Ashlar Lodge No. 3 will hold its annual Installation of officers on Saturday, 15 December 2018 at Ashlar Masonic Temple. Lodge will be opened at 12 noon and the Installation will begin at 1 p.m.
All Visiting Brethren are very welcome to attend.
Two Candidates from Ashlar Lodge No. 3 will be Initiated at an Entered Apprentice Degree hosted by Doric Lodge No. 18 at Morpeth Masonic Hall, 620 Morpeth Avenue, Nanaimo, BC, on Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Candidates from Doric Lodge No. 18 will also be Initiated at this ceremony.
All Visiting Brethren are very welcome to attend.
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Ashlar Lodge No. 3 was recently contacted by Josh Whartman, who is involved in the disposition of the estate of a deceased photograph collector in Iowa.
Josh Whartman told us he was researching a photo of Ralph Craig that was part of the deceased’s photo collection and had discovered our webpage on Ralph Dixon Craig on this site. The photo appears below.
The fact that this photo was taken in Nanaimo circa 1885 and wound up in a photo collection in Iowa is indicative of how Masonic history, and historical items in general, can appear in unexpected places.
Our thanks to Josh Whartman for letting us know about this photo of Ralph Dixon Craig and for giving us permission to use it online. Unfortunately the photo sold to another collector before Ashlar Lodge No. 3 could acquire it for our historical collection.
Ashlar Lodge No. 3 would like to thank all those who came to our Open House celebrating our 150th Anniversary on 15 July 2017. We hope you found your visit to Ashlar Masonic Temple interesting and informative.
Thanks also to everyone who contributed to making this a successful event.
Thanks also to Central Island Distributors, 2050 Balsam Road, for loaning us its 20 passenger bus for the Ashlar Lodge No. 3 tour of Bowen Road Cemetery and to Big O Tire for allowing us to park the bus at its 391 Albert Street store before and after the Bowen Road Cemetery tour.
Each month Ashlar Lodge No. 3 features one of our Deceased Brethren as a way of remembering our Deceased Brethren and highlighting the contributions they have made to Nanaimo and the surrounding area.
Our Featured Deceased Brother for July 2017 is Joseph Foy (died 9 February 1915). Bro. Joseph Foy joined Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in 1913. He was a manager at the South Wellington coal mine. He died on 9 February 1915 after going into the mine in an attempt to rescue miners trapped underground following a flood in the mine.
In February 2017, Ashlar Lodge No. 3 was contacted by Nanaimo resident Renato Anacleto, who explained that his father, Joao Batista Anacleto, is a Freemason in Brazil – a member of Loja Maconica 3 Colinas – Franca-SP Brazil, and would be visiting family in Nanaimo in March 2017.
Renato Anacleto wanted to know whether his father could visit Ashlar Lodge No. 3 while he was in Nanaimo. Naturally, we were happy to arrange a visit to Ashlar Lodge No. 3 and Ashlar Masonic Temple for W.B. Joao Batista Anacleto.
After his return to Brazil, Joao Batista Anacleto made a presentation to his lodge, Loja Maconica 3 Colinas, about his visit to Ashlar Lodge No. 3. He has also sent us a photo (shown below) of the interior of his lodge and the members of his lodge.
We sent the fraternal greetings of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 to our Brazilian Brothers of Loja Maconica 3 Colinas.
Ashlar Lodge No. 3 has long been aware of the grave of Samuel Hudson, an Ashlar Lodge No. 3 member who died in the Esplanade No. 1 mine explosion on 3 May 1887. Samuel Hudson is buried in Bowen Road Cemetery in Nanaimo, B.C.
But until a few days ago we were unaware of several other Ashlar Lodge No. 3 members who died in 19th century coal mine explosions and other industrial incidents in and around Nanaimo. Continue reading Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Members Who Died In Nanaimo’s 19th Century Coal Mines
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.
On 23 January 2017 I attended an historical lecture at the Congregation Emanu-El synagogue in Victoria which was also attended by representatives of the Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria. I spoke with the President of the Old Cemeteries Society about the Joseph Foy grave defacement and showed him the photos above. He says that the concrete can be removed but there are specialized techniques for doing so. He recommends against simply taking a Dremel or similar rotary tool to the grave stone and scraping this concrete off the marble gravestone.
The Old Cemeteries Society has a member who has done restorative work on similarly defaced and vandalized grave stones and the Old Cemeteries Society recommends having that person look at the Joseph Foy grave before any attempts at restoration are made.
I will be having further conversations with the Old Cemeteries Society about this. I am hopeful we can arrange a joint project between the Nanaimo Masonic Lodges and the Old Cemeteries Society to remedy the damage done to the Joseph Foy grave stone.
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.
I will be taking a walk through Bowen Road Cemetery at the earliest opportunity to see whether other Masonic graves have been attacked. Anyone who wants to join me can contact me at email@example.com
I will update this post as we look into restorative work on the Joseph Foy grave.
W.B. Mark Anderson
Historian and Webmaster
Ashlar Lodge No.3
A note to the person(s) who defaced Joseph Foy‘s grave:
Here is a photo of the man whose grave you desecrated. He was a coal mine manager who went into a flooded mine shaft in an attempt to rescue trapped miners and died trying to save the lives of others.
We have also been advised that B.C. musician David Gogo has written a song about the South Wellington mine flooding in February 1915. His great-grandfather died in this mine flooding.
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In 1899 John W. Coburn moved to Ladysmith and became active in civic affairs. He played a leading role in the campaign to incorporate the town of Ladysmith and was elected the first Mayor of Ladysmith after the town was incorporated in 1904.