Past Grand Master of SA & NT MW Bro Sam Jacobs AO QC, passed away peacefully on Tuesday 11th October 2011.

He is survived by his four children, five grandchildren, three great-grandsons and his two sisters.


The family has respectfully asked that all correspondence of condolance be directed via the Grand Lodge office.


A man of great intellect and strength of character the late Mr Justice Samuel Joshua Jacobs was highly distinguished in the field of law.


He was born in Adelaide in 1920, the son of the late Sir Roland Jacobs. Educated at Scotch College 1929 – 1938, he was head prefect and Captain of the 1st X1 in 1938, and obtained the Josiah Simon History Scholarship.


Completing his schooling, he began his University course in 1939 at the University of Adelaide where he studied law and gained his LLB in 1948. During this time he was editor of the university student publication “On Dit” and in 1940 he was a member of the inter-varsity golf team.


He enlisted in July 1940 in the second AIF in WW2, serving in the Middle East and the Northern Territory, rising to the rank of Captain, 2nd Australian Imperial Force Movement Control. When the war ended he was admitted to the Bar in 1946 and Graduated LL.B in 1947 and began his own successful private law practice. He was President of the Adelaide University Union 1945-46 and in the inter-varsity debating team in 1945. He had been a member of the Council of Law Society since 1957, became Queens Council in 1965 and was President of the Law Society of SA from 1970 to 1972, and a member of the Law Council. His appointment as Justice of the Supreme Court of SA came in 1973.


Samuel Jacobs was very involved in community affairs. He was a member of the Council of Governors of Scotch College since 1966, a member of the State Law Reform committee and a member of the Board of Management of the Kindergarten Union of SA and was associated with the work of the crippled Children’s Association.  From 1966 to 1973, he was a Director of the SA Gas Co. He has been a member of the State Law Reform Committee, a

member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and from 1979 an Hon. Colonel of the Adelaide Unit of the University Regiment. From 1984 to 1997. He served for 15 years as a member of the University of Adelaide Council for 1 years and was Chairman of the Finance Committee. Further to this he was Deputy Chancellor of the University of Adelaide.


A distinguished Freemason, Most Worshipful Bro., the Hon. Justice Jacobs was initiated into Freemasonry in Lodge St Alban No 38 SA Constitution in 1953, became Master of that Lodge in 1964-1965 and again 1988-1989, and Director of Ceremonies from 1967 to 1969. In 1969 he took Grand Lodge Office and became Deputy Grand Registrar, Grand Registrar 1970 to 1971, appointed President of the Board of General Purposes in 1972 to 1973, Assistant Grand Master in 1973 and Deputy Grand Master 1978 and attained the most senior position of Grand Master from 1979 to 1982. During this period much thought was given to the renovation of Freemasons Hall on North Terrace, planning for the Ridgehaven Masonic Retirement Village and prime time was given to the coming celebration of the Centenary of Grand Lodge of SA in 1984.


He was Exalted into St Alban Collegiate Royal Arch Chapter in 1956 and was the 1st Principal in 1968 to 1969,  Grand Registrar of Supreme Grand Chapter 1970 to 1971 and was conferred the rank of Most Excellent Past Second Grand Principal in 1979. He was affiliated with Yankalilla Lodge No 110 in 1982 to 1999 and a member of United Service Mark Lodge No 43. He held a 50 Year Service Award and 5-year Bar.


In recognition of his service to both law and the community, Justice Jacobs became an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1982. He was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001.



Freemasonry honoured him in naming the newly renovated Basement area of Freemasons Hall in North Terrace, the Sam Jacobs Room which was formally opened by Most Worshipful Bro. the Hon. Justice Jacobs on the 22nd September 2010.


Compulsory retirement at the end of 1990 from the SA Supreme Court when he turned 70 was short lived as a few months later, he was appointed Royal Commissioner into the debt crisis that had overtaken the then State Bank of South Australia in early 1991. He produced two reports, in 1992 and 1993, passing on the third and final Report to others on the Royal Commission.