Samuel Robinson (1856-1928) was born near Derby, England and moved to Vancouver Island in 1893. There is some evidence that he lived in Nanaimo after coming to Vancouver Island but he was living in Duncan by 1899, when he became a charter member of Duncan’s Freemasons lodge, Temple Lodge, No.33.
Samuel Robinson was a carpenter and builder by trade. He is known to have built the house at 126 Ingram Street, now the Green Door, in 1903 for Andrew Hans Peterson, a fellow member of Temple Lodge, No.33 and later co-founder of Cowichan Merchants Ltd.
Here is Samuel Robinson’s 1928 obituary from the Cowichan Leader newspaper:
“Robinson – Mr. Samuel Robinson, who had been ailing for some time past, died on Friday morning at the King’s Daughters’ Hospital, Duncan.
He was born at Longford Village, some ten miles from Derby, England, on February 4th, 1856, where his father was a farmer, carpenter and builder. On leaving school he was apprenticed to his father and followed the trades of carpentry and cabinet making. At one time he worked on the Clyde on the interior decorating of vessels.
In 1882, Mr. Robinson migrated to York centre (near Chicago), where he joined and worked with his brother, Arthur, who had large cheese and butter factories there. After six years in Illinois, Mr. Robinson went back home. He was in Scotland for seventeen months and at Longford for a year and then returned to Chicago. This was in 1892 and he stayed to see the World’s Fair in the following year.
In the fall of 1893 he came here, where his brother, Arthur, had preceded him and had bought a farm at Sahtlam. Here Mr. Robinson followed his old trade. He resided on Kenneth Street, near the Country Club. [Note: Samuel Robinson’s house and the Country Club are no longer extant.]
He will be remembered as a gentle, kindly old man, with a goodly store of reminiscences. He became a Mason in Dundee, Scotland, and on the formation of Temple Lodge, A.F.& A.M., No. 33 in Duncan in December 1899, he became one of its charter members. He was Worshipful Master in 1902 and for a great many years he held the office of Tyler.
About sixty of his sorrowing brothers attended the funeral on Sunday afternoon, from the Masonic Temple to St. Mary’s Churchyard, Somenos, whither his body was borne by six pastmasters, Wor. Bros. A.H. Peterson, Thomas Pitt, J.M. Campbell, W.M. Dwyer, K.F. Duncan and James Greig, while a similar number of pastmasters were present among the brethren as was Mr. C.H. Dickie, M.P. and Rt. Wor. Bro. D.H. Ker, P.D.D.G.M., Junior Grand Warden, Grand Lodge of B.C. The Masonic service was in charge of Wor. Bro. C. Dobson, acting for Wor. Bro. W.B. Harper, W.M.
The committal service of the Church of England was conducted by the Rev. F. Granville Christmas.
Mr. Robinson leaves behind an older brother, William, in England and six nephews, Walter, Gilbert and Henry Robinson, Sahtlam; and W.F. and Arthur, of Aldergrove; and three nieces, Mrs. M.D. Castley and Mrs. I. Bonsall, Duncan and Mrs. W. Roseboom, Victoria.
The funeral arrangements were made by Mr. L.C. Brockway.”’
(Source: Cowichan Leader, from Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives collections)
Samuel Robinson is buried in St. Mary’s Somenos Anglican Cemetery on Somenos Road, North Cowichan.
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