GLADSTONE MARK LODGE, No. 34, S.A.C.

On the 28th. July, 1926, a Warrant for the Gladstone Mark Lodge, No. 34, S.A.C. was granted. It had been petitioned by ten members of Victoria Mark Lodge, No.20, S.A.C., and one Member of Port Adelaide Mark Lodge, No. 5, S.A.C. All were residents of the surrounding districts.

Brethren of the Victoria Mark Lodge opened the Occasional Lodge on the 27th. August, 1926. Subsequently, the Deputy Grand Master, V.W.Bro. W.H. Ide Consecrated the new Lodge and installed W.Bro. C. Budge as the Foundation Worshipful Master. W.Bro. Budge then obligated Bro. J.A. Flavel as Senior Warden and Bro. W.L. Evans as Junior Warden and the other Officers of the Lodge.

Four Brethren were Advanced at the first Regular Meeting. Amongst the first to be Advanced was Bro. J.J. Gale whose son became a member and whose grandson was still a member* when the Lodge finally surrendered its Warrant.

In the first year of operation there were so many candidates that two Emergency Meetings were held with four candidates being Advanced at each Regular and Emergency Meeting. This pressure only slightly abated during the second year!

In the first two years twenty eight candidates were Advanced and ten Joining Members admitted in nine working Meetings.

During the early years there was a steady flow of Joining Members and Advancements which balanced the clearances with some new members staying for only a few years but others for much longer. Most notable amongst these was W.Bro. S.W. Thomson who received his Sixty Five Year Bar in November, 1997.

Despite the foregoing, on the 18th. May, 1989, a meeting was held to discus the future of the Lodge, however, no decision was made until the future of Gladstone Craft Lodge, which was also in a precarious position, was decided. Shortly after the Craft Lodge closed and the Mark Lodge moved its meetings to Crystal Brook.

Worshipful Brother S.G. Napier was installed as Worshipful Master at the first Installation held at Crystal Brook on 9th. November, 1989. The Installing Master was R.W.Bro. David Crawford, A.G.D.C.

In 1991 a congratulatory letter was sent to the Lodge in Vienna, Austria, celebrating the bi-centenary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A booklet of details of the Mozart Museum was received in return. This booklet was donated to the Library of the Performing Arts at Adelaide University.

Despite the influx of four new members at Crystal Brook, attendances continued to decline, the last Advancement being held on 19th. May, 1994. Accordingly, on 20th. August, 1998, the decision was made to surrender the Warrant at the final meeting on 26th. November, 1998. The decision to relocate to Crystal Brook had enabled the Lodge to continue for a further nine years.

This brief history cannot possibly do justice to the diverse charitable activities of this Lodge through Freemasonry in general and within the district in particular. Nor can it begin to pay tribute to those 227 Mark Master Masons of this Lodge who have laboured to leave their Mark for the benefit of mankind. This history cannot do justice to the varied, collective and individual support given by the Grand Masters and Officers of Grand Lodge. Nor should we forget those Mark Men dispersed far and wide who continued to support our Lodge financially although unable to attend, nor fail to think of those who have served as Mark Men and passed on from this mortal life.

*And was the WM at the time of surrender of the Warrant.

S.M.I.B.