Loyal PETONE Lodge - 1876
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 the year 1876 a small staff of workmen arrived to form the nucleus of the Railway Workshops and, the numbers rapidly increasing, it became the matter of only a short time when the idea of founding a lodge was formed and the Loyal Petone Lodge, the first benefit society of the town, came into existence.
The basic fact in the Friendly Society movement must be solvency and it seems clear from the day this lodge was established, the strenuous years, trying to all movements in their initiation, were faced with the steady resolve to make up the way the older lodges had attained to, so successfully.
It is to be particularly noted that progress had always been steady and that a consistently capable and earnest control has assured the lodge a very high financial standing, which it must be admitted, is the gauge of true development on right lines. How far these results have been reached, the following brief history of the lodge should afford information:
The Loyal Petone Lodge was sponsored by the Loyal Antipodean Lodge of Wellington, as it appears from the district minutes of July 22 1882, that the application of that lodge to open a new lodge at Petone was, after due deliberation, agreed to on the motion of P.P.G.M. J. MARTIN, seconded by P.P.G.M. E. LEWIS, "That leave be granted to open a new lodge at Petone to be called the Loyal Petone Lodge and that the names of P.P.G.M.'s E. LEWIS, C. W. BROWN and JOHN SMITH be placed on the dispensation board of the new lodge."
The first lodge was tyled on August 19, 1882, at the Marine Retreat Hotel. The ceremony of opening this first of all Friendly Societies at Petone, was attended and impressively performed by P.G.M.W. BUICK, D.P.G.M, G. DIXON, P.C.S. E. BANNISTER, and officers and members of the Loyal Britannia, Antipodean and Rose of the Valley lodges.
The following candidates for admission to membership were received and subsequently elected—Messrs. W. WAKELIN, B. COUBOURNE, J. RYAN, J. COPPING, F. HERDMAN, G. LONDON, H. ADAMS, and A. CLARK. The first lodge was then impanelled, the following officers being installed: I.P.N.G. P.P.G.M. E. H. COLLETT, G.M. N. VALENTINE, N.G. E. C. COLLETT, V.G. J. WRIGHT, Secretary B. COUBOURNE, Warden W. BLAKE, Tyler J. MAY, Supporters, G. LONDON, A. CLARK, S. CURTIS and H. ADAMS. In the initiation of the lodge, it is to be noted the first medical officer to be appointed was Dr. WILFORD, the first trustees, C. W. HAINES, R. FLINT, and G. T. LONDON, the first auditors, J. WOOD and G. T. LONDON, and the first lodge delegate, P.G.M. Bro. VALENTINE.
A steady increase of members followed the establishment of the lodge, and on October 12 1882 the first degree was taken by Bros. LONDON, COPPING, and CLARKE, and the entertainment committee reported as the result of its efforts that the amount of the regalia fund was £12 18s. 3d. That these original members were very much imbued with the spirit of Oddfellowship was evidenced by their enthusiastic efforts to provide a home for themselves and posterity. Concerts and dances became a regular feature, and indeed, for a number of years were considered the leading social functions of the district.
A section in Petone Avenue was purchased and ultimately the project materialised in a very fine hall, which from that time until quite recently, has been the venue of the chief social and political functions of the town.
It should be recorded that whilst the hall scheme was under consideration, the late Mr. EDWARD JACKSON, one of the most generous of men, came to the assistance of the Lodge with the gift of a valuable section in Nelson Street.
The presentation of the Dispensation Board took place on August 10 1883, and was performed by P.P.G.M. LOASBY and D.P.G.M. J. PEARCE, and it was agreed that the first name to be placed thereon should be P.G.M. N. VALENTINE.
Loyal Petone Lodge, No. 6542, commencing with eight members with negligible funds, two years later in 1884, had 42 members good on the books and a total fund of £53 1s. 10d. Fifty years on, at the beginning of 1932, we find a membership of 203, with an estimated accumulation of funds amounting to £7,777 0s. 2d.
It would appear on the whole a very worthy record, and in attainment it is satisfactory to note that members of the Loyal Petone Lodge have shared in fair proportion the honours of higher administrative responsibility. In this connection it is to be noted the following officers have served as District Grand Masters —
S. R. JOHNSON, 1893; R. MOTHES, 1894; C. W. JOHNSTON, 1897; C. P. BROCKELBANK. 1907; A. G. STEFFENSEN, 1921.
Mention must also be made of the members of the Loyal Petone Lodge who have shared in shaping the destiny of Petone in occupying the highest municipal offices in the town. P.P.G.M. S. R. JOHNSON was the Chairman of the original Town Board.
The Mayoral Chair has at various times been occupied by P.P.G.M. S. R. JOHNSON, P.P.G.M. R. MOTHES, P.G. G. T. LONDON, P.P.G.M. C. P. BROCKELBANK (acting Mayor). Bros. H. E. FLEET P.G., and A. M. MacFARLANE are members of the present council.