Gwenda Shakeshaft


Mrs Gwenda Shakeshaft was farewelled at a funeral service at Centenial Park on Tuesday 29th March 2011.


RW Bro. Bob Parsons, Deputy Grand Master was honoured to deliver a Masonic Eulogy at the service. Following is the text of that eulogy.


"The word 'eulogy' is classic Greek for 'good words'


"To be asked to speak 'good words' about another human being on an occasion like this is a great honour and a great responsibility. And to speak about a person with whom one has had great affection and respect is very special indeed. Gwenda Shakeshaft was such a person.


"I have been asked to speak of Gwenda's close association with freemasonry which came about through Gwenda's husband Howard's membership of of that association.


"I came to know both Gwenda and Howard in about 1995. Howard held senior positions in a number of orders of freemasonry and in 1998 became the deputy leader of the governing body of the Royal Arch Chapter.


"Gwenda always supported Howard in his Masonic activities and when he passed away in 1999, she became a very regular and familiar attender at various Masonic social functions. She received invitations to attend most of these and questions were asked if she was absent, such was the expectation that she would be present. Gwenda drove her car to Quorn and the west coast to attend these functions and usually travelled with a lady friend. I can remeber her saying that "it's steady as you go in the car and I'll get you there in good time". And she did. She was always keen to be involved where fun was to be had.


"Gwenda believed in the principles of freemasonry which her Masonic friends stood for and endeared herself to many. She was a strong financial supporter of the charitable work which freemasonry does in the various communities throughout SA and NT and which is administered through the Freemasons Foundation, the charitable arm of freemasonry in SA and NT. This Foundation was formed in 1989 and Howard was an inaugural member of it. Gwenda subsequently became a patron member which necessitated a donation of some $25,000. This donation went into medical research and men's health which are projects of freemasonry in SA and NT.


"Gwenda also suported and donated generously to the Trevor Prescott Scholarship fund and other Masonic charitable activities such as:-


  • Sunami appeal
  • Bushfire appeals
  • Flood relief appeals
  • Christmas Hamper appeals
  • Purchased a trailer for the annual raffle which freemasonry holds around the state to raise money for the Christmas Hamper appeal for needy families
  • Donated books for the Quorn Area School library which I understand the local lodge there has taken over.
  • Purchased a Princess Chair which is a special medical chair, for the Tiwi Gardens Masonic Village in Darwin.

"Gwenda was an amazing lady always full of energy with a zest for life. We in freemasonry will miss Gwenda's smiling face, her happy disposition and will always be grateful for her involvement in the many Masonic activities. Freemasons who knew Gwenda won't easily forget her. Each of us will remember the different ways in which Gwenda touched our lives.


"Gwenda Grace Shakeshaft - Grace by name and Grace by nature"