While doing some research our Temple Lodge No. 33 Historian came across this 1927 advertisement for Raybestos Brake Linings, which lists the Vancouver Island Raybestos dealers in 1927.
We know that three of the Raybestos dealers names listed were Freemasons: Thomas Pitt, Duncan (Temple Lodge No. 33), Ira Lowe, Ladysmith (St, John’s Lodge No. 21) and Thomas Plimley, Victoria (Britannia Lodge No. 73). It is possible that other names listed were also Freemasons but we will need to do more research on that.
Thomas Pitt built 231 Government Street for his automobile dealership and garage, Thomas Pitt Ltd., in 1929. We think he operated in a previous building on this site in 1927 but we are working to confirm that.
Ira Lowe operated his Lowe’s Garage in Ladysmith at 341 1st Avenue in downtown Ladysmith. The building is still standing.
Thomas Plimley operated his automotive business at two Victoria locations in 1927: 727 Johnson Street (still standing) and in a now demolished building at the corner of Broughton Street and Broad Street in downtown Victoria.
While doing some historical research we came across this 1926 advertisement for Dodge Brothers Motor Cars, showing the Vancouver Island Dodge dealers of the time, including the Duncan “Associate Dealer”, Thomas Pitt Ltd. owned by Temple Lodge No. 33 memberThomas Pitt (1870-1937).
Thomas Pitt Ltd. seems to have been operating in downtown Duncan in the triangular block bordered by Government Street, Jubilee Street and Kenneth Street.
Although this seems an unlikely location for a car dealership today, it would have been a prime location for a car dealer and garage in 1926 because Government Street was part of the Island Highway through Duncan. It would have made complete sense to have automobile related businesses located on the Island Highway, in the same way that most Duncan car dealers are located on the current Island Highway today.
Here is a map showing the location of this downtown Duncan block bordered by Government Street, Jubilee Street and Kenneth Street. We know there were car dealers operating at 261 Government Street until the 1950’s.
After Thomas Pitt‘s death in 1937, there was other car dealers operating on this block, primarily where 267 Government Street (now Habitat For Humanity) now stands, until the 1950’s or early 1960’s.
In 1929 Thomas Pitt retained architect Douglas James to design and build a new office for Thomas Pitt Ltd. at 231 Government Street. , on the south east corner of the triangular block bordered by Government Street, Jubilee Street and Kenneth Street. The building is still standing today, although the arched windows in Douglas James‘ original design have been removed.