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 Henry Frederick Heistermann, who is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

Very Worshipful Brother Henry Frederick Heisterman (22 July 1832-29 August 1896) was one of the leading real estate brokers in 19th century Victoria. He was a member of the first Grand Lodge of B.C. in 1871 and served as Grand Treasurer. He was a member of Vancouver & Quadra Lodge, No. 2 in Victoria and served as Lodge Secretary for many years.

Henry Frederick Heisterman
Henry Frederick Heisterman

Note that his surname appears in contemporary records as both “Heisterman” and Heistermann.” We have used “Heisterman” because that is the spelling on the gravestone (see below). We have used each of these spellings as they appear in the original contemporary records.

Here is a brief biography of V.W. Brother Henry Frederick Heisterman taken from various sources:

“H.F. HEISTERMAN
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Somewhat Unexpectedly His Illness of the Last Three Weeks Terminates Fatally
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By His Death Victoria Loses One of Her Best Known Business Men
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By the death of Henry Frederick Heisterman yesterday Victoria lost one of her best known citizens – a man who for many years past has been identified with the city’s progress and business development. Though Mr. Heisterman was never of a robust constitution it was not expected that his illness of the last three weeks would terminate fatally and in fact only a few days ago he was believed to be recovering. However, it was not to be. His illness took a turn for the worse and shortly before noon yesterday he died. Mr. Heisterman while not aspiring to any public position was always energetic and keenly interested in seeing Victoria progress and as a member of the Board of Trade and on several occasions elected to the council of that body, his business ability was of service to the city’s commercial interests. He also was for some time a school trustee and was always keenly alive to the necessity of maintaining a good educational system.

Born in Bremen, Germany, July 22, 1832, Mr. Heisterman when 18 years old entered a business house at Dantzig. From there he went to Liverpool five years later, and in 1862 came to British Columbia, attracted by the gold excitement. After making a prospecting trip to the Stickeen river with a party of other gold seekers, and meeting with failure like so many others, he returned to Victoria and again settled down to commercial pursuits, entering into a partnership not long afterwards with John Banks, wholesale paints and glass. It was in 1864 that he began the financial, real estate and insurance business that he so successfully conducted until his death, his shrewd, clear business judgment giving him the reputation of being one of the best authorities in the city on the values of real estate. For many years a member of the Masonic order, Mr. Heisterman, it is believed, was the last one of the original members of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of British Columbia[note: this is not true. Israel Wood Powell died in 1915], and for twelve years past held the position of grand treasurer. The deceased leaves a widow, two sons and four daughters, one of whom is Mrs. D.R. Ker.

The funeral, which is under the auspices of the Masonic order, takes place of Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., from the Masonic Temple and half an hour later from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church. The Pioneer Society, to which the deceased had belonged, will attend the funeral.”

The remains will be removed to the Masonic Temple on Tuesday morning.

(Source: Daily Colonist, 30 August 1896, page 8, column 4)

“HEISTERMANN – At the family residence, Douglas street, on the 29th inst., Henry Frederick Heistermann, a native of Bremen, Germany, aged 64 years.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday September 1st, at 2:30 p.m., from the Masonic Temple, and at 3 o’clock at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church.

Friends will please accept this intimation.”

(Source: Daily Colonist, 1 September 1896, page 8, column 4)

“MANY FRIENDS
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Pay the Last Tribute of Respect to the Late Henry Frederick Heisterman
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The great esteem in which the late Henry Frederick Heisterman was held was shown by the very large number of those who yesterday attended the funeral. The Pioneer Society and the members of the Masonic order were present in regalia, the funeral being under the auspices of the Masons, of whom the deceased had been for years an honored member. At the lodge-room and at the grave the Masonic funeral rites were conducted by W.M. George Glover assisted by Rev. Dr. Campbell and Grand Chaplain Logan.  From the lodge room the funeral proceeded to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church where Rev. W. Leslie Clay, who was assisted in the service by Rev. D. MacRae and Rev. Dr. Campbell, reviewed the useful and honorable career that had been closed by death, and spoke of Mr. Heisterman’s benevolence and his liberality and helpfulness toward the church. The music and singing during the service were very impressive, a full choir taking part and Mr. G.J. Burnett presiding at the organ. The funeral anthem, “I Heard a Voice From Heaven,” was sung by the choir, as also the hymns “Forever With The Lord” and “The Sands of Time Are Sinking,” the organ playing as a processional Beethoven’s Funeral March and as a recession the Dead March In Saul. The pallbearers were Messrs. R.P. Rithet, M.P.P.; A.R. Milne, C.M.G.; J.A. Grahame; Thos. Shotbolt; C.E. Renouf; R.B. McMicking; Dr. Quinlan and Dr. Richardson.”

(Source: Daily Colonist, 2 September 1896, page 5, column 4)

Henry Frederick Heisterman is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

Henry Frederick Heisterman grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
Henry Frederick Heisterman grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

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