Deceased Brethren

Edwin Ronald Norris (1899-1980) was a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3. We will post the date he joined Ashlar Lodge No. 3 and other details of his membership in the near future.

He was a nephew of James Miller Brown, Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in 1874.

Edwin Ronald Norris (1899-1980) publisher of Nanaimo Free Press. (Photo courtesy of George Norris - family collection)
Edwin Ronald Norris (1899-1980) publisher of Nanaimo Free Press. (Photo courtesy of George Norris – family collection)

Here is some biographical information about Edwin Ronald Norris:

“Former Publisher Norris dies at 81

Ron Norris, of 15 Machleary Street, a former publisher and co-owner of the Daily Free Press, died Wednesday [4 June 1980] at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after a short illness. He was 81.

Norris was grandson of George Norris, who founded the paper in 1874 after arriving in Canada from England, by way of the United States.

Ron Norris’ father, also George, took over the paper when the elder George retired. Ron served as publisher for a number of years during his father’s ownership.

In the Depression years in the [19]30’s the paper fell out of family hands for a few years but toward the end of the decade was re-acquired by a consortium consisting of Ron, his late brother Ossie, Bob Stewart,  and Jim Beggs.

Beggs retired some years later and the remaining three operated the newspaper until it was acquired by Thomson Newspapers Ltd. in 1952.

Several long time employees of The Daily Free Press recalled working under Norris. Jack Laidler, printer, here since 1948, said: “He was a nice guy. He gave me my first break.” Another printer, Bill Williamson, said, “Norris was easy to get along with and very understanding.”

Printer Howard Carruthers, Norris’ stepson, said his stepfather was a devoted member of the Nanaimo Historical Society, a Masonic Lodge member and a successful rose grower.

“His rose garden on Machleary Street was something else, he said. “People came from all over to look at them. No one had a better bunch of roses; they were his favorite hobby.”

He is also survived by a brother Eugene, two daughters, Donna Gold of Vancouver and Rone Sinclair of Victoria, [and] a son George.

Norris’ last public appearance was at the Tally Ho Friday when he was one of 40 pioneers honored by the Nanaimo Rotary Club at an old timers’ luncheon.”

(Source: Nanaimo Free Press – article provided by his son George Norris)

Here is a map showing the location of Edwin Ronald Norris’ house at 15 Machleary Street, Nanaimo, B.C.

Here is a Google Street View image showing 15 Machleary Street as it appears today:

Edwin Ronald Norris is buried in Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens. We will get photos of his grave and post them in the near future.

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