William Walter Northcott (1846-1923) was a member of Victoria-Columbia Lodge No. 1 in Victoria, B.C. who served as Victoria City Assessor for over thirty years. he affiliated with Victoria-Columbia Lodge No. 1 circa 1883 and it was said that the only Lodge meeting he missed in 40 years was in December 1922, following the death of his eldest son. He is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
Here are some local newspaper reports of the death and funeral of William Walter Northcott:
“MR. NORTHCOTT DIES SUDDENLY
WAS CITY ASSESSOR FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS
Came here in 18 3 – Won High Masonic Honors – Ran As Conservative Candidate In 1920
Mr. William Walter Northcott, who served the city as assessor and in other capacities for thirty years, dropped dead at his home about 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon. He was seventy-seven years old.
By tragic coincidence his eldest son, the late William W. Northcott, died in a similar way at practically the same hour of the day last December. Heart failure was given by physicians as the cause of death in both cases.
Although a man of robust health and unusual vigor for his age, Mr. Northcott complained of weakness last Friday, but yesterday he seemed to be in his usual health and good spirits and his sudden passing was unexpected. News of his death will be received with sorrow by an extremely wide circle of friends, for few men were better known in Victoria than Mr. Northcott and none were more highly respected.
Since retiring from the city’s service about three years ago, Mr. Northcott has lived in retirement. Enjoyong a very full measure of health he was a familiar figure about the streets of Victoria where he was so universally known.
Mrs. Northcott died about twelve years ago [note: on 27 November 1909] and the sudden death of his son last December greatly affected him.
He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. James H. Falconer, Vancouver; Mrs. O.A. Earley, Dragon Lake, Cariboo; Mrs. (Rev.) W. Robertson, Weston, Ont.; a son. Joseph Northcott, of Gig Harbor, near Tacoma, and a brother Joseph Northcott, who was a member of the first city council in Vancouver, and now lives in Toronto.
Came To Canada As a Boy
The late Mr. Northcott was born in Bristol, England on 1 June 1846. His father, the late John Northcott, was a native of Devon, and with an elder son he came to Canada in the year 1853, the remainder of the family following the subsequent year.
Mr. Northcott was only about eight years of age when brought to Canada by his parents. He resided first at Belleville, Ont., where he was educated in the public schools, after which he acquired a knowledge of the builders’ art by working with his father, and later with the firm of Northcott & Alford, contractors.
He came to Victoria in 1883 and resumed the contracting business. On February 10, 1890 he was appointed city assessor, and during his period of service he also acted as building inspector, clerk of works, purchasing agent and returning officer at municipal elections. Mr. Northcott was a model official, respected by all who came into contact with him, and successive city hall administrations learned to place the greatest reliance upon him.
Mr. Northcott was a life long Conservative but his tenure of civic office made it difficult for him to enter politics in an active way. Shortly after his retirement in 1920, however, he was a Conservative candidate for the Provincial Legislature. The large vote he polled on that occasion testified to his tremendous popularity, but the Premier [note: John Oliver (1856-1927)] and a Cabinet Minister were among his opponents and he was defeated.
Mr. Northcott was active in church work for many years, and was a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he early obtained the Royal Arch degree. The sublime degree of a Master Mason was conferred upon him in Belleville, Ont. in 1869, and at the time of his death was a past master of Victoria-Columbia Lodge No. 1 A.F. & A.M. It is said that the only meeting of the lodge that he did not attend was one held the day following the death of his son [note: in December 1922].
Announcement of the funeral arrangements will be made later. The funeral will be Masonic in character.”
(Source: Daily Colonist, 11 April 1923, pages 1,5)
William Walter Northcott is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
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