FREEMASON LODGE - PETONE New Zealand 1886
I have taken some extracts from the Hutt City Library site from the page
Lower Hutt Past and Present (1941)
I highly recommend a visit to their site for some wonderful info and photos of that district and the early settlers.
I am doing some short overviews from their database:
journal 1 - settlers of LOWER HUTT 1839 - 1941
journal 2 - the PILGRIM MOTHERS of the Hutt Valley
journal 3 - PETONE's first 100 years, - list of names
journal 4 - PETONE men who fell WWI - list of names
journal 5 - FREEMASONRY - Ulster Lodge No. 62
journal 6 - LOYAL PETONE LODGE - No, 6542
journal 7 - Ancient Order Of Foresters - COURT EPUNI, 7314
journal 8 - INDEPENANT ORDER OF RECHABITES
journal 9 - PETONE Branch - Hibernian Australasian Society 1910
journal 10 - PETONE PIONEER BRANCH - Oddfellows
journal 11 - HERETAUNGA LODGE & STAR of PETONE LODGE
journal 12 - PONEKE LODGE - Ancient Order of DRUIDS
journal 13 - PETONE Town Board - formed 1881
journal 14 - HUTT RIVER BOARD - formed 1879
(additions in italics or capitals are mine)
- (remember the article was written in 1941)
In a little schoolroom in Petone in November 1886, a number of Free- masons held a meeting for the purpose of discussing the advisability of starting a masonic lodge and, after careful consideration, it was agreed that such a lodge should be formed under the Irish constitution and be called Ulster Lodge.
The Grand Lodge of New Zealand was not formed until a year or two later. The meetings for some time were held in the Oddfellows Hall, Petone, the first one being held on January 19th, 1887.
This hall, not being considered entirely suitable, a committee was set up for the purpose of obtaining a hall of its own. In April, 1888, a site having been secured in Fitzherbert Street, Petone, plans were drawn up and accepted and a start was made on the new building.
The new hall was ready in June 1888 and on July 2nd 1888 the dedication of the new masonic hall took place. The ceremony was performed by Worshipful Brother R. C. HAMMERTON, acting Pro. Grand Master. This same gentleman was also Ulster Lodge's first Master.
The first secretary was JAMES CURTIS, a very well known name in Petone, F. W. DAWES, first treasurer, and the Rev. JOSHUA JONES, chaplain.
The hall has been considerably enlarged, and to-day stands as a monument to the progress of Free Masonry in the district.
For many years, the lodge was the only one in the Hutt Valley, but it kept in close contact with sister Lodges in Wellington city and suburbs. There are now four lodges in the Valley, and one in Eastbourne. The lodge held its fiftieth jubilee in 1937.
Ulster Lodge also assisted at the forming of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, which will be celebrating its fiftieth jubilee this year. The members feel satisfied and proud of the history and progress the lodge has made during the last fifty years and trust its continued activity will assist to establishing in the mind of men, a more ample recognition and a nobler conception of the brotherhood of man.
"He too has served who now and then has helped along his fellow man."
The present officers are:
P. McBRIDE W. M.;
Harold MORGAN S.W.;
Chas. NEISEN J.W.;
W. Bro. F. L. MATTHEWS, P.G. B.B., chaplain;
J. T. COLLIN, treasurer;
W. Bro. W. H. MELHUISH, P.G.S., secretary