After the founding of the Theosphical Society in New York in 1875, theosophical teachings found a welcome reception in Australia from as early as 1878. There was great enthusiasm for various lecturers of high calibre who visited the country in the period to 1894.
In 1891 Colonel Olcott, the American co-founder of the Society, who was touring Australia, came to Adelaide and formed a branch of the Society. The first meeting was held in the offices of one of the eleven foundation members of the branch, Adelaide solicitor Mr Nathaniel Knox. This same Mr Knox became the second president of Adelaide Lodge, and remained in that role until his death in 1908.
Hundreds of Adelaide people attended a series of lectures given by the second international President, Mrs Annie Besant, in late 1894. Subjects included ‘Dangers that threaten Society’ ,‘Travels Beyond the Tomb: or death and after’, ‘The Evolution of Man’ and ‘Spiritualism- True and False’. She was described in the Adelaide Press as having ‘captivated her audiences by her clearness of thought, her impressive delivery and her talent’ (The Advertiser 29th November 1894)
In 1911 the 17th annual Congress of the TS in Australia was held in Adelaide. At this time the Lodge was holding its meetings in various locations around the City. However, a more permanent home was built in 1914 at 334 King William Street, as a memorial to Mr Knox. The society remained at these premises for 82 years, until the move was made to its current location at 309-310 South Tce.
The Society continues to offer a programme of talks and a variety of study and discussion groups at no cost to participants. Members of the public are welcome to attend most events on the calendar.