John Homer's 1988 obituary photo in the local newspaper.
John Homer’s 1988 obituary photo in the local newspaper.

According to his 1988 obituary, W.B. John Homer came to Duncan from Victoria in 1941 as the Agent and Manager of British American Oil Ltd.’s Duncan office and he held this position for 30 years, after which he worked at the Duncan Garage as Credit Manager.

Temple Lodge, No.33 records indicate he was the Duncan agent of the Union Oil Company when he made a Petition for Affiliation with Temple Lodge, No.33 in October 1942.

He was a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1 and was elected a member of Temple Lodge, No. 33 by Affiliation in November 1942.

John Homer was very active in the local community. He served on Duncan City Council from 1971-1985, spending several of those years as Deputy Mayor. He served on the Cowichan Valley School Board from 1953-1959, including four years as School Board Chairman. He was also President of the Duncan Rotary Club in 1961-62.

He played a leading role in the project to renovate the former Post Office into Duncan City Hall in 1974-75.

Duncan City Hall, originally built in 1913 as the Post Office. It was renovated into City Hall in 1974 under Mayor Ken Paskin (a member of Malahat Lodge, No.107)
Duncan City Hall, originally built in 1913 as the Post Office. It was renovated into City Hall in 1974 under Mayor Ken Paskin (a member of Malahat Lodge, No.107)

John Homer served Temple Lodge, No.33 as Junior Steward (1943), Inner Guard (1945), Senior Deacon (1947), Junior Warden (1948), Senior Warden (1949) and Worshipful Master in 1950.

Here is some biographical information about John Homer taken from Temple Lodge, No.33 records and from other sources:

“……W. Bro. Secretary presented a Petition for Affiliation from Bro. John Homer, age 32. Union Oil Co.’s agent, Duncan, B.C. Hailing from Victoria Columbia Lodge No. 1, Victoria, B.C.

W. Bro. A.E. Castley pro. sec by Bro. H.G. Hanson that the Petition be received and the usual Investigating Committee appointed. Carried. W.M. appointed com. W. Bro.’s F.G. Driver and Claude Green and Bro. R.K. McEwan…..”

(Source: Temple Lodge No. 33 Minute Book, Regular Meeting of Tuesday, 13 October 1942)

“….The Report of the Investigating Committee upon the Petition for Affiliation of Bro. John Homer was presented which was favourable. W. Bro. F.G. Driver pro. sec by Bro. D.J. Shand that the Petition be received, committee discharged and candidate Balloted upon. Carried and after the Brethren had cast their ballot the W.M. declared Bro. J. Homer duly elected a member of Temple Lodge by Affiliation…..”

(Source: Temple Lodge No. 33 Minute Book, Regular Meeting of Tuesday, 10 November 1942)

Here is John Homer’s obituary in the local newspaper:

“HOMER – In the Cowichan District Hospital on August 23, 1988, Mr. John Homer of 1039 Holmes Street, Duncan, B.C., age 78 years.

Mr. Homer is survived by his loving wife Noel, daughter, Mrs. Katherine Forbes of Edmonton, Alberta, sons Lawrence and wife Carolyn, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, Stanley and wife Lynn of Calgary, Alberta, grandchildren, Bar­bara, Christine, Catherine, Tisha, Brent, Brian, Colin, Thomas, and nine great-grandchildren.

Mr. Homer came from Victoria to Duncan in 1941 where he held the position of Agent and Manager of British American Oil Ltd., Duncan, B.C. for thirty years. He then was employed by the Duncan Ford Garage as Credit Manager.

Mr. Homer was very community minded and a tremendous asset to all organizations he took part in. A former member of the Rotary Club, President 1961-1962, associated with the Cowichan Power Squadron between 1965-1984, and was the Squadron Commander in 1973. He also served as a trustee on the Cowichan Valley School Board from 1953-1959, serving as Board Chairman for four of those years. He served as an Alderman on City Council from 1971-1985, and was the Deputy Mayor for several of these years. He served two terms as the Peoples Warden in St. John’s Anglican Church. Mr. Homer was a past Master and a life member of Temple Lodge No. 33 A.F. and A.M., Duncan. He was made a Freeman of the City of Duncan, B.C. in 1985.

Services for Mr. Homer will be held on Monday, August 29,1988 at 2 p.m. in St. John’s Anglican Church, Duncan, B.C. Rev. Pat Patterson officiating.

Flowers are gratefully declined. Those who wish may donate to the Heart Fund to memory of Mr. Homer.

COWICHAN VALLEY FUNERAL CHAPEL in care of arrangements. Chapel On The Hill A Guardian Chapel 748-2134”

(Source: Obituaries file-1988, Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives collections)

“City of Duncan suffers great loss with passing of former alderman

“”He was a gentleman in every sense of the word.”

Former Duncan Mayor Doug Barker summed it up best when remembering John Homer, a city freeman who passed away Tues­day at Cowichan District Hospital.

Homer served as a Duncan alderman from 1971 to 1985 and was named a freeman after his retirement from council.

He moved to Duncan from Victoria in 1941 and served as agent and manager of British American Oil Ltd. for 30 years before retiring and taking on part-time work as a credit manager at Duncan Garage.

“It’s a great loss for the community,” said Barker. “People like John only come along once in awhile.”

“He was my deputy mayor for three years,” Barker continued. “He knew practically everyone in town, and always stood for honesty and integrity.”

The former mayor said “no one had anything bad to say about John. Everyone knew and liked him.”

Homer is survived by his wife Noel, as well as three children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Monday) at St. John’s Anglican Church in Duncan at 2 p.m. Those who wish may make donations to the Heart Fund in memory of Mr. Homer.”

(Source: Obituaries file-1988, Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives collections)

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