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 Dr. John Errol Newman, a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1 in Victoria, who is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
Dr. John Errol Newman (died 1916, aged 25) was a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1 in Victoria. His story is a reminder of how deadly tuberculosis could be in the days before antibiotics.
He was a native of Victoria. He attended Central School and worked as a reporter, and later as sports editor, for the Victoria Daily Times prior to enrolling in the North West College of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon. [Note: we have taken the name “North West College of Dentistry from Dr. Newman’s obituary. It is likely he actually attended the North Pacific Dental College.]
His family lived at 1034 View Street. The family home is no longer extant. We will do more research on Dr. John Errol Newman and post the information we uncover.
Here is a brief biography of Dr. John Errol Newman taken from contemporary newspaper reports:
“Promising Career Ended By Death
John Errol Newman, of This City, Passes Away At Kamloops
A promising career has been cut short in the death of John Errol Newman, who passed away yesterday afternoon at Kamloops.
The deceased was well-known in Victoria. He was born here twenty-five years ago, and received his education at the Central School. He had an enterprising spirit even as a young boy, and was one of the carriers for the Colonist for a time, later joining the reporting staff. He was for some time sports editor of the Times, also, and about three years ago went to Portland to take a course at the North West College of Dentistry. He graduated about a year ago, and, returning to Victoria, associated himself with Dr. F. Proctor, pending his passing of the British Columbia examinations in dentistry.
His death comes as a great blow to his mother, stepfather and other relatives and friends, as although he had been seriously ill for some months everyone looked forward confidently to his recovery. The symptoms of tubercular trouble became apparent following an attack of pneumonia which developed after a bad cold which he caught about six months ago after visiting at Cowichan. He was sent to Kamloops about two months ago, and until a few days ago had been making apparent good headway toward recovery. Possessed of a likeable personality he had a very wide circle of friends, all of whom will genuinely mourn his passing.
The deceased was a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge No. 1, A.F. & A.M., and of the Foresters.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Times, 26 October 1916, page 5)
“Private funeral services will be held to-morrow at 12 o’clock for the late John Errol Newman. These services will be at the family home, 1034 View street, Rev. A. de B. Owen officiating. The cortege will leave the Masonic temple at 2.30 p.m. Interment will be at Ross Bay cemetery.”
“NEWMAN – On the 25th inst., at Kamloops, B.C., Dr. John Errol Newman, aged 25 years, a native son. The deceased leaves to mourn his loss, besides a father and mother, one aunt, Mrs. A.H. Harder, of Tacoma. Wash. He was a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1, A.F. & A.M., and a member of Court Northern Light, No. 5935.
Private funeral services will take place to-morrow at 12 o’clock at his home, 1034 View street, and the cortege will leave the Masonic temple at 2.30 o’clock. Interment will be made at Ross Bay cemetery.
Funeral arrangements with the Sands Funeral Company.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Times, 27 October 1916, page 11)
“John Errol Newman Is Buried To-Day
Impressive Masonic Rites Follow Private Service At Family Residence
The funeral of the late Dr. John Errol Newman, whose death occurred early in the week at Kamloops, took place privately from the family residence, 1034 View street, at noon to-day, Rev. A. de B. Owen, rector of the Reformed Episcopal church, conducting the services. Only immediate relatives were present, but the high esteem in which the deceased was held was testified to in the many beautiful flowers which were placed on and around the casket.
The pallbearers were Dr. C. Westwood, Dr. R.E. McKeon, and Messrs. J. McKarlie, Stanley Creed, Robert Dunn, and B. Nicholas. The remains were carried to the Masonic temple, Fisgard street, where Victoria-Columbia lodge No. 1, A.F.&A.M., took charge of the service, the impressive rites of the craft for their late brother being observed. Interment was at Ross Bay cemetery. Court Northern Light, A.O.F., of which the deceased was also a member, also participated in a body to pay a last tribute to the memory of the deceased brother.”
(Source: Victoria Daily Times, 28 October 1916, page 11)
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