Here is a brief biography of Benjamin Churchill taken from Temple Lodge, No. 33 records and from local newspaper reports of his death and funeral:
“..A petition was received from Bro. Ben Churchill for membership of this Lodge by affiliation. The applicant states that he was born at Clinton, Ontario, his age being 60 years, profession Teamster, At present resides at Duncan, B.C. was made in Clinton Lodge, No. 84 Clinton Ont. The petition was accompanied by a demit from Clinton Lodge, No. 84 and the usual fee of $5.00.
It was moved by Wor. Bro. C. Dobson, seconded by Bro. Junior Warden that the petition be received and the usual investigating committee appointed. The motion was carried.
(Source: Temple Lodge, No.33 Minute Book, Regular Meeting of 13 May 1913)
“Churchill – Mr. Benjamin Churchill, a well-known resident of Duncan for nearly 30 years, passed away on Tuesday afternoon at Duncan Hospital, where he had been a patient for six months. He was 87, and a native of Ontario.
Surviving him on Vancouver Island are two sons, John George, Duncan; and Franklin, Victoria. There are two sons, Benjamin Randolph, in Detroit; and Thomas in Clinton, Ontario, and four daughters in the East.
“Churchill – Mr. Benjamin Churchill was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Somenos on Thursday afternoon, following a United Church service in the chapel of the Davis Funeral Service at 4 o’clock. The Rev. W.F. Burns officiated, and two hymns were sung: “Rock of Ages” and “Abide With Me.” Mr. P.R. Dobson was at the organ.
At the graveside Mr. J.I. Davies, master of Temple Lodge, A.F. & A.M., conducted the Masonic ritual. Six fellow Masons were pallbearers: Messrs. S. Gordon, Hugh Savage, W.B. Harper, A. Castley, G.P. MacMillan and D.J. Shand.
Mr. Churchill was born in Ontario 87 years ago last December 23. Before coming to Duncan some 30 years ago he was a schoolteacher and, later, a farmer at Clinton, Ontario.
In this district his principal business was teaming and trucking. He also owned a small farm on Norcross Road. He was very active even in advancing years, working occasionally up to about a year ago. He was a member of the Masonic Order and a strong Conservative.
Mr. Churchill is survived by four sons: John George, Duncan; Franklin, Victoria; Benjamin Randolph, Detroit, Michigan; and Thomas, Clinton, Ontario; and four daughters: Mrs. E. Castle, Clinton, Ontario; Mrs. Clifford Watson, Kippin, Ontario; Mrs. O. Bailey and Mrs. James Hillon, Detroit, Michigan.”
Benjamin Churchill is buried in St. Mary’s Somenos Anglican cemetery but we have been unable to find his grave stone. We will do some more research and post what we find.
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