Our Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian recently came across the grave of John Abernathy (died 28 December 1886) in Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
The grave marker displays the Masonic Square and Compasses. The grave stone is cracked and the inscription has been very worn by exposure to the elements and is very difficult to read, but it appears to indicate that John Abernathy died in a coal mine in the Nanaimo area in 1886.
We came across this list of fatalities in the coal mines around Nanaimo between the years 1874 and 1899 [note: PDF]. It lists a miner named John Abernathy who was “killed by a fall of rock while at work in his stall in the #1 shaft” on 28 December 1886.
We believe John Abernathy was a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3. We will do more research on John Abernathy and post what we find, hopefully within the next month or so.
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