2017 is also the 150th Anniversary of Ashlar Lodge No. 3. We are planning a number of events later this year to celebrate our 150th so stay tuned.
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During a research trip to Bowen Road Cemetery in Nanaimo on 14 January 2017 I made an unfortunate and disturbing discovery: the grave stone of a deceased Freemason has been vandalized and defaced, presumably because of the Masonic Square and Compasses carving prominently displayed on it.
Bro. Joseph Foy’s gravestone depicted a very well executed Square and Compasses in marble, which faced the roadway in Bowen Road Cemetery. The photo below, which I took in 2014, shows how it appeared before being vandalized and defaced.
Here is how it appeared on 14 January 2017.
Someone has smeared a layer of concrete over the carving of the Square and Compasses on Joseph Foy’s grave.
I am speculating that this was done because Brother Joseph Foy’s grave is immediately adjacent to the road which runs through Bowen Road Cemetery and someone has taken exception to the Masonic Square and Compasses being prominently displayed in a very visible location immediately adjacent to the road.
The opposite side of Joseph Foy’s headstone also displays a Square and Compasses carving, identical to the one which has been smeared with concrete, but this carving has not been touched. The photo below shows how it appeared on January 14, 2017:
I am speculating that the vandal(s) did not see the Square and Compasses carving on the opposite side of the Joseph Foy headstone since it faces away from the road. Whatever the reason, this Square and Compasses carving on the opposite side of the Joseph Foy gravestone has not, so far at least, been vandalized, damaged or defaced.
In the meantime, we need to be aware that a person or persons has/have deliberately targeted, vandalized and defaced a Masonic symbol on the grave of a deceased Brother – a coal mine manager who died trying to rescue coal miners trapped in a flooded mine shaft – and we need to be keeping a watchful eye on other grave markers which display Masonic symbols.
Please note that Ashlar Lodge No. 3 will also be holding an Emergent Meeting on 15 February 2017, 7:30 p.m. ,at Ashlar Masonic Temple, 101 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, B.C. for the purpose of conducting a Master Mason Degree for two Brothers, one member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 and a member of Doric Lodge No. 18.
On 23 January 2017 the Ashlar Lodge No.3 Historian and webmaster, W.B. Mark Anderson, attended a lecture at the Congregation Emanu-El synagogue in Victoria which focused on a University of Victoria Anthropology course, ANTH 395, which is using the Victoria Jewish Cemetery as a teaching aid for archaeological methods.
Here is a photo of the Brown family residence at 528 Hecate Street, Nanaimo, circa 1890’s. We have not conclusively established a construction date for this house but we believe it was built in the 1890’s, or possibly before.
The Brown family home at 528 Hecate Street is still standing but it has been significantly altered and is not in pristine condition. It is currently divided into four apartments. Here is how it appears on Google Maps:
Here is a photo of 528 Hecate Street taken in January 2017 by the Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian:
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