Mayor Joseph Mason


City Council 1931
Mayor Mason (front, centre)

Joseph Mason was born on April 29, 1879 in Euxton, Lancashire, England, the fifth of 6 children born to Thomas Mason and Mary Ann Brimley. He married Mary Jane Cockram, daughter of John Cockram and Mary Jane Bentham. Joseph and Mary Jane brought their young family to British Columbia in 1907 along with Michael Robinson where Joseph found work in the coal mines at Michel in the Crows Nest Pass.

Joseph and Mary Jane had three sons; James, Eric and David and two daughters Dora (Mayovsky) and Edith (Weismiller) Both James and Eric were born in England, James in October, 1904 and Eric on November 11, 1905 while David was born in Michel on September 6, 1908, the first of the family to be born in Canada. The 1911 Canada Census shows the family living in the MacLeod enumeration district which would include the Crows Nest Pass coal mining communities on the Alberta side of the border. The family now included a baby daughter Annie, born in October, 1910.

The family moved to Ladysmith in 1917 where Joseph worked in the mines at Canadian Collieries in Extension as a Fireboss. According to the 1920 City Directory, a James Mason was employed as a clerk for the Royal Bank of Canada. Eric married Ellen Gray Bell and passed away in Ladysmith on October 27, 1973 at 67 years of age. Youngest son, David married Fanny Dryburgh Dunsire and passed away in Ladysmith on July 31, 1981 at 72 years of age.

Joseph was an ardent soccer player in his early days in England and continued his interest in the game on moving to the island. He was a member of St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 21 A.F. & A. M. and became involved in local politics during the depression years serving as both Alderman and Mayor.

In January, 1931 he defeated Mayor George Reid 147 votes to 141 to be elected mayor of Ladysmith. He was re-elected for a second term by defeating his opponent, Albert Radford 200 votes to 117 in the January, 1933 election.

Mary Jane, predeceased her husband, passing away on September 5, 1936 at 57 years of age in Ladysmith due to complications from diabetes. Joseph lived until December 26, 1968 passing away in Ladysmith Hospital at 89 years of age. Services were held in the United Church in with Rev. D. S. Lewis officiating. Internment followed in the Ladysmith cemetery.

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