James Joseph Morrissey (1911-1980) was Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge No. 33 in 1957.
He also served as Chief of the Duncan Volunteer Fire Department.
In 1952 James Joseph Morrissey was awarded an Honorary Testimonial by the Royal Canadian Humane Society for “Heroic action and presence of mind in the rescue of Doreen Hollings from drowning in a well, Duncan, B.C., Dec. 13th, 1951” The certificate appears below.
Here is the report of the incident in the local Cowichan Leader newspaper:
“DOREEN HOLLINGS, FIVE
Child’s Body Recovered From Well
Doreen Madabelle Hollings, aged five, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hollings, Herd Road, was drowned yesterday morning when she fell down the family well.
The D.V.F.D. [note: Duncan Volunteer Fire Department] inhalator car, accompanied by an R.C.M.P. officer, made a record run to the Hollings home at 11:15 a.m. when the alarm was sent in.
Mr. James Morrissey, fireman, stripped off his clothes and descended the well. He found the body, face down, in the right hand corner of the well in seven feet of water.
Though numbed with cold, Mr. Morrissey handed the child up to Fire Captains Warren Savage [note: also a member of Temple Lodge No. 33. We will add a page about him in the near future] and Norman L. Hedley. They used the inhalator unsuccessfully until Dr. George More, who had been called to the scene, pronounced life extinct.
The child’s body was brought into Duncan in the inhalator car to Hirst Funeral Chapel pending an inquest by the coroner, Mr. A.E. Green.
Doreen has two sisters, one of school age.”
Here is a photo of the Duncan Volunteer Fire Department Inhalator Car mentioned in the newspaper report above. It was a 1949 International panel van purchased from Robison Motors in 1949 for $1997,20. It was used by the Duncan Volunteer Fire Department until 1960.
Here is James Joseph Morrissey’s obituary in the local Cowichan Leader newspaper:
“MORRISSEY – In Duncan, B.C., on November 17, 1980, Mr. James Joseph Morrissey, aged 68 years, born in Nanaimo, B.C. and a resident of Duncan for the past 46 years. He was owner and manager of Vancouver Island Gas for 25 years, retiring in 1976. He was Past Master of Temple Lodge No. 33, A.F. & A.M. Mr. Morrissey had been a member of the Duncan Volunteer Fire Department for a number of years. He leaves a wife, Margaret, at the resident, 1020 Vista Avenue; daughter Eileen, Kelowna, B.C.
James Joseph Morrissey’s family house is still standing at 1020 Vista Avenue in Duncan. Here is map showing the location:
Here is a Google Street View image of 1020 Vista Avenue, Duncan:
We will add more information to this page in the near future.
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