When you walk through any of our Remembrance Parks you may notice at the base of numerous monuments the name J. B. Wilson.
John Bain Wilson was an outstanding local Monumental Mason. Born here c.1862 when the town was still named Sandhurst, he was the son of John Henry Wilson and Janet Bain. He was married twice: first to Mary Wilson Muir for which they had a daughter; and secondly to Jane Rutledge and had two sons and a daughter.
He apprenticed and then opened his first business in Footscray, later returning to Bendigo and purchasing an existing monumental mason’s business in Mitchell Street and renaming it J.B Wilson. J. B. Wilson specialised in many types of material including Italian Marble, red and grey granite from Scotland and purple pearl granite from Labrador, just to name a few. The firm also undertook general building and masonry work.
J. B. Wilson took his commitment to the local community seriously. He was President of the Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Bendigo Progress Association; trustee of Forest Street Methodist Church; and served in many official functions with the Loyal Heart of Friendship Lodge, M.U.
In December 1908, John Bain Wilson took ill at his house “Bona Vista,” Echuca Street, Quarry Hill. He passed away aged only 47 on Friday 31st December 1908. He was interred with his first wife Mary in Bendigo Cemetery, in Presbyterian Section F2, grave 1097, on 2nd January 1909.
J. B. Wilson’s two sons carried on with the monumental mason business for many years. The business was sold by the Wilson family just over 50 years ago. The firm is still in the hands of the original purchaser, on Carpenter Street, and the current owners sons will continue on with their business form many years to come.
J. B. Wilson will never be forgotten.