s religious materials were published and the bank where he reputedly had donations from his followers converted to gold bars. 

The Lantern Tour takes participants on a walk through downtown. The group will stop outside various locations including the old provincial jail, courthouse and hotels. “The Lantern Tour is a history tour with darker themes like murders and hangings,” says Greenaway. “It’s a great way to share stories from the past that we don’t normally include in tours.” Group bookings are available for the Lantern Tour. 

The museum is hosting two special displays in October. Artifacts related to Brother XII will be on display from October 13-31. In the spirit of Halloween, the coal mine will be haunted from October 24-31. Both displays are included in regular admission to the museum. 

Brother XII tours are on Wednesdays, October 14, 21 and 28 from 6:30 - 7:15 p.m. and the cost is $10 per person. Lantern tours are on Fridays, October 16, 23 and 30 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. and the cost is $15 per person. Pre-registration is required for both the Brother XII Tour and Lantern Tour. Space is limited. 

For more information please visit, call 250-753-1821 or email

The Nanaimo Museum is located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, with access from Commercial Street and Gordon Street.

Editor’s Note: For those unfamiliar with Brother XII (his companion was Madame Z) and their connection to Gabriola and DeCourcy Islands, stop in at Pages Marina and Bookstore and check out the titles available there surrounding the history (and legend) of Brother XII.