Famous Australian Freemasons – Brother Sir "Reg" Ansett KBE
From W Bro D Hudson (with help from Bro Ange Kenos of the Victorian Grand Lodge Library)
A titian of Australian business, Sir Reginald Myles "Reg" Ansett KBE (13 Feb 1909 – 23 Dec 1981) was a famous Australian businessman and aviator. Sir Reg occasionally appears in lists of Famous Australian Freemasons, however he has never met the test to appear in mine, nor was he in Kent Henderson’s recent book “300 Famous Australian Freemasons”. However Bro Ange Kenos recently supplied a reliable source for Reg Ansett’s Masonic membership from the Victorian Craftsman of 1 Dec 1938 (page 352, produced below).
Wikipedia describes Reg Ansett thus “He was best known for founding Ansett Transport Industries Limited, which owned one of Australia's two leading domestic airlines between 1957 and 2001. He also established a number of other business enterprises including Ansett Pioneer coach-lines, Ansett Freight Express, Ansair coachbuilders, Gateway Hotels, Diner's Club Australia, Biro Bic Australia and the ATV-0 television station in Melbourne and TVQ-0 in Brisbane which later became part of Network Ten. ATI also bought out Avis Rent-a-Car and had a 50% interest in Associated Securities Limited (ASL). In late 1979, mainly due to the collapse of ASL, Ansett lost control of the company to Peter Abeles of TNT and Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation who became joint managing directors….. He was an enthusiastic private pilot, having obtained his licence in 1926 (No. 419).” It was on this pilot’s license that Ansett built a famous airline and other national companies in the post WW2 period.
Sir Reginald "Reg" Myles Ansett is a very significant man in the history of Australian business, a name familiar to anyone over the age of forty… now we can also reliably state that he was a Freemason.
The Victorian Craftsman, 1 Dec 1938.
Bro R. M. Ansett, who controls the noted Ansett Airways, has had a distinguished career, and some months ago his acuities were widely and favourably comment upon in a splendid article in the "Argus". He is the son of W. Bro. Chas J Ansett*, P.G.Std.Br., who gave signal service to the Craft some years ago as an active Grand Officer, in which he visited many country districts. He has more recently been known as a most diligent Grand Officer in the Mark degree. Owing to the strenuous task of so many years o active service he has been obliged to take a rest. He was Master r in the Craft in 1911, and later joined the Balwyn Lodge, No. 275. He served as Treasurer for 30 years. In the year 1927 he was unanimously elected as Grand Steward under the late M.W. Bro W.P Brice, as G.M., and the rank of P.G.Std.Br. was later conferred upon him by M.W. Bro W. Warren Kerr as G.M. He gave five years continuous serve in the Grand Mark, and is now a P.S.G.O. With the formation of Belgrave Mark Lodge, No. 108, he lent valuable assistance. He is one of the Principals of Camberwell R.A. Chapter, and J. in the recently-formed Camberwell R.A. Mariners. We trust that a Masonic with such a fine record will soon be restored to his usual health and be with us or many years to come.
*Sir R.M. (Reginald Myles) Ansett’s father was Chas J (Charles John) Ansett. Thanks to Bro Ange Kenos for supplying the article !