Consecrated 19 March 1989 in Sydney, Australia
After almost eighteen months of planning, the first Lodge of the Hebrew Order of David International in Australia was finally consecrated on Sunday 19 March 1989. The Charter was presented the Grand President of the Hebrew Order of David, Wor Bro Morry Mindel. This historic occasion was the result of the work and commitment of a hard core of brethren led by Wor Bro Percy Gersh, a former President of Lodge Shalom in Welkom and Regional President of the Central Region, who saw the need for an organisation such as the Hebrew Order of David to be established in Australia.
Wor Bro Percy Gersh was installed as the first President of Lodge Waratah and his installation took place at a glittering banquet. During his presidency the Lodge embarked on a number of communal and other chavershaft projects, to mention a few:
- The involvement and work carried out by the brethren at the Montefiore Home propelling the Order to the forefront of the Jewish Community.
- A wine making project around Pesach
- A successful Rock 'n Roll party serving in the main as a chavershaft and public relations exercise, but allowing the Lodge to raise some funds for it's resources.
- Plus a number of extra communal projects, assisting at the fete at the Montefiore Home, the donation of book prizes to Masada College, the collecting of second-hand clothing and a host of other forms of involvement.
Wor Bro Percy Gersh was elected as the first Governing Lodge president of Australia and during his term was instrumental in overseeing the establishment of two further Lodges in Australia.
Naming of the Lodge
Waratah is an Australian-endemic genus of five species of large shrubs or small trees, native to the southeastern parts of Australia. The most well-known species in this genus is Telopea speciosissima, which has bright red flowers and is the NSW state floral emblem
Wor Bro Percy Pinchas Gersh