Vancouver Island Masonic History Project

Hugh Bowlsby William Aikman (died 1904, aged 68) was a lawyer in Victoria.

Here is a brief biography Brother Hugh Bowlsby William Aikman taken from contemporary newspaper reports of his death and funeral:

“DIED – AIKMAN – At his residence, “The Gables,” Gorge road, on the 25th inst., Hugh Bowlsby William Aikman, K.C., a native of Hamilton, Ontario; aged 68 years.
The funeral will take place from the residence as above on Wednesday, July 27, at 2:30 p.m., and at Christ Church Cathedral at 3:15 o’clock.
Friends please accept this intimation.”

(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 26 July 1904, page 2)

Old and Respected Pioneer of Victoria Succumbs to Sudden Illness

Yesterday at 6 a.m. at his residence, the Gables, Gorge road, Victoria, death removed from our midst one of our oldest citizens in the person of Mr. Aikman. Although in bad health for some time past it was not believed his end would come so soon. Just after dinner on Sunday evening he was taken violently ill, through the night he revived slightly, but towards morning serious complications set in from which he could not rally. The cause of his death was heart failure. The subject of this article was born at Hamilton, Ont., on the 15th November, 1836. His father was the late Colonel Michael Aikman. He was a grandson of the late Hon. John Wilson, once speaker of the Ontario house, and a nephew of the late Dr. Ryerson.

Many of the older of the Ontarians in this city well remember these men among the foremost of the day in that province. Mr. Aikman was educated at the Hamilton Grammar school under the Very Rev. Dean Geddes, and at Upper Canada College under the late Professor John Barron. He was first a student-at-law under articles to the late S.W. Freeman, Q.C., of Hamilton, afterwards he entered the office of the late Hugh Eccles, of St. Catherines. He was carried away by the Cariboo excitement of ’62, but on reaching Victoria concluded to pitch his tent here. He entered the office of Messrs. Drake & Jackman, and on receiving the necessary qualification became a member of the firm Drake, Jackman & Aikman. After practicing his profession for some years he was offered and accepted the position of registrar-general for British Columbia, and while in that position commanded most universal respect for his deep knowledge of the working out of the Act, and most of the legislation for the improvement of the Act came through suggestions made by him. Leaving the position of registrar general under the province he was appointed Dominion land agent, with his offices at New Westminster in 1885. In the year 1890 he left the Dominion service and returned to Victoria, re-entering the firm of Drake, Jackson & Helmcken, where he remained until a short time ago.

Mr. Aikman was made a K.C. by the Dunsmuir administration in 1900.

On the 8th of February 1869, he married Miss Marie David, daughter of the late Jules David of New Orleans. He leaves two sons and a daughter surviving, George A. Aikman of the Land Registry office, Victoria. James A. Aikman, barrister-at-law of Dawson, and Marie Estelle Aikman of Victoria.

His brother, T.H. Aikman, of Winnipeg, and his sister, Mrs. Rykart, of Victoria, are also left to mourn his loss.

The deceased was of a retiring nature, a most benevolent and kindly disposition, had the courage of his convictions, was a painstaking and able lawyer and one whose death will be greatly regretted by a large number of friends here and at New Westminster.”

(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 26 July 1904, page 5)

“Funeral of Late H.B.W. Aikman – The funeral of the late H.B.W. Aikman, K.C., took place yesterday afternoon from “The Gables,” Gorge road at half past two o’clock. The cortege reached Christ Church Cathedral at 3:15 and the services there and at the grave were conducted by the Ven. Archdeacon Scriven. There was a very large attendance of relatives and friends of the deceased, and many beautiful floral tributes covered the coffin. The pallbearers were the Hon. Mr. Justice Drake, Hon. C.E. Pooley, K.C., Mr. D.M. Eberts, Mr. H. Dallas Helmcken, K.C., Mr. E. Crow Baker, Mr. C.W.P. Thompson, Mr. W.S. Gore and Mr. W.S. Chambers.”

(Source: Victoria Daily Colonist, 28 July 1904, page 5)

Hugh Bowlsby William Aikman is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C. We will get a photo of his grave in the near future.

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