The obelisk tomb marker of Brother Andrew Phillips in Pioneer Square (shown below) is one of Victoria’s best examples of 19th century Masonic tomb imagery.
The four sided obelisk displays the Square and Compasses on two sides, with the Plumb and the Level on the two remaining sides. Unfortunately the obelisk is made of comparatively fragile sandstone which has deteriorated markedly over the last decade, apparently helped along by vandals.
Little is known of Andrew Phillips’ life. He was born in Scotland. He was a member of British Columbia Lodge, No. 1187, ER of Victoria, B.C., (now Victoria-Columbia Lodge No. 1) although the Grand Lodge of BC & Yukon currently has no record of his membership.
Andrew Phillips was a ship owner and captain. His only known ship was the schooner Alpha, of about 60 tons, which he owned and which was wrecked near Barclay Sound in 1868.
The Masonic Funeral Notices for Andrew Phillips which appeared in the local newspaper, the British Colonist, are shown below.
Here is a brief biographical sketch of Andrew Phillips taken from contemporary newspaper reports:
“DEATH – Andrew Phillips, formerly owner and captain of the colonial schooner Alpha, wrecked about two years ago near Barclay Sound, burst a blood vessel while on board the steamer Olympia on Sunday evening [note:25 January 1870] and died in a few minutes. Phillips was a Scotchman by birth, and was a member of British Columbia Lodge F & A.M., of this city.”
(Source: British Colonist, 26 January 1870, page 3, column 1)
We will add more information about Andrew Phillips as we uncover it.
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