The Five; Wikipedia as the sources of names; Rupert Cropley, Benjamin Drummer, HB Carrington, JG Bannerman and LC Packer
Post date: Jan 22, 2016 5:42:37 AM
22 Jan 2016
Yesterday I found the page http://www.thefullwiki.org/The_Smith_Family which draws from Wikipedia.
This page claims five Freemasons (Rupert Cropley, Benjamin Drummer, HB Carrington, JG Bannerman and LC Packer) as the men who went to the orphanage on 24 Dec 1922 hence founding The Smith Family.
(Note, there is a March 2016 update here which notes all these men as Freemasons)
Going to the current source Wikipedia page of the above, the names and reference to Freemasonry has been removed. Examining the revision history of the article shows;
On 9 Oct 2009. an unregistered user with the Australian IP address (220.127.116.11) changes "five businessmen" to "five Freemasons" also adding their specific names. You can see that here. User 18.104.22.168 does not provide a source for this claim. The IP address is Australian and does not appear dynamic, but I am not going to chase the user.
This change made on 9 Oct 2009 was altered at 21:07 on 30 June 2010 by Hinem24, an unsubscribed user. The word "Freemasons" was replaced with "businessmen" . That user likewise does not provide sources.
Generally, the Wikipedia page is claimed to be plagiarized and not of a high standard, with few references.
Using the Wayback Machine to search the urls given as end-notes in the article about
I found no references to Freemasons but only "businessmen" as founders....
Putting the above issue aside, let's look at the names inserted into the Wikipedia article.
Quoting from the above
"Mr. Cropley is a son of Mr. R. B. Cropley, the well-known builder. He is 41 years of age, and is a native of Sydney. He has always been keenly interested in children. He has no children of his own, his son Jack having died when hewas but six and a half years of age. Early this year Mr. Cropley sold a prosperous boot and shoe business at Marrickville to take up the honorary superintendency of the school."
1922 'Masonic Orphan Schools Opened!.', The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser (NSW : 1886 - 1942), 17 November, p. 8, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126125762
The school referred to above and below is the William Thompson Masonic School at Baulkham Hills
1926 'N S. Wales Masonic Schools.', The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser (NSW : 1886 - 1942), 2 April, p. 7, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article125953493
R. S. Cropley (Superintendent of Masonic Schools) from
1931 'MRS. E. M. HALLORAN.', Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), 19 May, p. 2, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142773293
In this article we read of
" R.W. Bro. and Mrs. R. S. Cropley, who have for many years given their time and labor gratuitously to the superintendency of the Masonic Schools at Baulkham Hills." and how the school was founded in 1922. From
1933 'THE MASONIC SCHOOLS.', Glen Innes Examiner (NSW : 1908 - 1954), 11 November, p. 7, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article183556627
We have "R S Cropley" present in
1937 'LATE MR. WILLIAM THOMPSON.', Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), 22 October, p. 10, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86049299
Rupert Cropley (1881/2 ? - 1949) appears to have been a Freemason
There is a stain glass window in his honour. Source is here http://www.mof.org.au/articles/sydney-masonic-centre/56-stained-glass-school-window.html
The Grand Master said they were specially privileged, In as much as Bro R S Cropley, who, at the zenith of his business career, and when there was a great commercial future be- fore him, had relinquished it all in order that he and his wife might devote the future of their lives to the care of the orphans of New South Wales Mason
1922 'MASONIC SCHOOLS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 13 November, p. 10, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16027361
This 1922 article is of interest
There is a Master of Lodge Cosmopolitan # 67 in 1919
1919 'Advertising.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 January, p. 9, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15819112
There is a Freemason called J Bannerman here
1923 'MR. T. DONALD.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 7 September, p. 5, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16091731
He is pictured with Cropley in an article titled "THE MASONIC HOMES AT BAULKHAM HILLS" with the subtitle "INMATES ASSEMBLED FOR THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES ON SATURDAY."
and described as " Mr Benjamin Drummer (secretary of the Welfare Department). "
Interesting association and activity and date in the above. The Source is
1923 'THE MASONIC HOMES AT BAULKHAM HILLS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 17 December, p. 12, viewed 21 January, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1611267
There certainly was a Sydney Freemason "L Packer" around the critical date(s) in question, especially 1922, but nothing conclusive so far.
Conclusion for the Day
Cropley was certainly a Freemason, and a fairly high profile one. There is a direct link to Drummer and Cropley. There is a Freemason with the exact initials as supplied "H B Carrington" and hits for L Packer and and J Bannerman in relation to Freemasonry.
However, assuming the men claimed by the anonymous Wikipedia user with the IP address 22.214.171.124 to be Freemasons and Founders of the Smith Family (by virtue of visiting the orphanage on Christmas Eve 1922) ARE indeed Freemasons, there is nothing to substantiate the user 126.96.36.199's edit to Wikipedia.
Indeed, 188.8.131.52 could have pick the names and then simply used these Freemasons as the Christmas Eve visitors - a complete fabrication.
More circumstantial evidence from quite a weak source.
The search continues....
There is a March 2016 update on the above names here