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Harry Nelson Rich
[Harry Nelson Rich]
11 January 1857 - 2 July 1932*
Harry Nelson Rich was born at Twickenham on the Thames, England, Jan. 11, 1857. He was a son of Capt. Henry Robins Rich, a veteran shipmaster and Elizabeth (Noris) Rich. As a small boy he attended Bath House School at Twickenham, during which time his father, who commanded clipper ships to India in the tea trade, died, and was buried at sea. His mother died soon after, and he went to live with an aunt at Oxford. In 1870 he was sent to All Saints' School at Bloxham, where he remained until 1873.
In his early twenties he came to America, and reached Astoria in Oregon, where he was in the employ of Benjamin Young, commonly known as "The Salmon King". In 1880 he came to British Columbia and worked in the British American cannery also owned by Young. Later he was with the late Thomas E. Ladner in the Wellington Cannery. From 1883 to 1886 he held various positions including one in the survey of the CPR branch to New Westminster under A. R. Green. In 1886 he became accountant with Thos. McNeely at Ladner and continued as such until 1920 when he commenced business for himself at Ladner as a Real Estate and Insurance agent, and he carried this on until his death on July 2, 1932. In 1889 he married Lydia Mary Green, daughter of Chas. F. Green at Ladner, and had one son, Sydney Norris Green who was killed in the first Great War.
As Grand Master he dedicated the new Masonic Hall at Victoria and celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of the introduction of Freemasonry into British Columbia. On March 15, 1910, he dedicated the new Masonic Temple at the corner of Seymour and Georgia Streets in Vancouver, in use as a lodge hall until 1968. Perhaps noteworthy, during his term of office he prohibited the use of dedicated lodge rooms by chapters of the Order of Eastern Star.
Initiated: 17 April 1888
Passed: 22 May 1888
Raised: 4 June 1888
Worshipful Master: 1896-1897
Union Lodge No. 9

Western Gate Lodge No. 48
Affiliated: 26 November 1907

Grand Pursuivant: 1897-1898
Grand Master: 1909-1910

* Grand Lodge records also report 3 July 1932.
Source: Grand Lodge records, Historical Notes and Biographical Sketches. Robie L. Reid. Vancouver: Grand Lodge of British Columbia, 1945.


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