OUR FIRST GRAND MASTER

THE RIGHT HON. SIR SAMUEL WAY, BART., P.C., D.C.L., LL.

I BRING YOU A SHORT ADDRESS WITH THE APPROVAL* OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES.*Granted to Crystal Brook Craft Lodge No 70 South Australia several decades ago.

SAMUEL JAMES WAY WAS BORN IN DEVONSHIRE ON 11TH APRIL

1836. HIS FATHER WAS THE REV JAMES WAY, A BIBLE CHRISTIAN

MINISTER. THE BIBLE CHRISTIANS - A SMALL METHODIST

DENOMINATION - HAD ESTABLISHED A SCHOOL KNOWN AS

SHEBBEAR COLLEGE IN NORTH DEVON TO PROVIDE PRIMARY

EDUCATION FOR BOYS INTENDED FOR THE BIBLE CHRISTIAN

MINISTRY AND WAY ATTENDED THIS SCHOOL FOR TWO YEARS. IN

LATER YEARS WAY TOOK A GREAT INTEREST IN THIS SCHOOL AND

DURING A VISIT TO ENGLAND IN 1891, HE PRESENTED THE PRIZES

AT ITS ANNUAL SPEECH DAY AND CONCLUDED HIS SPEECH AT THE

PRIZE GIVING BY PRESENTING TO THE SCHOOL THE TITLE DEEDS

OF THE LAND ON WHICH THE SCHOOL WAS BUILT. SHIMBEAR

COLLEGE IS STILL CARRYING ON AND IS ONE OF THE RECOGNIZED

METHODIST BOARDING SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND.

 

IN 1850 THE REV JAMES WAY, HIS WIFE AND FOUR YOUNGER

CHILDREN EMIGRATED TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA, LEAVING BEHIND

SAMUEL WAY, THEN 14, TO CONTINUE HIS EDUCATION. IN 1853

SAMUEL FOLLOWED HIS FAMILY TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA. ON

ARRIVAL, HE HAD TO LOOK ROUND FOR A JOB AND MADE

APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AS A CLERK IN A BANK, THE

POST OFFICE AND A MINING COMPANY - ALL OF WHICH WERE

REFUSED. EVENTUALLY HE OBTAINED EMPLOYMENT AS A JUNIOR

CLERK IN A SOLICITORS' OFFICE. LATER HE ENTERED INTO

ARTICLES WITH ANOTHER SOLICITOR AND AFTER SERVING IN THE

ARTICLES FOR FIVE YEARS HE WAS ADMITTED AS A BARRISTER,

SOLICITOR ATTORNEY AND PROCTOR ON 25TH MARCH, 1861. FROM

THEN ON HIS RISE IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION WAS METEORIC. AT

THE TIME OF HIS ADMISSION THERE WERE ONLY ABOUT 30 LEGAL

PRACTITIONERS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

 

IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS HE BECAME A LEADER OF THE

PROFESSION AND WAS APPOINTED A Q.C. IN 1875 WAY WAS

ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT BUT THE PREMIER (BLYTH) WHOM HE

SUPPORTED WAS DEFEATED AND IN THE NEW GOVERNMENT WAS

APPOINTED ATTORNEY-GENERAL ON 3RD JUNE 1875. IN THE

FOLLOWING MARCH CHIEF JUSTICE SIR RICHARD HANSON DIED.

JUDGES ARE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR ON THE

ADVICE OF EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, AND IT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE

ATTORNEY-GENERAL TO RECOMMEND A NAME TO CABINET.

THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT WAY RECOMMENDED

HIMSELF. HE WAS DULY APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE A FEW WEEKS

BEFORE HIS 40TH BIRTHDAY. EACH OF HIS TWO COLLEAGUES ON

THE SUPREME COURT BENCH, MR. JUSTICE GWYNNE AND MR.

JUSTICE STOW CONSIDERED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN

APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE AHEAD OF WAY AND IT IS SAID THAT

NEITHER OF THEM WOULD SPEAK TO HIM IN PRIVATE AFTER HE

TOOK UP HIS DUTIES IN THE SUPREME COURT. HOWEVER, HE

PROVED A GREAT JUDGE AND GAVE OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO

SOUTH AUSTRALIA DURING ALMOSt 40 YEARS AS CHIEF JUSTICE.

 

SAMUEL WAY'S RISE IN FREEMASONRY WAS EQUALLY

SPECTACULAR. IN 1883 THERE WERE 33 LODGES IN SOUTH

AUSTRALIA. 20 WERE WORKING UNDER THE ENGLISH

CONSTITUTION, 7 UNDER THE IRISH AND 6 UNDER THE SCOTTISH.

IN JULY 1883 A COMMITTEE HAD BEEN SET UP UNDER THE

CHAIRMANSHIP OF R.W. BRO. H. M. ADDISON TO CONSIDER THE

FORMATION OF A GRAND LODGE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA. THE

COMMITTEE WORKED SWIFTLY AND EFFICIENTLY AND BY THE

END OF 1883, OUT OF 2043 CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS OF THE

CRAFT, 1625 HAD GIVEN THEIR WRITTEN CONSENT TO JOIN THE

PROPOSED UNION, AND ONLY 43 HAD VOTED AGAINST. THE DUKE

OF LEINSTER LODGE, I.C., DECIDED TO STAY OUT BUT ONLY ON THE

CASTING VOTE OF ITS WORSHIPFUL MASTER. ONE OF THEIR

LODGES VOTED TO ABSTAIN FROM JOINING THE PROPOSED

GRAND LODGE UNTIL IT WAS RECOGNIZED BY THE GRAND LODGE

OF ENGLAND. WAY AT THIS TIME WAS A MEMBER OF LODGE OF

HARMONY BUT HIS HIGHEST RANK IN THAT LODGE WAS INNER

GUARD. HE TOOK NO PART IN THE PROCEEDINGS WHICH

RESULTED IN THE FORMATION OF THE GRAND LODGE OF SOUTH

AUSTRALIA.

 

HOWEVER, HE WAS AN OUTSTANDING CITIZEN AND WAS DULY

ELECTED AS GRAND MASTER. ON 16TH APRIL 1884, A CONVENTION

OF DELEGATES ASSEMBLED AT THE MASONIC HALL, FLINDERS

STREET, AND PASSED A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE GRAND

LODGE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA WHICH WAS OPENED AND

CONFERRED THE PAST MASTER'S DEGREE ON WAY, THE GRAND

MASTER-ELECT. ON THE FOLLOWING DAY AT THE TOWN HALL, IN

THE PRESENCE OF ABOUT 1000 FREEMASONS HE AND HIS GRAND

LODGE OFFICERS WERE DULY INSTALLED. AT THE BANQUET HELD

AT THE TOWN HALL, AND ON THE SAME EVENING, 450 BRETHREN

ATTENDED (AND THERE WAS NO LESS THAN 22 SPEECHES).

 

THOUGH WAY HAD PLAYED LITTLE PART IN MASONIC AFFAIRS

PRIOR TO HIS BECOMING GRAND MASTER, THEREAFTER HE

PROVED HIMSELF A VERY ABLE AND ENTHUSIASTIC LEADER OF

THE CRAFT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. IT WAS LARGELY THROUGH HIS

ADVOCACY THAT THE NEW GRAND LODGE WAS RECOGNIZED BY

THE GRAND LODGES OF ENGLAND, IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. HE

PLAYED A CONSIDERABLE PART IN THE FORMATION OF THE

UNITED GRAND LODGE OF NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE GRAND

LODGES OF VICTORIA AND TASMANIA. HE WAS THE INSTALLING

GRAND MASTER WHEN LORD CARRINGTON, GOVERNOR OF NEW

SOUTH WALES, WAS INSTALLED AS GRAND MASTER OF THE

UNITED GRAND LODGE OF NEW SOUTH WALES. HE ALSO ASSISTED

AT THE INSTALLATIONS OF THE FIRST GRAND MASTERS OF

VICTORIA AND TASMANIA. IT WAS ON HIS PETITION THAT HRH

THE PRINCE OF WALES, GRAND MASTER OF THE GRAND LODGE OF

ENGLAND, CONSENTED TO BECOME PATRON OF THE GRAND

LODGE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA. WAY WAS GRAND MASTER OF OUR

GRAND LODGE FROM 1884 TO 1889, AND (AGAIN) FROM 1895 UNTIL

HIS DEATH IN 1916. IN 1889 HE INSTALLED AS HIS SUCCESSOR THE

RT. HON. THE EARL OF KINTORE, P.C., G.C.M.G., THE GOVERNOR OF

SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND HE HIMSELF WAS INSTALLED AS PRO

GRAND MASTER DURING THE FIVE YEARS OF THE EARL'S REIGN AS

GRAND MASTER. WHEN IN ENGLAND IN 1897 HE ASSISTED H.R.H.

THE DUKE OF CLARENCE TO INSTAL LORD CARRINGTON AS

PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. IN 1891 WAY

WAS APPOINTED LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

 

IN 1897 WAY WAS APPOINTED TO THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF

THE PRIVY COUNCIL. IN THE SAME YEAR HE PRESENTED A JUBILEE

ADDRESS TO H.M. QUEEN VICTORIA FROM THE GRAND LODGES OF

SOUTH AUSTRALIA, NEW SOUTH WALES, VICTORIA AND NEW

ZEALAND AT A GREAT MEETING OF 7000 MASONS HELD AT THE

ALBERT HALL; THE GRAND MASTER, H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF

WALES, WHO PRESIDED AT THIS MEETING, CONFERRED ON WAY

THE RANK OF PAST GRAND WARDEN OF THE GRAND LODGE OF

ENGLAND. SAMUEL JAMES WAY WAS MADE A BARONET IN 1899.

 

WAY HAD MANY INTERESTS OUTSIDE THE LAW AND

FREEMASONRY. HE WAS VICE-CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY,

ELECTED IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THAT INSTITUTION, AND SEVEN

YEARS LATER WAS APPOINTED CHANCELLOR, AN OFFICE WHICH

HE HELD UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1916. HE WAS SUCCEEDED AS CHIEF

JUSTICE BY SIR GEORGE MURRAY WHO HAD BEEN ONE OF HIS

EARLY ASSOCIATES. GEORGE C. LIGERTWOOD, AFTERWARDS SIR

GEORGE LIGERTWOOD, A JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT, AND AN

OUTSTANDING GRAND MASTER OF THE GRAND LODGE OF SOUTH

AUSTRALIA, WAS HIS LAST ASSOCIATE.

 

THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE WAY WAS A DEVOUT METHODIST AND

HE GAVE GREAT SERVICE TO THE CAUSE OF METHODIST UNION,

WHICH OBJECTIVE WAS ATTAINED IN 1902. HE HELPED FOUND THE

ADELAIDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AND WAS PRESIDENT OF THAT

INSTITUTION FROM ITS START UNTIL 1915. TOWARDS THE END OF

HIS LIFE HE WAS CRITICIZED FOR CLINGING TOO LONG TO SOME

OF HIS IMPORTANT POSITIONS, BUT SIR SAMUEL NEVER LOST HIS

INTEREST IN FREEMASONRY AND ON 12TH DECEMBER 1915, WHEN

HARDLY ABLE TO WALK, HE DEDICATED A NEW MASONIC TEMPLE.

THEN ON 8TH JANUARY 1916, LESS THAN A MONTH AFTER THE

DEDICATION, WAY DIED AT HIS HOME AT MONTEFIORE. HIS LAST

YEARS WERE SAD ONES, AS FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF LADY WAY

IN MAY, 1914 IT WAS FOUND THAT HE WAS SUFFERING FROM

SARCOMA WHICH NECESSITATED THE AMPUTATION OF AN ARM.

HE RETURNED TO HIS COURT WORK AFTER THE OPERATION AND

MADE A COURAGEOUS ATTEMPT TO CARRY ON SOME OF HIS

OTHER DUTIES, BUT THE CANCER WAS NOT CURED AND THIS

GREAT SOUTH AUSTRALIAN DIED IN JANUARY 1916. AFTER NEARLY

FORTY YEARS AS CHIEF JUSTICE.

 

IN A FINAL TRIBUTE , SIR GEORGE MURRAY SPEAKING AS

VICE-CHANCELIOR OF THE UNIVERSITY SAID - "HE WAS A GREAT

LAWYER AND A GREAT JUDGE AND ONE OF THE KINDEST AND

TRUEST OF FRIENDS. IF I WERE TO DESCRIBE FROM MY

INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM THE QUALITY WHICH STRUCK ME

MOST I SHOULD SAY THAT HE WAS EVER AND ALW&YS A

FAITHFUL AND EARNEST SERVANT OF THE PUBLIC. HIS CAREER IS

ENDED. WE SHALL NOT SEE HIM HERE AGAIN. BUT HE HAS LEFT US

A NOBLE AND INSPIRING EXAMPLE, THE INFLUENCE OF WHICH

WILL LONG ENDURE."

---------------------------

SUGGESTIONS TO THE READER.

 

1. Read the address through a number of times beforehand until you are thoroughly familiar with it and are sure that you understand the meaning of each part and each word.

2. Be sure to bring out the proper emphasis for each point.

3. Take your time. It is futile to race through the address as if you were running against time. If the lecture is read quickly it will lose its effect.

4. Be sure to read the address clearly and in such a way that it can be heard distinctly in each part of the Lodge room. Be careful however to be your natural self.

5. Give some thought as to where in the Lodge room is the best place for you to stand. Normally it is better to choose a Position from which all or at least a large majority of the brethren present are in front of you.

--------------

NB

It has been our custom at Crystal Brook Lodge to "Call Off" the lodge for the address when given by one of the members. Grand Lodge in South Australia wishes to maintain a high standard of lecturing and lectures should only be given in open lodge by a member who has attended one of the training courses for lecturers. This is the first of a series of lectures which will appear on these pages. In the past often three of these lectures are given by three different members as the working for the evening, always calling off before the lectures.

Br Allen E Gale SW July 7 1999

Click here to send me an email post

FREEMASONRY a powerful force for good