As part of our Vancouver Island Masonic History Project, with its sections on Vancouver Island Cemeteries – Masonic Interments and Deceased Brethren, here is a page on Angus McKeown, Past Grand Master, who is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
Here is a brief biography of M.W. Bro. Angus McKeown taken from various sources:
“DEATH CALLS A. M’KEOWN
Pioneer Business Man and Freemason Lived Here Since 1884; Was 86
After a residence in this city of fifty-one years, Angus McKeown, pioneer business man and eminent Freemason, passed away yesterday at his home, 93 Cambridge Street, in his eighty-sixth year.
Born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1849, Mr. McKeown came to Victoria in 1884. Shortly after his arrival here, he entered the Ames-Holden shoe factory, where he rose to the position of superintendent. He later purchased the factory and operated it for several years until he sold out and went into the wholesale leather and findings business. He was actively engaged in trade until a year ago, when he retired.
Mr. McKeown took a keen interest in matters affecting the progress of Victoria. In 1906-1907 he was a member of the School Board, and in 1908 was elected to the City Council, under the mayorality of the late Dr. Lewis Hall, being re-elected in 1909 and 1910.
One of the oldest Masons in Victoria, Mr. McKeown entered the order in Belleville No. 123, A.F.&A.M., more than fifty years ago and affiliated with Victoria Columbia Lodge No. 1 in 1885. He was an enthusiastic attendant up until a few months ago, when ill health intervened. Mr. McKeown held the high office of Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of British Columbia in 1890 and, until his death, was the oldest Grand Master in the province. He was also a member of Columbia Royal Arch Chapter No. 1, Knights Templar, the Shrine, and a member of the Lodge of Perfection and Rose Croix.
He leaves to mourn his loss his widow, at home; one son, W.A. McKeown, Vancouver, and one daughter, Mrs. R.L. Rogers, Seattle.
The remains are at Hayward’s B.C. Funeral Chapel. Funeral services will be held in Metropolitan United Church, Friday afternoon at 2:15 o’clock. Interment will be in the family plot at Ross Bay Cemetery.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Times, 6 March 1935, pages 1,6)
The two most important events in our Masonic history during the past year were the passing of the two most senior Past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia: M.W. Bro. Angus McKeown, Grand Master for the year 1890-91 and M.W. Bro. William Downie, Grand Master for the year 1891-92.
M.W. Bro. Angus McKeown was a native of Belleville, in the Province of Ontario, and was born in the year 1849. Early in life he joined Belleville Lodge, No. 133, Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario. He came to British Columbia in 1885, and on the first of October of that year, he affiliated with Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1.
Shortly after his arrival in Victoria, he entered the employ of the Ames-Holden Shoe Factory, and soon rose to the position of superintendant. Later he purchased the factory and operated it for several years. After some years, he sold it and went into the wholesale leather business. In this he remained until 1934, when he retired.
M.W. Bro. McKeown was a Past Master of his Mother Lodge, No. 1, and was a student of all matters related to the Craft. His ability was soon recognized by the officers of Grand Lodge and as early as August 1886, he was deputed by M.W. Bro. W. Dalby, the then Grand Master to consecrate Kamloops Lodge, No. 12, and to install its officers. The Grand Master reported to Grand Lodge that “the consecration and installation was completed to the satisfaction of Kamloops Lodge, and done as all Masonic work performed by Bro. McKeown is, in a very able and capable manner.”
The next year, he held the office of Grand Director of Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge, and was appointed Grand Representative for Tennessee to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. He held the latter position until 1894 when that State ceased to be represented in this jurisdiction. I find no mention of the matter in our reports, but I find in the Grand Master’s address for 1895, that the State of Kentucky, with all assurance of good will, had withdrawn her representative, and I presume that Tennessee followed her example. Tennessee remained unrepresented until 1890 when Bro. H.J. Raymer of Rossland became its representative. In 1897, Bro. McKeown was appointed Grand Representative for the State of Utah and remained as such until his death.
His standing in the Craft soon brought his preferment in the Grand Lodge. In 1888, he was elected Grand Warden, and in 1889, Deputy Grand Master. He became Grand Master in 1890, and filled that responsible position with credit to himself, and profit to the Craft. In that capacity he laid the foundation stone of the Y.M.C.A. Building in Vancouver on July 24, 1890. During his term of office he granted dispensations for the formation of Hiram Lodge, No. 14, at Comox, B.C., Kootenay Lodge, No. 15, at Revelstoke, B.C. and Pacific Lodge, No. 16, at Mission City, B.C. At the time of his death he was the senior Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
During the many years he lived in Victoria he took an active part in public affairs, serving for one year on the School Board of the City of Victoria, and later, as a member of the City Council for three terms.
Always interested in the work of the Fraternity, skilled in its ritual, and a general favorite among all members of the Craft who came into contact with him, he will long be remembered by all those who had the pleasure of associating with him, either within or without the Masonic Order…….”
(Source : Proceedings of Grand Lodge of B.C., 1935, Report of the Grand Historian, pages 148-149)
Angus McKeown is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
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