The Freemason society has sought to distance itself from an elderly and once-powerful follower of the famously secretive organisation who mysteriously disappeared at sea after setting off in a small boat.
Dementia-sufferer Felicity Loveday, 84, vanished with her son Adrian Meneveau, 56, who had cared for her for the seven years up to their disappearance, after setting off from a wharf in Frankston, Victoria on December 11.
Their empty boat was found submerged at Ricketts Point – 24km away – four days after her daughter Christina Loveday took a photo of the pair as she waved off her relatives on their voyage.
Police have been told the trip was part of a plan to ‘cleanse’ the elderly former member of an affiliated Freemason body called Le Droit Humain of ‘evil spirits’ she had somehow ‘awoken’.
Authorities also investigated if Ms Loveday was already dead when the picture was taken.
A leading figure in the Australian Federation of Freemasons on Sunday said her membership to the Masonic Order was in no way related to the events of last year.
Last photo: Felicity Loveday, 83 (on right) and her son, Adrian Meneveau, 56, were lost at sea during a bizarre three-day boat trip to ‘cleanse’ Ms Loveday of evil spirits
‘The personal beliefs and practices are in no way associated with Freemasonry nor are they associated with her role as a former presiding officer of one of our Lodges,’ the federation’s Grand Commander and Supreme Council Representative said.
‘Freemasonry has nothing to do with ”evil”, ”black magic” and ”cleansing rituals”.’
Ms Loveday was active in Freemasonry and had the influential title of a ‘Worshipful Master’ in the mid-2000’s – the highest position in an individual lodge and master of ceremonies – until a few years ago, the Herald Sun reported.
Daily Mail Australia has been told Felicity was known on the Gold Coast for participating in a local choir and yoga, but suffered severe dementia and moved to Melbourne to be with her two children.
Victoria Police’s Marine Investigation Unit is investigating the disappearance from Olivers Hill boat ramp.
Last month, six months after her loved ones were last seen, Christina Loveday took the remarkable step of breaking her silence to definitively state her mother was alive when she took the photo.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Christina was in any way involved or complicit in the incident involving her family members.
Ms Loveday was cared for by her son, Adrian, for seven years prior to their disappearance. The Freemason society has sought to distance itself from the elderly and once-powerful follower of the famously secretive organisation
‘For the sake of accuracy, I took the photo and Felicity was very much alive,’ Christina Loveday told Daily Mail Australia.
‘She has dementia, and had spent a lot of time indoors, so she generally looked pale, and was mostly napping.’
Investigators have reportedly considered whether the pale dementia sufferer Ms Loveday, above, was dead when this picture was taken
Christina’s explanation for her mother’s washed-out appearance follow a report at the weekend that stated investigators have considered the possibility Felicity was dead when the photograph was taken.
Senior investigator Chris Obst, from the Marine Investigation Unit, told Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun: ‘There are many aspects to this investigation that appear suspicious and strange.
‘We just can’t rule anything out at this stage.’
Felicity’s daughter is a critical witness in the investigation, having both witnessed their departure in the small boat – which did not have a cabin or sleeping quarters for shelter – and raised the alarm after her relatives failed to return home on schedule.
Adrian, Ms Loveday’s 56-year-old carer, had messaged Christina on December 13 claiming they were having a ‘good time’ together. But the pair were never heard from again.
The empty boat was found submerged 24km from where the pair set off. It had no sleeping quarters or shelter (pictured)
Emergency crews after retrieving the boat in December last year
Mr Meneveau had bizarrely purchased a second vessel (pictured) from an online seller between Melbourne and Adelaide just weeks before the voyage. Police do not know where the ship is
The mother and son’s small boat was found submerged near Ricketts Point, some 24km north of where their voyage began, on December 15, two days after Adrian was last heard from.
Their bodies have never been found, despite what police have described as extensive sea and air searches, and a single life jacket was found inside.
Christina Loveday, above, was the last to see her loved ones
Detectives have not received evidence showing the pair are alive and family members have been quoted saying they believe the pair have perished.
In another twist, police have revealed that Mr Meneveau had purchased a second boat from an online seller, just weeks before the trip on the tiny open-air vessel. The second boat is yet to be located.
Likewise, the nature of the ritual the mother and son were hoping to perform remains unknown, but a family friend was told Adrian had been planning to perform a ‘spiritual exercise’ upon his mother.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Felicity was once the ‘worshipful master’ of a Gold Coast branch of the secretive fraternal society, Co-Freemasonry.
Co-Freemasonry is an offshoot of Freemasonry which admits both men and women. Christina Loveday did not practice it, according to the Herald Sun’s report.
Felicity Loveday (centre) is pictured with other members of the Co-Freemasonry lodge at Southport, on the Gold Coast
Asked for her thoughts on claims her mother could be dead in the picture released by police, Christine Loveday told Daily Mail Australia she had ‘no control over speculation.’
She said she had been cooperative with the police investigation into her relatives’ sudden disappearances.
‘I have told the police everything I know, and don’t wish to discuss it further,’ she said.
Timeline of Felicity Loveday and Adrian Meneveau’s disappearance
December 11, 2019: About 7am, Christina Loveday waves off mother Felicity Loveday, 83, and brother Adrian Meneveau, 56 from Olivers Wharf at Frankston. She snaps a photo before they go.
The pair had told family they were embarking on a ‘cleansing ritual’ at sea for three days
December 13: Adrian reports to Christina that they were having a ‘good time’
December 14: Christina contacts authorities after the pair failed to return home
December 15: The pair’s submerged boat is found by a fisherman about 24km north from where they disappeared.
Police find no trace of the pair despite an extensive land and sea search
January 31: Melbourne’s Seven News reports that police are not ruling out foul play, with only one life jacket found on board the boat.
June 7: An interview with Senior Constable Chris Obst is published by the Sunday Herald-Sun.
The investigator says police cannot rule out anything and the report states police have considered whether Felicity may have been dead in her final photo
June 10: Christina Loveday tells Daily Mail Australia her mother was ‘very much alive’ during the photo and she has told police everything she knows
July 7: Australia’s Freemason society seeks to distance itself from Ms Loveday’s beliefs – saying they had nothing to do with the values of the famously secretive organisation