R.W. Bro. John Frame (1846-1936) was well known and very highly regarded among B.C. Freemasons. He was Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge No.3 in 1882 and District Deputy Grand Master in 1891.
R. Wor. Brother John Frame was a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in Nanaimo as well as a Charter member and, in 1899, the first Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No. 33 in Duncan.
Here is some basic information on R.W.B. John Frame, taken from Ashlar Lodge, No.3 records:
- Born 21 October 1846 in Larkhall, Lanarkshire, Scotland
- Occupation: miner
- Affiliated with Ashlar Lodge, No.3 on 10 August 1878
- Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1882
- Charter member and first Senior Warden of St. John’s Lodge, No.21, Ladysmith, B.C. in 1894
- Charter member and first Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No.33, Duncan, B.C. in 1899
Here is a brief biographical sketch of R.W. Bro. John Frame taken from various records:
“……….Temple Lodge, U.D. – On the 16th of December  I instituted Temple Lodge, U.D. at Duncans. There is every indication of this lodge being a permanent one, being largely composed of farmers of the flourishing Valley of Cowichan, and residents of the Village of Duncans.
The present W.M. is that sterling old Mason, P.M. Bro. John Frame. On several occasions he has been ably assisted by brethren of Ashlar and St. John’s Lodges. I visited the lodge on the 9th of June  and saw the M.M. degree conferred, which on the whole was very good, more especially the first and third sections.
I have the greatest pleasure in recommending them to Grand Lodge for a charter………….
All of which is fraternally submitted,
W.M. Stewart, D.D.G.M., District No. 5
Nanaimo, 20th June, 1900″
Source: Proceedings of the M.W. Grand Lodge of B.C., A.F. & A.M., 29th Annual Communication, 1900, pages 54-55
“Ashlar Lodge, No. 3
October 17th, 1936. With the Brethren of Ashlar and representatives of all District Lodges I attended the funeral of our beloved R.W. Brother John Frame, who had for so long served Freemasonry in this District. At the request of Wor. Brother John Murdoch I conducted the service at the grave. The Craft is poorer for the passing of this illustrious Brother who so nobly exemplified in and out of the Lodge that he had found the Light in the East. In every contact which R.W. Brother Frame made he demonstrated to the world that he was, in very truth, an upright man and a Mason. He, indeed, has the pass admitting him to the Grand Lodge above…..
G. William Stubbs, D.D.G.M. District No. 5, Courtenay, B.C., 31 May 1937 “
Source: Proceedings of Grand Lodge of B.C., 1937, page 116
The Nanaimo Community Archives has a file on John Frame but it does not contain a lot of information. Here is what it says in its entirety:
“John Frame was born in Larkhill, Scotland, November 21st 1846. At age of 22 Frame left Scotland in 1868 for the United States. Later same year returned home [to Scotland] for a brief visit to settle his affairs [and] to return to the United States with a boyhood friend Peacock.
The two friends worked their way across Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, booked passage on Union Pacific Railway to San Francisco. John later recalled seeing Union soldiers on the train on their way to new postings across the Plains.
In San Francisco found there would be a two [sic] delay in San Francisco before it was time to leave. They toured San Francisco, decided it was not the place for them.
Not too long after leaving San Francisco the steamer collided with a coal carrier and had to return to port. Passengers and baggage transferred to another steamer. Frame and Peacock arrived in Nanaimo in July 1876.
The two men hired on by “Nanaimo Collieries.” Frame [was] sent over to the Fitzwilliam mine on Newcastle Island. Peacock sent to another mine and Frame had no idea where his friend got to.
While working in Fitzwilliam Mine, Frame [was] told there was an explosion in the mine two years ago and a miner had been killed.
Two months later a terrible explosion rocked Fitzwilliam Mine, killed one miner, badly injured Frame. He was brought out more dead than alive, lay on a bed of fir and cedar boughs for three days before he could be taken by canoe across the harbor to enter hospital on Chapel Street.
It was several months before John Frame began to recover. His doctor thought it was a miracle that his patient could walk again, but never to work underground again.
While recovering in hospital he met Miss Agnes Bennie. The were married 21st February 1879. celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1929. Mrs. Frame died in 1932.
John Frame lived in Nanaimo for 60 years and resided on Haliburton Street. Elected to City Council, School Trustee, Church elder.
Son born March 13th 1896; Daughter ([born in] Wellington November 18th 1890; Son died March 5th 1890.”
(Source: Nanaimo Community Archives – John Frame file)
Note to Researchers: We have some issues with the above information from Nanaimo Community Archives. We believe it confuses and intermingles biographical details of John Frame and James Frame, who was also a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3. Both John Frame and James Frame died in 1936 (James Frame in January 1936, John Frame in October 1936), both were members of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 and both are buried in Bowen Road Cemetery. But the James Frame grave marker shows a wife named Agnes P. Frame and a son who died in 1890. So we think the Nanaimo Community Archives. file quoted above confuses John Frame and James Frame in various details.
We will do some more research and try to sort out this apparent confusion between John Frame and James Frame.
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