Fonds - J.J. Johnston fonds

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J.J. Johnston fonds

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  • 1859-1972 (Creation)
    Johnston, John Joseph

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Physical description

1.2 m of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

J.J. (John Joseph) Johnston was born in 1870 in New Westminster, British Columbia. He lived in New Westminster his whole life, first in his parents house at 623 Agnes Street, then with his wife Lottie at 125 Third Street for 46 years. J.J. Johnstons parents were William J. Johnston and Elizabeth Johnston (nee Burr). He had four brothers - Mr. William B. Johnston, Mr. George B. Johnston, Mr. Edwin H. Johnston, and Alfred H. Johnston, and three sisters Mrs. W. S. Collister, Mrs. W. Love, and Mrs. H. A. Bourne. He married Charlotte Lottie Lake on September 1906 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and they had two children together, J. Gordon Johnston, and Mona Johnston. J.J. Johnston worked at a number of places in New Westminster such as the British Columbian newspaper, T.R. Pearsons Stationary Store, the Land Registry Office and Provincial Assay Office and F.J. Hart Insurance and Real Estate Co. Upon the death of his father, William Johnston, J.J. Johnston and his brothers formed a partnership to run Johnstons Shoe Store together, and in 1906 he opened his own company, J.J. Johnston Insurance and Real Estate, in the Westminster Trust building on Columbia Street. Along with his business interests, J.J. Johnston was also involved in civic affairs. He was elected to City Council in 1907 and served as an Alderman for 13 years before becoming Mayor of New Westminster. He was elected in 1920, and served as Mayor for three terms. J.J. Johnston was also a prominent figure in the City of New Westminster and had many community affiliations. Most notably, he was known as Mr. May Day having attended the first May Day held in 1870 as a babe in arms and every May Day thereafter until his death in 1966. He was also Master of Ceremonies for the May Day events for almost 50 years. He was also a member of many community clubs including the Masons, the Independent Order of Oddfellows, the Kiwanis Club, the Good Roads Association, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Gyros and the Native Sons of New Westminster. He was the recipient of a Man of the Year award (1953), two Citizen of the Year awards (1947&1950) and was also named a Freeman of the City in 1955. J.J. Johnston died on May 1, 1966, pre-deceased by his wife Lottie (d. 1951) and son Gordon (d.1956), with his daughter Mona his sole survivor.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The J.J. Johnston fonds consists of records relating to both J.J. Johnstons business and personal activities. The records have been arranged according to the activity by which they were produced. However, in order to maintain the natural record groupings designated by the creator, there are some overlaps of record types across series. For example, there may be insurance papers attached to a deed of land or receipts attached to correspondence.

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BCAUL control number: NWM-3766

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