Richard Guy Mellin (1875-1931) – Joined Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1904

Temple Lodge, No.33 puts information about Deceased Brethren on this website and has found that the pages on Deceased Brethren are among the most viewed and most popular pages on the website. Genealogy is a very popular pastime and Temple Lodge, No.33 gets frequent requests for additional information from researchers who have found ancestors on our website.

Temple Lodge, No.33 also sends out requests for additional information on our Deceased Brethren. When we recently put up a page on Richard Guy Mellin (1875-1931), we sent information requests by email to Manchester Grammar School and the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C., both of which kindly provided information which appears on our web page for Richard Guy Mellin and in the blog post below.

Richard Guy Mellin (5 March 1875 – April 1931) joined Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1904 and remained a member of Temple Lodge, No.33 until his death in 1931. He was Initiated, Passed and Raised in Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1904.

He was born in Manchester, U.K. and was educated at Chorlton High School and Manchester Grammar School, which he attended from 1888 to 1892.

We contacted Manchester Grammar School seeking information about Richard Guy Mellin and we were kindly given the photograph below, showing Richard Guy Mellin in 1890, aged about 15, in the back row, second from left.

The "Lower Classical Remove" class of 1890 at Manchester Grammar School. Richard Guy Mellin is #2, in the back row, second from left (photo courtesy of Manchester Grammar School, used with permission)
The “Lower Classical Remove” form of 1890 at Manchester Grammar School. Richard Guy Mellin is #2, in the back row, second from left (photo courtesy of Manchester Grammar School, used with permission)

The Manchester Grammar School also provided the following additional information:

The photograph above was taken at the former Manchester Grammar School site in Lower Millgate in the center of Manchester. Richard Guy Mellin was a Foundation scholar [note: Manchester Grammar School tells us that “a Foundation Scholar is a pupil who is admitted to the school on the basis of outstanding academic performance, qualifying for reduced fees which is similar to the bursary system in place today”] at Manchester Grammar School between 1888 and 1892. He was in the “Lower Classical Remove” class, which meant that his education was based on the classics, an interesting educational background for a man who went on to become a mining engineer.

[Note: our thanks to Jane Graham and Jeremy Ward at Manchester Grammar School for their prompt response to our information request and the photo they provided]

In British Columbia, Richard Mellin was a mining engineer. We contacted the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C. about Richard Mellin’s membership in that organization and the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C. kindly provided the following information:

The Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C. was founded in 1920 and Richard Guy Mellin was one of its first members. He was granted an engineering certificate in mining engineering and issued License #236 by the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C. on 23 November 1920. His registration information is recorded in the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C.‘s first membership register.

Richard Mellin was educated in classics at Manchester Grammar between 1888-1892 and he apparently did not have an engineering degree when he was issued his license as a Professional Engineer by the newly formed professional engineering regulatory body, the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C., in 1920. The Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of B.C. says that he appears to have been “grandfathered” into the profession based on his previous experience in the field and the mining industry.

Here is a brief biography of Richard Guy Mellin taken from local Cowichan Leader newspaper reports of his death and funeral:

“Mellin – Mr. Richard Guy Mellin, Lakes Road, died on Saturday afternoon at the King’s Daughters’ Hospital. He had been ill for a long time and death came as a release.

He is survived by Mrs. Mellin, the eldest daughter of Mr. James Robertson, “Hartree,” near Duncan, and by two sons, Jack and Arthur, and one daughter, Nell. His eldest son, Dick, died about a month before him. [note: Richard Mellin and his son Dick are buried in the same burial plot at St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery; see photos below]

Mr. Mellin was born in Manchester, England, on March 5, 1875, the son of Mr. and Mrs. V. de M Mellin. He was educated as a mining engineer.

He came to Duncan in [illegible] and engaged for four years in farming, logging and survey work.

At the opening of the Yukon gold rush in 1898 he became assistant purser on the S.S. Ning-Chow and after two voyages took over the management of F.C. Davige and Co.’s business in the Wrangel and Stikine districts.

At the end of the rush he went to Atlin and helped to establish a townsite there. During the following year he prospected claims he had staked in [illegible].

Returning to Duncan he took a prominent part in the development of the famous Tyee Mine on Mount Sicker. He was a member of for [illegible] years and became assistant superintendent and field assessor.

When the mine closed he conducted exploration and development work at Sooke, Whitehorse, Queen Charlotte Islands, Sidney Inlet, Lynn Valley, Prince of Wales Island, the Gulf Islands, Alaska, Texada Island and the Squamish River.

In 1911, Mr. Mellin settled at Sooke, where he was instrumental in centralizing the district and establishing the Sooke Harbour Water Company. He also started a comprehensive scheme for the dredging and deepening of Sooke Harbour at the entrance, for which preliminary surveys were carried out by the Dominion government.

But the outset of the war stopped these activities and in 191[illegible] he returned to mining and opened up the Willow Grouse and Blue Grouse mines.

In 19[illegible] he joined the staff of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, with which he remained for some years, engaged in mining surveys and exploration, ranging from the Peace River to Vancouver Island and the Portland Canal.

More recently he was associated with Hyder Lead Mines, Pacific Tidewater Mines, and was manager of the Georgia River Mines.

Mr. Mellin was a member of the Professional Engineers Association of British Columbia and of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

He had an office in Victoria and belonged to the Union Club there as well as to the Cowichan Country Club. He was also a Justice of the Peace and a member of Temple Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Duncan.

This Lodge took charge of the funeral on Tuesday afternoon, the pallbearers being Messrs. W.M. Dwyer, K.F. Duncan, H.F. Prevost, F.H. Price, Chris. Dobson and Thomas Pitt.

Archdeacon [illegible] conducted the service at St. Peter’s Church, Quamichan, where many friends were present. “Fight The Good Fight” and “O God Our Help In Ages Past” were sung with Mr. W.A. Willett at the organ.

Arrangements for the funeral were in the hands of Mr. R.H. Whidden, Duncan.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 23 April 1931 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

Richard Guy Mellin is buried with his son, Richard Mellin, in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery.

Richard Guy Mellin grave, St. Peter's Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.
Richard Guy Mellin grave, St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.
Richard Guy Mellin grave, St. Peter's Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.
Richard Guy Mellin grave, St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.
Richard Guy Mellin grave inscription, St. Peter's Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.
Richard Guy Mellin grave inscription, St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.

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