Thieves target Gatton's Masonic Lodge

SWORDS STOLEN:   John Rudduck with a ceremonial sword, larger than the ones stolen, and baton which were overlooked in the Lodge's recent robbery.
SWORDS STOLEN: John Rudduck with a ceremonial sword, larger than the ones stolen, and baton which were overlooked in the Lodge's recent robbery. Francis Witsenhuysen

THIEVES who stole two "invaluable” swords from the Gatton Masonic Lodge are now in possession of illegal weapons, says secretary John Rudduck.

The two matching ceremonial swords, along with two director of ceremony batons and an aged masons, widows and orphans charity jewel were stolen from the Gatton Masonic Hall between April 7 and May 2.

"The person or persons who stole the swords are breaking the law under the Weapons Act, because they have been removed from our hall and they are ceremonial,” he said.

"Ceremonial swords in an organisation like ours are permitted because they don't have sharp edges.

"They are very important and invaluable because they are part of our ceremonies.”

The matching swords can be described as about 650ml long, brass with flat handles and steel blades.

Mr Rudduck said because the Freemasons meetings are monthly they didn't realise they had been robbed until their last meeting.

"This means they came in between April 7 and May 2,” he said.

"They got in through the rear toilet window and used a wheelie bin to boost themselves up.

"They made a real mess of the bathroom, but we are mostly upset about the things they stole.”

It's not the first time the Gatton Masonic Hall has been targeted.

"We've had wilful damage done here before, someone did graffiti on the walls,” Mr Rudduck said.

"I think it was done by hooligans, but there are some people who don't understand what freemasonry is and consider it devil worshipping, which is not the case.”

Mr Rudduck said because of the nature of their ceremonies they did not have any pictures of the stolen property.

"We unfortunately, didn't have them engraved either,” he said.

"They are unique and rare, and valuable only to the lodge.

"We need them.

"We'd love them to be returned, no questions will be asked.”

Gatton Police Sergeant Tony Harm said the stolen items were quite identifiable.

"Unfortunately there was no CCTV cameras at the lodge,” he said.

"We are on the lookout for the stolen property, which tie in with the large amount of property related investigations ongoing on this week.”

If anyone has any information on the incident please contact Gatton Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  freemasons gatton gatton police

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