John Pitcairn Elford (died June 1917, aged 67) was a building contractor and businessman in Victoria. Some heritage houses he built are still standing at 1190 Fort Street and 1192 Fort Street.
He was a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge No. 1 and Victoria Chapter No. 1, R.A.M. in Victoria.
Here is his obituary in the Daily Colonist newspaper:
“JOHN P. ELFORD CALLED BY DEATH
Well Known Contractor Lived For Sixty Years In Victoria – Constructed Many Public Buildings
Mr. John P. Elford, one of Victoria’s oldest citizens, passed away in Vancouver yesterday after a long illness at the age of 67.
The late Mr. Elford resided at 1228 Fort Street, and had been interested in a great many of the city’s most valued industries. While best known for his connection with the Victoria Brick & Tile Co., which he founded in 1886, under the name of the Queen City Brick Co, his work as a contractor and builder has given to the city some of its most substantial structures. He built the North Ward School, the Royal Jubilee Hospital, the present Post Office [note: now demolished. It stood on Government Street between Wharf Street and Courtney Street], and many of the city’s business buildings. Another line into which ho put a great deal of his energies and driving power was the sealing business, which at one time was only saved from extinction by his action in putting in money and influence at a critical moment.
Mr. Elford came to Victoria at a very early age, he was born at Adelaide, South Australia in 1850, of English parentage, and when only a few days old was on his way to the California goldfields by the old ship “Bounty.” The ship put in to Pitcairn Island where he was christened, and there he received the second of his given names,
“Pitcairn,” of which he was very proud.
After a few years in California his parents brought him to Victoria, where he was educated and which has been his home ever since, except for short intervals la California at times, when ho had large works in hand in that state.
His interest in public affairs had always been keen and 1902 and 1904 he was elected to the City Council. Politically he was a Conservative, though he was of a very independent turn of mind. His fraternal interests were a source of great pleasure to him and at the time of his death he was a Royal Arch Mason.
The Immediate members of his family who survive him are his widow and two daughters, Violet Lillian Elford and Hattie Eleanor Elford.
Plans for the funeral have not yet been completed, pending the arrival of the body, which is being brought to the city from Vancouver, but it has been arranged that it will take place under the auspices of the Masonic Order.
(Source: Daily Colonist, 17 June 1917, page 7)
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