BC Sessional Papers

REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON OGDEN POINT LANDS. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1876

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 722 Report of Select Committee—Ogden Point Lands. 1874.
Mr. Speaker:
Your Committee, appointed to enquire into the manner in which the Eesolution of
this Assembly, dated 8th April, 1872, has been carried out, viz:—
" That 47 acres of the Crown Lands at Ogden Point should be set apart for the pur-
" pose of providing for a Public Cemetery, and for other public purposes on behalf of
"the  City of Victoria, as Trustees in that behalf shall think fit, and also into the
" management and position of the trust thus created,"
Beg leave to report as follows:—
That they find that Sub-sections 18, 19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, of Section 18,
containing 48 and fifty-four hundredth acres of Crown Lands at Ogden Point, have been
placed in the hands of the Trustees named in and for the purposes as set forth in the
deed, dated 7th June, 1872, hereto appended.
That 18 and seventy-nine hundredth acres of this land have been sold for Six thousand
four hundred and sixteen dollars; that Medana's grove, 11J acres; Nias' point, 9i acres;
2 acres in Sub-section 28, and 9 acres in Sub-section 31, remain unsold, and that there is
a mortgage for Four thousand dollars bearing interest at Ten per cent thereon.
That out of the proceeds of land sold at Ogden point, the Trustees have purchased
about 12 acres of land at Eoss Bay, at the rate of Three hundred dollars per acre, and
that it is financially unincumbered.
That the $4,000 obtained by mortgage on the Ogden Point lands and other moneys
have been expended on the Eoss Bay Cemetery, in ploughing, fencing, house-building,
laying out and gravelling walks, putting in brick drains, and surveying the ground
into blocks and lots, and that the work has generally been done by contract.
That the Trustees have allotted certain portions of the Eoss Bay Cemetery to
various religious denominations, subject to the rules and regulations of the Cemetery
Board, and of the religious denomination to which the allotments have been made, and
have granted to the Clergy of each Church to which allotments have been made, the
power to decide who shall or shall not be buried in the ground set apart for the use of
said Church, but that in all other respects the Board retain full control over the ground.
That the Cemetery at Eoss Bay has been allotted as follows:—
Block A containing  590 spaces or graves, Episcopal Church.
„     B „ 1053 „ „
O „ 519 „ Eoman Catholic Church.
„    D        „ 183 „ „
„    E „ 198 „ Unallotted.
p ;) 707 „ Eeformed Episcopal Church.
"     G ,', 816 „ Wesleyan Church.
H        „ 1017 „ Presbyterian Church.
"     K        „ 443 „ Unallotted.
L 368 „ Mongolians and Indians.
That the unallotted portion is about one-tenth of the whole.
That the Trustees claim that the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," contemplated such a
distribution, and that the interests of the public warranted it.
That Section 5 of the " Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," provides " that the Trustees
" shall not by any rule or regulation, or any act, matter or thing, at any time interfere,
" directly or indirectly, with the performance of any religious ceremony in the burial
" of the dead according to the usage of the communion to which the deceased may have
" belonged." 39 Vw. Report of Select Committee—Ogden Point Lands, 723
That if the Trustees had thrown open the land at Eoss Bay promiscuously, that
such a course " would have interfered with the performance of certain religious
"ceremonies in the burial of the dead."
That the allotment of the Cemetery as made has " interfered with the performance
" in some portions thereof, of certain religious ceremonies in the burial of the dead,
" according to the usage of the communion to. which the deceased belonged."
That the "Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," is conflictive, and that its remaining on our
Statutes may cause further trouble.
That the Odd Fellows Society made application for a separate allotment and were
refused, and that they would have purchased a piece of ground if necessary.
That the remains of the late J. P. Fitterre were refused burial in Block C, in consequence of the deceased, during life, having been a member of a Secret Society.
That the remains of the late Mrs. E. Thorne were refused burial in Block A,
except upon condition that the burial service should be performed by a clergyman of
the Episcopal Church.
That the deceased lady belonged to the Eeformed Episcopal Church.
That the remains of the late Captain W. H. McNeil, a member of the Eeformed
Episcopal Church, were interred in Block B by His Lordship Bishop Cridge, only in
consequence of the right of burial having been purchased prior to the division between
the Episcopal and Eeformed Episcopal Churches.
That the Municipal Council of Victoria City have frequently to undertake the
burial of paupers from all parts of the world, and that the Cemetery Board have
exacted from the Corporation the sum of Seven dollars and a half for each grave, and
that the burial of each pauper costs the Corporation Fifteen dollars.
That no portion of the Ogden Point lands have as yet been applied to " other
"public purposes on behalf of the City of Victoria," and that the following wording of
the trust deed would probably preclude the intentions of the Legislature m that respect
from being carried out, "and in the next place shall pay over all surplus moneys coming
" into their hands by way of rents, dividends, annual p>rofits, interest on mortgages,
" interest of moneys in hand, (whether produced by sums paid for equality of exchange
" by sale, mortgage, or investment on mortgage,) but not any principal sum over and
"above what is required for Cemetery purposes and payment of debts, to the Mayor and
" Council of the City of Victoria, to be by them treated as General Eevenue, and to be
" expended lawfully by them as other Eevenue derivable under the " Victoria Municipal
"Ordinance, 1867," and the "Victoria Municipal Amendment Ordinance, 1869," and it is
" hereby declared that the receipts in writing of the Mayor and Council, or of such person
" as they shall in that behalf direct, shall effectually discharge the said Trustees paying
" the same therefrom and from being concerned to see to the application thereof."
That a petition signed by One thousand and thirty-six of the inhabitants of
Victoria and vicinity, praying that the Eoss Bay Cemetery should be thrown open to
the public, has been considered by the Committee, and that a Petition of His Worship
the Mayor and the Council of Victoria, requesting that " a portion of the Ogden Point
" lands be placed at the disposal of the City for agricultural, recreative, educational and
" other purposes," has also came before them.
Your Committee are of opinion that the Legislative Assembly-, when placing these
lands in the hands of Trustees for the purpose of providing a Public Cemetery and for
other public purposes on behalf of the City of Victoria, did not contemplate
giving exclusive rights or control over any portion of these lands to the Clergy of any
religious denomination, but that it was the intention of the Assembly that a Cemetery
public in all its parts should be provided out of a portion of the trust fund then created,
and that the City of Victoria should receive a portion of the land.
That it was the evident intention of the Legislative Assembly that a Public Cemetery
should be provided.
That the Eoss Bay Cemetery is not a Public Cemetery, inasmuch as about nine-
tenths of it have already been allotted to different religious denominations.
That the powers given to the Trustees by a deed bearing date 7th June, 1872,
conflict with the resolution of the 8th April, 1872.
Your Committee therefore recommend that the different religious bodies to whom
the Trustees have allotted lands in the Eoss Bay Cemetery be offered the privilege of
purchasing the following allotments;— 724 Report of Select Committeex—Ogden Point Lands. 1876
Episcopal Church, Block A,   590 graves.
B, 1053      „
Eoman Catholic Church, Block C, 5l9 graves.
„ Block D, 183     „
Episcopal Eeformed Church, Block F, 707 graves.
Wesleyan Church, Block G,-816 graves.
Presbyterian Church, Block H, 1017 graves.
(Eeserving the right of way for a road through Block B.)—
Under the following conditions:—
That they pay the same rate per acre therefor, as an equal acreage can be purchased,
fenced, embellished, drained, and surveyed, adjoining the present Cemetery; the interest
paid by Trustees to be added to the purchase money, and the new portion to be made as
advantageous and to have every requisite as the portion sold.
That the Trustees shall ascertain, immediately after the adoption of this Eeport by
the Legislature, at what price they can have the refusal for 60 days of adjoining land
suitable for Cemetery purposes and any improvements that may be thereon, and that
the Secretary of the Board of Trustees immediately notify each Church as above that 30
days will be given to them to decide whether they will purchase their allotment under
the conditions contained herein or not.
That in the event of any Church failing to secure its allotment by the necessary
cash payment within the time specified, that the ground be thrown open at once to the
public by the Trustees, by notice in the British Columbia Gazette signed by the
Lieutenant-Governor, rescinding that portion of the British Columbia Gazette notice of
the 9th August, 1873, approved 29th July, 1873.
That no decision of a church to purchase shall be deemed binding or operative
unless acconrpanied by a cash payment to the Secretary of the Trustee Board, of the
actual amount necessary to purchase the fee of the adjoining property selected by the
That the balance of the money necessary for fencing, embellishing, draining, surveying, and making the new portion in every way as advantageous and having every
requisite of the portion sold acre per acre, as agreed to be purchased by the different
religious bodies, shall be paid as may be required by monthly instalments, and the
whole of the estimated cost shall be paid within six months after the decision to purchase the property.
That should any further sum be found necessary by the Trustees to properly embellish the said new portion.of the cemetery, that it shall be paid by each church in
proportion to the land purchased.
That no exclusive right of burial in any portion thereof shall be granted or a
transfer made to any church of any portion of the Eoss Bay Cemetery until the entire
purchase money therefor shall be paid.
That in the event of the Trustees or any person mentioned in the Eeport failing,
neglecting or refusing to carry into effect the conditions of this Eeport, that the entire
acreage of the Eoss Bay Cemetery be thrown open to the public, and that the clergymen of any religious denomination shall cease to exercise any control over any portion of it.
That the funds thus obtained be applied by the Trustees to the purchase and embellishing of adjoining land, which is to be preserved as a Public Cemetery in the true
meaning of the term.
That the " Cemetery Ordinance, 1870," be repealed.
That the Trust Deed, dated 7th June, 1872, and Deed of Confirmation, dated 28th
January, 1874, be cancelled by Statute.
That the Ogden Point lands unsold be divided, and that Medaca's Grove, 11J acres,
be transferred, unincumbered, to the City of Victoria for public purposes, and that the
Trustees retain the balance of the land for cemetery purposes.
That the Corporation of the City of Victoria have the right to bury paupers in
any portion of the cemetery, free of charge.
That a Bill be introduced and passed by the Legislative Assembly this Session
carrying into effect the views contained in this Eeport.
W. F. Tolmie,


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