Famous Australian Freemasons

Throughout history Freemasonry has attracted countless members. Though membership of Freemasonry is no guarantee of fame or success, it is notable that so many of its members have been leaders in their field. It must be noted that many, if not most, of these members became Freemasons after they achieved renown and so these lists are not offered as proof of Freemasonry’s benefits but rather that men of strength, intelligence, courage and great principle find Freemasonry aligns with their sense of honour and community.

Edmund Barton

Edmund Barton

First Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia,
Speaker of the legislative assembly.

Australian Lodge of Harmony No 556 (EC)

Sir Edmund Barton, GCMG, QC
(18 January 1849 – 7 January 1920)

Australian politician and judge, was the first Prime Minister of Australia and a founding justice of the High Court of Australia. Barton’s greatest contribution to Australian history was his management of the federation movement through the 1890s. Elected at the inaugural 1901 federal election, Barton resigned from the position of Prime Minister of Australia in 1903 and became a judge of Australia’s High Court.

Sir Donald Bradman

Australian Cricketer

Lodge Tarbolton, No 12

Sir Donald George Bradman, AC
(27 August 1908—25 February 2001)

Australian cricketer, acknowledged by many as the greatest batsman of all time. Later in his career he was an administrator and writer on the game. Bradman is one of Australia’s most popular sporting heroes and one of the most respected past players in other cricketing nations. His career Test batting average of 99.94 is by many measures the greatest statistical performance in any major sport.

Graham Kennedy

Graham Kennedy

Australian Television personality, AO

Lodge of St Kilda

Graham Cyril Kennedy, AO
(15 February 1934 – 25 May 2005)

Australian radio, television and film performer and “The King” of Australian television. Kennedy was a pioneer of Television in Australia, hosting the variety programme In Melbourne Tonight for thirteen years. He then went on to host the game show, Blankety Blanks, still one of the worlds highest rating game shows. He was King of Moomba, inducted into the Logie’s Television Awards Hal of fame in 1988 and is fondly remembered by many as “the King of Television”.

Sir Robert Menzies

Robert Menzies

12th Prime Minister of Australia, AO

Austral Temple Lodge No. 110

Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, KT, AK, CH, QC
(20 December 1894 – 15 May 1978)

The twelfth Prime Minister of Australia. His second term saw him become Australia’s longest continually serving Prime Minister, at sixteen years. He had a rapid rise to power as Prime Minister at the 1940 election. A year later, his government was brought down by MPs crossing the floor. He spent eight years in opposition, during which he founded the Liberal Party. He was re-elected Prime Minister at the 1949 elections and dominated Australian politics until his retirement in 1966. Menzies was renowned as a brilliant speaker, both on the floor of Parliament and on the hustings; his speech “The forgotten people” being an example of his oratory skills.

Sir William McMahon

William McMahon

20th Australian Prime Minster

Lodge University of Sydney, No 544

Sir William “Billy” McMahon, GCMG, CH
(23 February 1908 – 31 March 1988)

20th Prime Minister of Australia, had practised in Sydney with “Allen, Allen and Hemsley”, the oldest law firm in Australia. In 1940 he joined the Army, but because of a hearing loss he was confined to staff work. In 1951 Prime Minister Robert Menzies made him Minister for Air and Minister for the Navy. Over the next 15 years he held the portfolios of Social Services, Commerce and Agriculture and Labour and National Service. When Prime Minister John Gorton resigned during a leadership challenge in 1971, McMahon succeeded him as leader and Prime Minister. When he resigned from office he had been a minister continuously for 21 years and 6 months, a record in the Australian Parliament.

Sir Hubert Opperman

Hubert Opperman

World’s Fastest Bicyclist in 1930s; Government Minister;
High Commissioner to Malta.

Stonnington Lodge, No 368

Sir Hubert Ferdinand Opperman, OBE
(29 May 1904 – 24 April 1996)

Australian cyclist and politician, whose endurance cycling feats in the 1920s and 1930s earned him international acclaim. Hubert Opperman rode a bicycle from the age of eight, when he was a Post Office messenger, until his 90th birthday. After the war Opperman joined the Liberal Party of Australia and in 1949 was elected to the Parliament of Australia for the Victorian electorate of Corio. He served in parliament for 17 years. He became the Government Whip in 1955. Between December 1963 and December 1966 he was Minister for Immigration and oversaw a relaxation of conditions for the entry of people of mixed descent and a widening of eligibility criteria for entry by well-qualified people into Australia. After his retirement from politics in 1967 he was appointed as Australia’s first High Commissioner to Malta, where he remained for 5 years.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

Charles Kingsford Smith

Aviator who was first to cross the Pacific
from the US to Brisbane.

Lodge Gascoyne, No 62

Air Commodore Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith, MC, AFC
(February 9, 1897 – November 8, 1935)

A well-known early Australian aviator. In 1928, he made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia. He also made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward Pacific crossing from Australia to the United States. He also made a flight from Australia to London, and set up a new record of 10.5 days. The major airport of Sydney, located in the suburb of Mascot was named Kingsford Smith International Airport in his honour.

Famous and/or Notable Australian Freemasons

Household Names of Men who were not Primarily Politicians

“Smokey Dawson” Herbert Henry, MBE AM (1913 –2008)
Country Music Entertainer and Community Leader.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (1897-1935)
Aviator first to cross the Pacific from the US to Brisbane in about 1928.

“Chips Rafferty” John William Pilbeam Goffage (1909-1971)
Film Actor.

Graham Kennedy (1934-2005)
Entertainer and the “King of Television”.
Lodge of St Kilda, 1955.

Charles “Bud” Tingwell (1923-2009)
Actor and Spitfire Pilot.

Sir Donald Bradman, AC (1908-2001)
World Famous Australian Cricketer.

Sir Hubert Opperman (1904-1996)
World’s Fastest Bicyclist in 1930s.

Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820)
“Father of Australia”, Botanist.

John McDouall Stuart (1815-1866)
Stuart claimed he recognised a Masonic greeting when he encountered a party of traditional owners in Northern Australia.

Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824)
Governor of New South Wales (1810 to 1821).

Australian Prime Ministers

Sir Edmund Barton (1849-1920)
1st Australian Prime Minister (1901-1903)
Initiated into Australian Lodge of Harmony No 555 English Constitution on 13 March 1878.

Sir George Reid (1845-1918)
4th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Lodge Centennial No. 169, UGL of NSW on 16 Nov 1896.

Sir Joseph Cook (1860-1947)
6th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Lodge Independent No 8 UGLNSW 12 Feb 1892.

Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce (1883- 1967)
8th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Old Melbournians Lodge No 317 UGLV on 12 June 1925.

Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page (1880-1961)
11th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Lodge Prince Leopold No 87 UGLNSW on 4 Dec 1917.

Sir Robert Menzies (1894-1978)
12th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Austral Temple Lodge No. 110, UGLV on 10 March 1910.

Sir Arthur William Fadden (1894-1972)
13th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Caledonia Lodge No 737 Scottish Constitution in Queensland on 20 July 1915.

Sir John McEwen (1900-1980)
18th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Lauderdale Lodge No 361 UGLV on 28 July 1926.

Sir John Grey Gorton (1911-2002)
19th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated at Kerrange Lodge No 100 UGLV on 5 Feb 1948.

Sir William McMahon (1908-1988)
20th Prime Minister of Australia
Initiated into Lodge University of Sydney No 544 UGLNSW on 22 March 1974.

Australian State Premiers

Sir Alexander James Peacock, KCMG (1861-1933)
Premier and member of fourteen ministries. Grand Master (1900-05) of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria.

Sir George Turner, KCMG and a Privy Counselor (1851-1916)
Victoria’s first Australian-born Premier and Commonwealth Treasurer.

Sir Harry Lawson (1875-1952)
27th Premier of Victoria, Scotch Collegians Lodge.

Hon. Robert Stanley “Bob” Richards (1885-1967)
32nd Premier of South Australia.

Sir Newton James Moore, KCMG (1870-1936)
WA Premier, Soldier and Businessman.

Sir John William Evans (1855-1943)
Seaman, Businessman and Politician, Tasmanian Premier.

Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, KCMG (1845-1920)
Chief Justice and Premier of Queensland (twice), Grand Master.

George David Langridge (1829-1891)
Victorian politician and public figure. Victorian Premier. “His public meetings at Collingwood were gala occasions: he never lost the common touch, and artisans and labourers mourned his death in impressive numbers.”

Thomas Price (1852-1909)
Premier & Reformist.

Sir Henry Edward Bolte, GCMG (1908-1990)
38th and longest serving Premier of Victoria.
Initiated into Lodge Meredith No 163 UGLV on the 9th of October 1946 where he remained a member until 1976.

Archibald Henry Peake (1859-1920)
Premier of South Australia.

Sir Robert Philp, KCMG (1851-1922)
Businessman and Premier of Queensland.

Sir Thomas Playford (1896-1981)
Premier of South Australia.

John Greeley Jenkins (1851-1923)
22nd Premier of South Australia.

Sir John Alexander Cockburn, KCMG (1850-1929)
18th Premier of South Australia, Federationist and medical practitioner.
Initiation in 1876, he would go on to help establish the Grand Lodge of South Australia, and to serve in several high offices within it.

William Forgan-Smith (1887-1953)
Premier of Queensland.
Initiated into Prince Albert Lodge No 248 UGQLD.

William Alexander Watt (1871-1946)
Politician Premier of Victoria, Acting Prime Minister post WW1.
Initiated into North Melbourne Lodge, 2 Dec 1901.

Australian Governors

Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824)
Governor of NSW “Served as the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales (1810 to 1821) and played a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony”.
Initiated January 1793 at Bombay, India in Lodge No 1.

Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs (1855–1948)
Governor-General, Attorney-General, High Court Judge and politician. Elected to the first Federal Parliament of Australia.
Initiated Antrim No 349 Irish Const, member of Australia Felix, First Grand Register (1889-1890) of UGLV.

Sir Ernest Clark (1864-1951)
Governor of Tasmania, installed Grand Master of Tasmania in 1935.

Lord Huntingfield, William Charles Arcedeckne, KCMG (1883-1969)
Governor of Victoria (1931-1939). 14th Grand Master UGLV 1935-1939, Grand Master when Freemasons Hospital East Melbourne Opened.
Initiated United Lodge # 1629 EC.

Sir Robert William Duff (1835-1895)
Governor of NSW, Grand Master of NSW.

Air Vice-Marshal Sir Robert Allingham George, KBE (1896-1967)
Air Force Officer and Governor of South Australia.

Major-General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks, KCB CMG DSO KStJ KCVO KCMG (1896-1966)
Governor of Victoria, 19th Grand Master UGLV 1951-1963. Victoria’s longest-serving Governor and Masonic Grand Master “was possibly the most popular Governor in Victoria’s history”.
Initiated into Clarke Lodge # 98 on 6 February 1950 Dallas Brooks Hall 300 Albert St East Melb is named after him.

Sir John Northcott, KCMG, CB, MVO, K.St. J (1890-1966)
NSW State Governor & Grand Master.

Lord Somers, Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Herbert Tennyson Somers-Cocks, KCMG, DSO, MC (1887-1944)
Governor of Victoria, 12th Grand Master Victoria 1927-1932 Chief Scout of Victoria and succeeded Baden-Powell as Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth.
Initiated into Household Brigade Lodge.

George Edward John Mowbray Rous, 3rd Earl of Stradbroke CB CVO CBE KCMG ADC (1862-1947) KCMG CB CVO CBE VD TD (1862-1947)
Soldier & Governor of Victoria (1921-1926).
Initiated Lodge of Prudence # 388 10th Grand Master UGLV 1922-1929.

Sir Charles Malcolm Barclay-Harvey (1890-1969)
Landowner and Governor of South Australia, Grand Master SA 1941-1943.

SirNeil Elliott Lewis, KCMG (1858 –1935)
Lt Governor of Tasmania.

Lord Stonehaven (1874-1941)
Governor General 1925-1930, Grand Master UGLNSW.

Major General Jefferies, AC, CVO, MC (1937- )
Governor General of Western Australia (1993 –2002) and then Australia (2003–2008).
Initiated in St George’s Lodge No 6 on 23 November 1994.

Sir Samuel J Way (1836-1916)
South Australian Lt Governor, Grand Master South Australia.

Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey (1890-1969)
South Australian Governor Grand Master South Australia 1941-1943.

Air Vice Marshal Sir Robert George, KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB, MC (1896-1967)
Senior officer in the Royal Air Force and South Australian Governor Grand Master South Australia 1956-1958

Sir William Ellison-Macartney, KCMG (1852-1924)
Governor of Tasmania (1913-1917), Governor of Western Australia (1917-1920).
Initiated Apollo University Lodge # 357 EC on 6 June 1872.

Sir Eric James Neal, AC CVO FTSE HonFAIB (1924- )
South Australian Governor

Frederic John Napier Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GBE, PC (1868 – 1933)
British statesman served as Governor of Queensland (1905–1909), Governor of New South Wales (1909 -1913). Viceroy of India.  Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of NSW 1910-1913. Initiated on 1 June 1898 in Lodge of Amity # 137 EC.

Sir Gerard Smith, KCMG (1839-1920)
Governor of Western Australia (1895-1900).
Initiated on 4 May 1880 in the United Studholme Alliance Lodge # 1591 EC.

Lord Kintore, Algernon Hawkins Thogond Keith-Falconer (1852-1930)
Governor of South Australia and Grand Master South Australia 1889-1895.

Lord Carrington (1843-1928)
Governor of NSW and Grand Master NSW.
Initiated 28 October 1861 in Sir Isaac Newton Lodge # 859 EC.

Sir Thomas John Mellis Napier, KCMG KStJ QC (1882-1976)
Judge, Lt Governor, Grand Master of South Australia 1928-1930.

Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson (1843-1910)
Admiral and Governor of NSW (1902-1909) “He promoted ‘the ultimate formation of a separate navy’ for Australia” Grand Master of United Grand Lodge of New South Wales (1905-09).
Initiated in Royal Sussex Lodge # 501 EC in November.

Lord Brassey. Thomas Brassey, KCB (1836-1918)
First Governor of Victoria to be elected Grand Master (1896-1900) help found Volunteer Naval Reserves.
Initiated Oxford University Lodge 1850. In Melbourne he joined the Clarke Lodge # 98.

Sir John Goodwin, KCB, CMG, DSO (1871-1960)
Queensland Governor and Queensland Grand Master.

Lord Gowrie, Sir Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, VC DSO with bar (1872-1955)
Victoria Cross Winner, and Australia’s longest serving Governor-General. Grand Master of NSW Initiated into Freemasonry at Lodge St Andrews Military Lodge No 668 on 15 March 1893.

Sir Leslie Wilson, DSO GCIE GCSI (1876-1955)
Governor (1932-1946) and Grand Master of Queensland (1934-1946). Governor of Bombay (1923-28).
Initiated in Lodge Ionic # 65 NSWC on 17 January 1904.

Sir Victor Albert George Child-Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey GCB, GCMG, PC, DL, JP (1845-1915)
Governor of NSW, Grand Master UGLNSW (installed 1891)
Initiated into Apollo University Lodge # 357 EC, on 25 October 1865 affiliated with Lodge Ionic # 65 NSWC.

Lord Carmichael, Thomas Gibson Carmichael, GCSI KCMG (1859-1926)
Governor Victoria (1908-?) Governor of Madras, India, Governor of Bengal. Grand Master UGLV 1909-1912.
Initiated 1895 in Lodge Dramatic and Arts # 757 SC.

Australian Entertainers

Herbert Henry “Smokey Dawson”, MBE AM (1913 –2008)
Country Music Entertainer and Community Leader

Graham Kennedy (1934-2005)
Entertainer and “King of Television”.
Initiated into Lodge of St Kilda, 1955.

“Chips Rafferty” John William Pilbeam Goffage (1909-1971)
Film Actor.
Initiated into Lodge Literature No 500 UGLNSW in 1957.

Charles “Bud” Tingwell (1923-2009)
Actor and Spitfire Pilot.
Initiated into Lodge Carinya No 785 on 27 Jan 1950.

Ken G Hall (1901-1994)
Australian film producer and was the first Australian to win an Oscar.
Initiated into Freemasonry at Lodge Anima No 421 on 12 Dec 1922.

Henry William Mobsby (1860-1933)
Artist, photographer and motion picture pioneer.
Initiated into Lodge Indooroopilly No.155, United Grand Lodge of Queensland.

George Seth Coppin (1819-1906)
Politician, Comic Actor and Entrepreneur. An energetic Freemason he became the first Grand Master of Victoria (Grand Lodge Victoria later dissolved when United Grand Lodge Victoria was formed, Coppin presided over the first (and last (1889) meeting of the GL). Coppin has been credited with both fathering the Australian theatre.
Initiated into St Johns Lodge No 346 IC.

“Roy Rene Mo” (born Harry Van Der Sluys) (1892-1954)
Better known as ‘Mo’ the clown.
Initiated into Thespian No. 256, NSW Australia.

Nathan Phillips
Better known as “Stiffy” the clown.

Australian Sportsmen

Sir Donald Bradman, AC (1908-2001)
World famous Australian Cricketer.
Initiated Lodge Tarbolton No 12 UGLNSW 26 Nov 1929.

Bert Oldfield (1894-1976)
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1927.
Initiated Lodge Arcadia No 177 UGLNSW on 11 June 1920

Sir Hubert Opperman (1904-1996)
World’s Fastest Bicyclist in 1930s; Government Minister; High Commissioner to Malta.
Initiated into Stonnington Lodge No 368 UGLV on 23 Dec 1925.

John Treloar (1928-2012)
One of the fastest sprinters in the world.
Initiated into Lodge Frank McDowell No 362 on 4 March 1948.

Vic Patrick (1920-2006)
“The best Australian Boxer never to have won a world title”.
Initiated into Lodge Fellowship No 623 on 28 Jan 1942.

Edward (Eddie) Charlton, AM (1929-2004)
Professional Snooker and Billiards Champion.
Initiated into Lodge Swansea No 755 UGL of NSW&ACT 14 July 1961.

Henry Messenger (1883-1959)
Rugby Player.
Initiated into Lodge Thespian No 265 in 1915.

William John Truscott (1886-1966)

Deverick John (Mick) Cronin (1911-1979)
Australian Rules footballer and commentator.

William Hender Hellings
Swimmer one of the founders of the NSW Swimming Association.

John Hill
Member of Victorian Boxing Hall of Fame, 50 Year Jewel holder.

Edgar Laurence “Dunc” Gray (1906-1996)
Olympic Cyclist.

Walter Albert Lindrum, MBE (1898 – 1960)
Professional Billiards player.
Initiated into Crimea Lodge No 432 8 Oct 1934.

Military Men – Victoria Cross Winners

Lt William Dunstan, VC (1895-1957)
Victoria Cross Winner.

John Hutton Bisbee, VC (1869-1930)
First Australian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross (in Boer War, South Africa).
Initiated Lodge Bulwer No 1068 England on 6 Jan 1917.

Lt Neville R Howse, VC (1863-1930)
Australia’s first Victoria Cross Winner and only medical member of the Australian Forces to be awarded the VC.
Initiated Lodge Ophir on 29 Aug 1901.

Captain Albert Jacka, VC, MC & Bar (1893-1932)
Australia’s First WW1 VC.

John Hurst Edmondson (1914-1941)
Victoria Cross Winner, First Australian VC of WW2.
Initiated into Lodge Liverpool No 197 on 3 April 1935.

Arthur Blackburn, VC (1892-1960)
Victoria Cross Winner.
Initiated Peter’s Collegiate Lodge No 58 South Australia on 9 Dec 1918.

Walter (Walley) Brown, VC (1885-1942)
Victoria Cross Winner.
Initiated Lodge Godeldrie No 558 on 7 April 1931.

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