Sir William was proposed and balloted for on 18 October 1883, being D.G.M.I.C. (District Grand Master Irish Constitution) , and resigned in September 1885. He was subsequently proposed as a re-joining Member on the 15 March 1888 and balloted for, as a re-joining member, on 19 April 1888.
On the formation of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria in 1889 he was installed as the first Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria.
He remained a member of Combermere Lodge until his death on the 15th May 1897. (The second recording in the Lodge Register shows his date of death as 15 April 1897)
William John Clarke (1831-1897), by Johnstone, O’Shannessy & Co, c1885
Extract from “The Victorian Craftsman” July 1, 1940
COMBERMERE LODGE, No. 752, E.C.
Several Grand Officers of the Victorian Constitution visited this grand old English Constitution Lodge, which is the only one of its kind in the State, on June 20. The delegation was headed by R.W. Bros. C. H. Book, K.C., D.G.M., and G. B. Leith, P.S.G.W.
Bro. H. H. Stappers was Installed by W. Bro. G. A. Wharington the Master, and the Proclamations made by W. Bro. W. G. Hull, who also presented the W.Ts. in each degree.
The Address to the Master was given by W. Bro. J W. Ulph, after which W. Bro. Stappers invested his Wardens on the S. side of the Pedestal. W. Bro. A. Bright, who is Asst. Secretary, delivered the Address to the Wardens, and the Pillars were presented by W. Bro. A. R. Mitchell.
The remaining officers were then invested by W. Bros. W. Ulph, V L. Hyndman, E. G. Loof, G. J. Mackay and T. H. Ford. The address to the Brethren was then delivered by R.W. Bro. C. H. Book, D.G.M., Vic., after which he presented a P.M.’s jewel to W. Bro. David Bain, who had rendered good service during his term as Master.
Overseas Grand Rank has been conferred upon W. Bro. W. G. Hull, who is a fine D.C., and he was presented with a set of appropriate regalia by R.W. Bro. G. B. Leith, P.S.G.W. Vic.
A happy hour was spent in the S., and after the toast of the Grand Master of England had been honoured the toast of the Grand Master of Victoria was a fraternal gesture. The latter toast was responded to by W. Bro. Unsworth Smith, P.J.G.D.