A Photo Of Ralph Dixon Craig (Past Master) Circa 1885

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.

Ralph Dixon Craig circa 1885. The regalia he is wearing in this photo is that of a Worshipful Master. Since Ralph Craig was W.M. of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in 1885, we think that indicates the date of the photo (photo courtesy of Josh Whartman)
Ralph Dixon Craig circa 1885. The regalia he is wearing in this photo is that of a Worshipful Master. Since Ralph Craig was W.M. of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in 1885, we think that indicates the date of the photo (photo courtesy of Josh Whartman)

Ralph Dixon Craig is buried in Bowen Road cemetery in Nanaimo.

Ralph Craig grave, Bowen Road cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Ralph Craig grave, Bowen Road cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)

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.

 

Thanks To All Who Came To Our 150th Anniversary Open House

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.

It was a very enjoyable and successful day. Congratulations to our four new Fellow Craft Masons who were Passed with the Grand Master and Grand Lodge Officers in attendance.

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.

Continue reading Thanks To All Who Came To Our 150th Anniversary Open House

Joseph Foy – Featured Deceased Member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 For July 2017

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.

Joseph Foy, who died in 1915 trying to rescue miners from a flooded coal mine. (Photo courtesy of Foy family archive - private collection - used with permission)
Joseph Foy, who died in 1915 trying to rescue miners from a flooded coal mine. (Photo courtesy of Foy family archive – private collection – used with permission)

Continue reading Joseph Foy – Featured Deceased Member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 For July 2017

Samuel Drake (1838-1912)- Featured Deceased Member of Ashlar Lodge For May 2017

Each month Ashlar Lodge No. 3 features a Deceased Brother as a way of highlighting Our History and the contributions Freemasons have made to the Nanaimo area.

Our featured Deceased Brother for March 2017 is Samuel Drake (1838-1912) who was  a jailer and sheriff between 1878 and 1910.

W.B. Samuel Drake (1838-1912), circa 1880
W.B. Samuel Drake (1838-1912), circa 1880 (Photo copyright Ashlar Lodge, No.3)

Continue reading Samuel Drake (1838-1912)- Featured Deceased Member of Ashlar Lodge For May 2017

Photo From A Brazilian Brother Who Visited Ashlar Lodge No. 3

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.

Joao Batista Anacleto vistited Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in March 2017. He sent us this photo of his lodge, Loja Maconica 3 Colinas - Franca-SP Brazil (photo: Joao Batista Anacleto - Loja Maconica 3 Colinas)
Joao Batista Anacleto (center, wearing pendant) visited Ashlar Lodge No. 3 in March 2017. He sent us this photo of his lodge, Loja Maconica 3 Colinas – Franca-SP Brazil (photo: Joao Batista Anacleto – Loja Maconica 3 Colinas)

We sent the fraternal greetings of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 to our Brazilian Brothers of Loja Maconica 3 Colinas.

Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Members Who Died In Nanaimo’s 19th Century Coal Mines

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.

Grave of Samuel Hudson in Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Samuel Hudson grave, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo

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

Masonic Gravestone Defaced In Bowen Road Cemetery

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.

The grave stone is that of Joseph Foy, a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 3 who died in 1915 while trying to rescue trapped coal miners in a flooded mine shaft.

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.

Headstone showing Masonic Square and Compasses in Bowen Road cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Joseph Foy grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. in 2014

Here is how it appeared on 14 January 2017.

The defaced Joseph Foy garvestone in Bowen Road Cemetery, 14 January 2017, Note how someone has covered the Square and Compasses with cement on the diamond shaped stone on top of the marker.
The defaced Joseph Foy gravestone in Bowen Road Cemetery, 14 January 2017, Note how someone has covered the Square and Compasses with concrete on the diamond shaped stone on top of the marker.
The defaced Joseph Foy garvestone in Bowen Road Cemetery, 14 January 2017, Note how someone has covered the Square and Compasses with cement on the diamond shaped stone on top of the marker.
The defaced Joseph Foy gravestone in Bowen Road Cemetery, 14 January 2017, Note how someone has covered the Square and Compasses with concrete on the diamond shaped stone on top of the marker.

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:

The defaced Joseph Foy garvestone in Bowen Road Cemetery, 14 January 2017. This is how the Square and Compasses appeared on the opposite side of the monument, facing the road, before someone smeared it with cement.
The Square and Compasses carving on the Joseph Foy gravestone in Bowen Road Cemetery, 14 January 2017. This is how the Square and Compasses appeared on the opposite side of the monument, facing the road, before someone smeared it with concrete.

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 mark_anderson@ashlar3.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
Nanaimo, B.C.

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.

 

Joseph Foy, who died in 1915 trying to rescue miners from a flooded coal mine. (Photo courtesy of Foy family archive - private collection - used with permission)
Joseph Foy, who died in 1915 trying to rescue miners from a flooded coal mine. (Photo courtesy of Foy family archive – private collection – used with permission)

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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John W. Coburn house – 641 Third Avenue, Ladysmith

This house at 641 Third Avenue in Ladysmith was built in 1903 for John W. Coburn by Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins, both of whom were Freemasons.

641 Third Avenue, Ladysmith. Built in 1903 for John W. Coburn by Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins
641 Third Avenue, Ladysmith. Built in 1903 for John W. Coburn by Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins

John W. Coburn (1860-1939) was Initiated, Passed and Raised in Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1886. He was Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge in 1893 and District Deputy Grand Master in 1894 and 1895.

641 Third Avenue, Ladysmith. Built in 1903 for John W. Coburn by Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins
641 Third Avenue, Ladysmith. Built in 1903 for John W. Coburn by Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins 

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.

W.B. John W. Coburn, circa 1910
R.W.B. John W. Coburn, circa 1910 (Photo copyright – Ashlar Lodge, No.3)

John W. Coburn moved back to Nanaimo and was elected to Nanaimo City Council in 1917. For more information about R.W.B. Coburn, see our page about John W. Coburn.

New Ashlar Lodge, No.3 Officers For 2016

Ashlar Lodge, No.3 had its annual Installation of Officers on 19 December 2015.

The Ashlar Lodge, No.3 Officers for 2016 are:

Worshipful Master: W.Bro. Kevin Lamb

Immediate Past Master: W.Bro. John Bradburne

Senior Warden: W.Bro. Tim Findlay

Junior Warden:

Treasurer: Bro. Don Ruggles

Secretary: W.Bro. Jsason Barudin

Chaplain: Bro. Tim Mitton

Senior Deacon: W.Bro. Mark Anderson

Junior Warden: Bro. Blair Maleyko

Director of Ceremonies: R.W.Bro. Doug Sowden

Inner Guard: Bro. Peter Schoor

Tyler: Bro. Richard Mutz

Historian: W.Bro. Tim Findlay

Education Officer: R.W.Bro. Doug Sowden

Occidental Hotel, John Teague and Alfred Summerhayes

The Occidental Hotel, 432 Fitzwilliam Street, was built in 1886. It was designed by Victoria architect John Teague, a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No.1 and built by contractor Alfred Summerhayes, a member of Ashlar Lodge, No.3.

Occidental Hotel, 432 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo. Built in 1886.
Occidental Hotel, 432 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo. Built in 1886. Designed by John Teague, built by Alfred Summerhayes. (Photo: Mark Anderson)

This landmark building is on the City of Nanaimo Heritage Building Register, which describes it as:

“The Occidental Hotel’s value resides in its role as a gateway building. Located at a prominent intersection, the building marks the western entrance to one of Nanaimo’s oldest commercial areas. The angled corner entry mirrors the entry on the building directly across the street and creates a visual funnel, reinforcing the impression of entering a new and distinct space. Tall, imposing and located at a prominent intersection, the Occidental Hotel is a highly visible landmark.

Built in 1886, the Occidental Hotel is very good example of Victorian Italianate architecture, one of the most popular 19th century styles in North America for a wide variety of building types, from houses and small apartment buildings, to commercial and institutional structures. The Occidental Hotel features the vertical proportions and tall, rounded windows and doors typical of this style.

The Occidental Hotel is significant because of its association with prominent Victoria architect John Teague, who came to Victoria in 1862 as an engineer for the Royal Navy at Esquimalt. After designing some of the navy buildings, he went into private practice, designing a wide variety of buildings, from hospitals and churches to business blocks and private homes. Remarkably prolific, Teague designed over 350 buildings and greatly influenced the character of early architecture in Victoria. His buildings include Victoria City Hall, the Freemason’s Meeting Hall, the East Block of St. Ann’s Academy, Scholefield House and the Church of Our Lord.

The substantial and handsome Occidental Hotel speaks to the mood of prosperity and possibility prevalent in the 1880s by the completion of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway and the expansion of the huge No. 1 Coal Mine. Located one block from the train station, the Occidental Hotel was the first business to take advantage of the opportunities the nearby train station provided. Over time, other businesses were established and the area eventually became an important secondary retail district within a predominantly residential neighbourhood. The Occidental Hotel has been in continuous use as an eating and drinking establishment for over 100 years.”

We have put a page for the Occidental Hotel under our Buildings Associated With Ashlar Lodge Members page. Also see the Rawlinson-Glaholm Grocery, located directly across the street from the Occidental Hotel.

Rawlinson & Glaholm Grocery, a heritage building at 437 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo
Rawlinson & Glaholm Grocery, 437 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo. John. W. Glaholm was a member of Ashlar Lodge, No.3