Freemasonry's Grand Masters in the State of Victoria

A list of Grand Masters, United Grand Lodge of Victoria (UGLV), Australia

The leader of a Grand Lodge is called a "Grand Master". 

A Master or Worshipful Master (Worshipful being a title of respect, also applied to Mayors) leads a single Lodge and is elected by the Lodge. These Lodges ( a collective noun for a group of Freemasons) operate under a peak body called a Grand Lodge. 

While there are over hundreds of Worshipful Masters in Victoria at any given time, there is only one Grand Master.

Prior to the establishment of Victoria's first Masonic Grand Lodge in 1883, Freemasons working in the Victorian Colony, were lead by "District" and "Provincial" Grand Masters appointed by, and representing, the Grand Lodges of Scotland, Ireland and England. District and Provincial Grand Masters were answerable to a Grand Master of the Grand Lodge who appointed then.

The Grand Lodge of Victoria was founded in 1883 by George Selth Coppin, a well known Freemason and theater entrepreneur, but the Grand Lodge mainly consisted of Freemasons Lodges from the Irish Constitution. Coppin St in Richmond is named in his honour. 

Grand Lodge Victoria was superseded by the United Grand Lodge of Victoria when, in 1889, the Irish, Scottish, English and Victorian Lodges all joined under United Grand Lodge of Victoria. This was led by the very famous Sir William Clarke, who was Victoria's wealthiest man and a well known business man and philanthropist. The United Grand Lodge Victoria (UGLV) exists today and is a vibrant and strong Masonic Grand Lodge. It is generally now known to the public as Freemasons Victoria. This article might interest you.

Below is a list of the Grand Masters of both Regular Masonic Grand Lodges which were created and existed in Victoria.In the list below "Pro Grand Master" (Pro GM) does not refer to "Provincial" but probably "Pro Tempore" meaning a man who acted when the sitting Grand Master could not. These are always recorded as "Pro Grand Masters" and typically are appointed in all Jurisdictions when you have a Monarch, Governor or Governor General, or other busy public official as Grand Master. The best example of this is the five Pro GMs who served when General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks, who was the 19th Governor of Victoria (1949-63) and our longest serving who held the office of Governor of Victoria for over 13 years. He was Grand Master of United Grand Lodge Victoria 1951-1963. An image of Sir Dallas Brooks in regalia, courtesy of UGLV, appears to the right.

List of all Grand Masters of Freemasonry in Victoria Australia

Grand Lodge Victoria, (GLV)  established in 1883.

A, 1883-86, George Selth Coppin , Grand Master, Years; 3

B, 1886-88, James Brother Patterson, Grand Master, Years; 2

C, 1888-89, David Munro, Grand Master, Years; 1


United Grand Lodge Victoria (UGLV) established in 1889.

1, 1889-96, Sir William J Clarke, 1st Baronet, Grand Master, Years; 7

2, 1896-00, Thomas Brassey, Lord Brassey, Grand Master, Years; 4

3, 1900-05, Sir Alexander James Peacock KCMG , Grand Master, Years; 5

4, 1905-07, Dr Walter Balls-Headley, Grand Master, Years; 2

5, 1907-09, George Edwin Emery CMG, Grand Master, Years; 2

6, 1909-12, Lord Carmichael, Thomas Gibson Carmichael (GM Scotland, 1907-9), Grand Master, Years; 3

7, 1912-14, Chap-General Rev Albert Thomas Holden, Grand Master, Years; 2

8, 1914-18, Charles Carty Salmon, Grand Master, Years; 4

9, 1918-22, Frederick Thomas Hickford, Grand Master, Years; 8

10, 1922-26, George Edward John Mowbray Rous, 3rd Earl of Stradbroke, Grand Master, Years; 4

10 Pro GM, 1922-26, Frederick Thomas Hickford, Pro Grand Master, Years; 4

11, 1926-27, William Player Bice, Grand Master, Years; 1

12, 1927-32, Lord Somers, Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Herbert Tennyson Somers-Cocks, Grand Master, Years; 5

12 Pro GM, 1927-32, William Player Bice, Pro Grand Master, Years; 5

13, 1932-35, William Warren Kerr CMC CBE, Grand Master, Years; 3

14, 1935-39, William Charles Arcedeckne,   Lord Huntingfield, Grand Master, Years; 4

15, 1939-42, William James Byrne, Grand Master, Years; 3

16, 1942-45, Clifford Henry Book KC ,Grand Master , Years; 3

17, 1945-47, Frank Ernest Pettifer, Grand Master, Years; 2

18, 1947-51, Richard Arnold Rowe, Grand Master , Years; 6

19, 1951-63, Major-General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks KCB CMG DSO KStJ KCVO KCMG, Grand Master, Years; 14

19 Pro GM, 1953-55, T Baillie, Pro Grand Master, Years; 2

19 Pro GM, 1955-57, Dr GB Bearham, Pro Grand Master, Years; 2

19 Pro GM, 1957-59, A J Kennedy, Pro Grand Master, Years; 2

19 Pro GM, 1959-61, Judge Nelson, Pro Grand Master, Years; 2

19 Pro GM, 1961-63, Rev CTF Coy, Pro Grand Master, Years; 2

20, 1963-64, Eric Hughes, Grand Master, Years; 1

21, 1964-68, Hon Oliver James Gillard Kt , Grand Master, Years; 3

22, 1968-70, Charles Roger Darvall CBE Kt, Grand Master, Years; 2

23, 1970-72, Prof Sydney Lance Townsend Kt. , Grand Master, Years; 2

24, 1972-74, Clive William Harris , Grand Master, Years; 2

25, 1974-76, Sir Roberts Risson, Grand Master, Years; 2

26, 1976-78, Christopher Robert Barnes James, Grand Master, Years; 2

27, 1978-80, Reginald Edward Gregory MBE, Grand Master, Years; 2

28, 1980-82, Neville Leonard Colbran AM, Grand Master, Years; 2

29, 1982-84, Henry John Nathan, Grand Master, Years; 2

30, 1984-86, Justice Keith John Austin Asche AC QC, Grand Master, Years; 2

31, 1986-89, John William Connell OA , Grand Master, Years; 3

32, 1989-91, Hon Justice Williams, Grand Master, Years; 2

33, 1991-93, Maj Gen Frank Poke, Grand Master, Years; 2

34, 1993-95, John Willoughby Humphris, Grand Master, Years; 2

35, 1995-97, Neville Brian Smith, Grand Master, Years; 2

36, 1997-99, Rev Walter Henry Rolley, Grand Master, Years; 2

37, 1999-01, Carl Bruce Stewart, Grand Master, Years; 2

38, 2001-03, John Roger Wilson, Grand Master, Years; 2

39, 2003-05, John Robert Evans, Grand Master, Years; 2

40, 2005-07, Bruce Everard Bartrop, Grand Master, Years; 2

41, 2007-10, Garry James Sebo, Grand Master, Years; 3

42, 2010-12, Vaughn Ellsworth Werner, Grand Master, Years; 2

43, 2012-14, Robert Kenneth "Bob" Jones, Grand Master, Years; 2

44, 2014-16, Hillel Benedykt, Grand Master, Years; 2

45, 2016-18, Donald Gordon "Don" Reynolds , Grand Master, Years; 2

46, 2018-2020, Keith Thomas Murray, Grand Master, Years; 2

47. 2020-2022, Richard Lewis Elkington, Grand Master, Installed 27 June 2020. Resigned as Grand Master 4 August 2022, remaining a Victorian Freemason.

47a. Acting GM 2022 (4 August) - 2023 (25 March), RWBro. Anthony "Tony" Bucca Grand Master Elect, Acting Grand Master.

48 2023 -  today, Anthony John "Tony" Bucca, Grand Master