Since December 1985, the Murray Bridge Combined Masonic Lodges - originally including Murray Bridge Lodge 44, Lodge of Sincerity 120 and Mypolonga Lodge 121 - have awarded an educational scholarship to a year 12 student seeking to continue tertiary education.
The Freemasons Foundation, one of the charitable arms of the Grand Lodge of South Australia and the Northern Territory, has matched, dollar for dollar, the amount donated by the lodges.
This endeavour has led a total of more than $40,000 to be awarded to students in the Murray Bridge district.
Murray Bridge High School's Keeghan Davis, one of several students who applied, was awarded the 34th Murray Bridge Combined Masonic Lodges Scholarship.
He succeeded in achieving an extremely high year 12 grade score and was accepted into Flinders University to undertake a degree in bioengineering, his first choice.
At a Christmas function held in the Masonic Lodge on Mulgundawah Road on December 21, Keeghan was presented a certificate by Worshipful Brother Brendan Watts, master of the Murray Bridge United Lodge 44, and a cheque for $4000 by Worshipful Brother Anthony Pahl OAM, master of the Mypolonga Lodge 121.
The ceremony, attended by Keeghan's parents and siblings, freemasons and their families, was introduced by Very Worshipful Brother Graham Coulter, who has been the scholarship coordinator for the past 30 years.
A Christmas-themed buffet supper and karaoke session followed, and Santa - accompanied by one of his longer-serving elves - made a surprise appearance with gifts for the younger attendees.