While Tod was complaining about his lack of promotion, Work was more successful. He received his Chief Tradership in 1830 and by 1834 was in charge of trade along the Pacific Coast. In 1844, he was appointed to the Board of Management of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia Department.
Work later moved to Victoria where James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver Island, appointed him to the Legislative Council, which Tod was already a member of. John Work never retired from the Hudson's Bay Company, but continued as a member of the Board of Management for the Company's Western Department until his death. This in spite of his health: weak heart, and almost blind. Tod wrote, "It is pitiful to see him still clinging to service, as if he would drag it along with him to the next world" (Tod's letter to E. Ermatinger, 21 July 1861, Ermatinger Papers, BC Archives).
|B.C. Archives, d-09086|
Josette Lagace with children
In 1852, John Work bought 583 acres north of Fort Victoria and gradually acquired more property until by 1858, he was the largest individual landowner on Vancouver Island. He and his wife had a lovely, large house on their property. When he became sick with malaria again, Tod visited Work constantly to cheer him up, but his condition worsened. He asked Tod to write Edward Ermatinger, Tell him I shall never see him again in this world (Tod to Ermatinger, 20 Dec. 1861). Work died a few days later and was buried at the Quadra Street Cemetery on December 22, 1861. In the next few months, John Tod was a frequent visitor at the Work house to grieve with the family.
The Works seem to have been a close and well-liked family. Tod wrote to Ermatinger in 1868 after spending Christmas with them, It was a joyful sight to behold. Thirty-two of our late friend's descendants all seated at the same table... My heart warmed with a glow it has seldom felt, to see them all in the full bloom of health, and so happy (HBC Archives, copy 22). Josette lived another 30 years after her husband and was a respected woman in Victoria. When she died in 1896, she was remembered in a tribute at the Legislature for her usefulness in pioneer work and many good deeds (N de B. Lugrin, The Pioneer Women of Vancouver Island: 18431866, Victoria, 1928).
John Work was fondly remembered by his colleagues, as one wrote in his memoirs, The kindly disposition of the late
Mr. Work and his open hearted character obtained for him the warmest respect and love of not only his immediate associates in the service but also of many others who had the opportunity of appreciating these good
qualities (A. C. Anderson, The History of the Northwest Coast
18211836, Bancroft Collection, University of California, Berkeley).