Deceased Brethren

David Stephenson (1844-1937) was Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1908 and District Deputy Grand Master in 1904. He affiliated with Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1905 from St. John’s Lodge, No. 21 in Ladysmith, B.C.

Here is some basic information about him from Ashlar Lodge, No.3 records:

David Stephenson in police uniform, circa 1880-1890
David Stephenson in police uniform, circa 1880-1890 (Courtesy of Nanaimo Community Archives)
David Stephenson, circa 1910 (courtesy of Nanaimo Community Archives)
David Stephenson, circa 1910 (courtesy of Nanaimo Community Archives)

In 1893, David Stephenson was a Charter Member of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 in Wellington (now part of Nanaimo).

We were contacted by Carole Davidson, who has written a history of the Departure Bay area where Stephenson Point is located. Carole Davidson tells us that:

“According to my research David Stephenson was born December 8, 1858 in England. He was raised in Missouri. He returned to England at the age of 15 and joined the Metropolitan Police Force in 1878. He arrived in Nanaimo in 1879 where he worked for two years f0r the Vancouver Coal Mining Company. He was appointed Special Constable in 1881. In 1882 he appointed the constable for Wellington.”

Carole Davidson supplied us with the following information from her research:

“David Stephenson, after whom Stephenson’s Point at Departure Bay was named, was born in England on December 8, 1858, and raised in Missouri. He returned to England at the age of 15 and in 1878 joined the Metropolitan Police Force. During his service with that force he served as guard to the Royal Family, including Queen Victoria and her son the Prince of Wales.

Stephenson arrived in Nanaimo in September 1879 at the age of twenty, where he worked for the Vancouver Coal Company for two years. On December 11, 1881, he was appointed Special Constable to replace William Jack, who had been suspended. A month later, on January 9th 1882, having proved himself an efficient officer, he was appointed Constable at Wellington.. Subsequently, he became warden of the provincial jail at Nanaimo and was later appointed Chief Constable, a position he held for over 30 years.

Stephenson was known for being thorough and unbiased and was respected even by the criminals he arrested. In one of his most famous cases against a former Northwest Mounted Police officer, the defendant, on hearing the guilty verdict, thanked Mr. Stephenson personally for the fair and just manner in which he prepared the case; the defendant was subsequently hanged. Another time he deemed it his duty to testify for the defence in a murder trial, knowing that the evidence brought forward by the prosecution was false. The prisoner was acquitted.

The family built a home on Stephenson’s Point, which they named “Kahklutter”, meaning good luck, after a rock near the house that had mystified many people for years.

The First Nation Peoples believed that this rock, which could be seen only at low tide, brought good luck for one year to anyone who saw it. They were convinced that if you tried to go near the rock it would move away from you. Wanting to see if this was true Mr. Stephenson went out in his rowboat to see for himself. He concluded that when a strong current flowed on both sides of the rock, it created an optical illusion, making it seem that it was the rock that was moving when really it was the boat. Fascinated by both the rock and the legend he named his house after it.

Ships came from around the world to take on coal at Departure Bay and their holds were full of ballast that was dumped into shallow water near the shore. Making use of what was close at hand, Stephenson built the fireplaces and front pillars of his house from these interesting rocks that he gathered on the beach.”


We will add more information about W.B. David Stephenson as we discover it through additional research.

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