Vancouver Island Masonic History Project

As part of our Vancouver Island Masonic History Project series, which includes pages on Vancouver Island Cemeteries – Masonic Interments, here is some information on Paul Medana (died November 1868), who is buried in Pioneer Square, Victoria, B.C. Some contemporary records also refer to him as Paulo Medana.

Paul Medana’s grave marker is one of the few left in its original place in Pioneer Square.

Paul Medana grave marker, Pioneer Square, Victoria, B.C.
Paul Medana grave marker, Pioneer Square, Victoria, B.C.

We currently do not know a lot about Paul Medana. He was a landowner; he lived in James Bay and owned a sizeable portion of what is now Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood. Medana Street in James Bay is named for him. Victoria artist and author Emily Carr wrote of spending time during her childhood in a rustic area of James Bay called Medana’s Grove which was likely located in the area around what is now Medana Street.

Here is a map showing the location of Medana Street in Victoria’s James Bay district:

The B.C. Provincial Archives has a photograph, circa 1860, of three Freemasons in regalia. One is Paul Medana, one is Innocent Ragazoni and the third is unidentified.

Here is the account of Paul Medana‘s funeral from the British Colonist, the local newspaper of the day:

“MASONIC FUNERAL – Yesterday the earth closed over the mortal remains of Mr. Paul Medana, a kind husband and father, a consistent Mason and a worthy and respected pioneer resident of Victoria. Mr. Medana died of aneurism on Saturday [note: 14 November 1868] evening last. His death, though not unexpected for many months, was extremely sudden. The funeral took place under the auspices of the Masonic Order of this Colony. The brethren met at Masonic Hall at 2 o’clock, p m, and after the usual preliminary exercises had been gone through with, under the direction of Bro. Robt Burnaby, District Grand Master, E R, a procession was formed under the able direction of Bro. Lumley Franklin, Grand Director of Ceremonies, and preceded by the Volunteer Band. In the line we observed Bro J W Powell [sic], Provincial Grand Master, R S, and officers; the officers of District Grand Lodge, E R; Victoria Lodge, 421, E R; Vancouver Lodge, 421, R S; British Columbia Lodge, 1090 [note: this registry number is incorrect. 1090 was Nanaimo Lodge No. 1090 in Nanaimo, formed in 1867]; together with members of other Lodges, and citizens. The regalias worn by the officers and members of the Grand Lodge were very handsome and attracted universal admiration. The body was borne from James Bay to the cemetery, where the burial service of the Order was read over the grave by Bro Burnaby, and the solemn and impressive rites performed, after which the brethren returned to their Hall and were dismissed. The funeral was one of the most numerously attended here, the deceased being known to all classes as an amiable, upright and generous-hearted citizen.”

(Source: British Daily Colonist, 16 November 1868, page 4)

We will add more information to this page as we do additional research.

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