Thomas Van Norman was a Past Master of Verulam Lodge, No. 268 in Ontario. He visited Temple Lodge, No.33 in January 1910. He subsequently moved to Duncan and affiliated with Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1912. He remained a member of Temple Lodge, No.33 until his death in 1924. His brother, Isaac Newton Van Norman, was also a member of Temple Lodge, No.33.

Here is a brief biography of Wor. Brother Thomas Van Norman taken from Temple Lodge, No.33 records and from his obituary and the report of his funeral in the Cowichan Leader newspaper:

“……….fraternal greetings and felicitations were extended to the W.M. and the Lodge by the visiting Brethren present, namely: W. Bro. D.E. Kerr, of Corinthian Lodge, No. 27, Rossland, B.C.; Bro. James McLeod of St. Andrew’s Lodge, No. 13, Prince Edward Island, Canada; W. Bro. Thomas Van Norman of Verulam Lodge, No. 268, Ontario, Canada, and Bro. Wm. E. Archer of Tarrelton Lodge, No. [note: lodge number blank in our Minute Book] , Sidney [sic], Australia.

The W.M. extended to each of the visiting Brethren a hearty welcome and an invitation to again visit the Lodge whenever the opportunity made it convenient for them to do so, for which each of the brethren returned thanks…….”

(Source: Temple Lodge, No.33 Minute Book, Emergent Meeting of 22 January 1910) 

Here is Thomas van Norman’s obituary in the Cowichan Leader newspaper:

“Van Norman – We deeply regret to announce the death on Friday night of Mr. Thomas Henry Van Norman. He had been ailing for some two years past and for the past five months had been confined to his bed at his home in Eagle Heights, whither his family had recently moved from Duncan.

He was born sixty-six years ago in Campbellford, Ontario, and was a member of an old United Empire Loyalist family which moved from Pennsylvania to Frankford, near Belleville, Ontario, after the American Revolution. He went to school in Peterborough, whither his parents later moved from Hastings.

The lumber business attracted him and, at the neighbouring town of Bobcaygeon, he was in the employ of Mossom, Boyd & Co. for eighteen years, having been foreman of the mill when he left to come to Cowichan, where his younger brother, Frederick, had been for some years.

Mr. Van Norman worked for two years at Chemainus mill before coming to live in Duncan. He was one of the organizers of the old Quamichan Lumber Co., which built and operated a mill on Skinner creek, near the present waterworks dam. Afterwards he was associated with the promoters of the Island Lumber Co. in the mill on Somenos lake.

He was a skilled millwright and an all round operator and mill man. Of late years he had not worked a great deal, though for some time he was associated with his son-in-law at McLay’s mill, Cobble Hill. His death is greatly mourned by a very wide circle of friends and deep and general sympathy is extended to his relatives.

Besides his wife he leaves four children, Mr. J.W. Van Norman, James Island; Mrs. Robert McLay, Mrs. C. Hamilton and Mrs. J. Islay, Duncan. One brother, Mr. Frederick Van Norman, Tyee; and a sister, Mrs. Charles Kindred, Belleville, survive. Their brother, Jeremiah, died suddenly at work in Peterborough on March 4th last. Another brother, the late I.N. Van Norman, died four years ago in Duncan.

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon. Mr. Van Norman was a Past Master of Temple Lodge, No. 33, A.F. & A.M. His body rested there until borne by fellow Past Masters and accompanied by members of the craft to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church, where services were conducted by the Rev. Bryce Wallace. The hymns sung were ‘When The Day of Toil Is Done’ and ‘Asleep In Jesus, Blessed Sleep.’

At the Methodist burying ground, Somenos, he was laid to rest beside his father and brother. The services there were entirely Masonic, the beautiful ritual being conducted by the Worshipful Master A.S. Hadden. Many floral tokens and presence of a large number of mourners testified to the esteem in which Mr. Van Norman was held.

The pallbearers were Wor. Bros. J.M. Campbell, A.H. Peterson, Thomas Pitt, Chrisopher Dobson, C.W. O’Neill and George H. Savage. The arrangements were entrusted to Mr. R.H. Whidden.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 15 May 1924 –  from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

Thomas Van Norman is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, North Cowichan. So is his brother, Isaac Newton Van Norman.

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