Lodge Papakura No 56 History

The Lodge Papakura No56 of antient, free and accepted Masons was consecrated on 26th June 1885 as the Lodge Star of the Far South, No 717 (Grand Lodge of Scotland).

It became a founder lodge of the Grand Loge of New Zealand in 1890.

Clevedon on the banks of the Wairoa river was the masonic home of the enthusiastic Brethren who had formed Lodge Wairoa No 709

Enthusiasm, dedication and pride are qualities which are exceedingly contagious. This explain why the Freemasons of the Papakura area decided not to be outdone and applied for a charter of their own.

On Friday26th June 1885 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Scotland, held an emergency communication in the Protestant hall in Papakura.

W. Bro M Niccol (Provincial Grand SubMaster ) presided over the communication

From thistle to fern

Individual lodges were contemplating their respective future, and there was a wide variety of opinion for and against the concept of a New Zealand Grand Lodge. Much evidence exists of considerable bitterness surfacing in many instances throughout New Zealand. Whether this was so in the new lodge in the Far South is not know or supported by any evidence. We suspect that it may be regarded the possible reason for not having any trace of any lodge minutes or records from the time of the Consecration until September 1891.

It was during the five years for which records have never been found that the Grand Lodge on New Zealand came into being. We do know that the sixteen Brethren of the lodge must have decided to support and become one of the original lodges holding Charter under the New Grand Lodge. The first minutes we have are of a meeting on 15th September 1891 of Lodge Papakura No. 56.

It can also be assumed perhaps that that the influence of the Lodge Wairoa, who played such an important role in the formation of the Lodge in Papakura, was still evident as Lodge Wairoa had also become part of the New Zealand Constitution as the 55th Lodge on the register.

Installation variations

The Scottish tradition prevailed with regards to the Ceremony of Installation. Until 1907 the Lodge followed the practise of the outgoing Master installing his successor.

Following the Consecration, the Lodge continued to meet in the Protestant Hall. The minutes up to 1893 are somewhat sparse. They however indicates that one or two unusual things happened.

Would these days Brethren work on a Degree in the afternoon and follow it up with an installation ceremony? This was acceptable in in January 1892.

We also found out that there were dual nomination for officers two months later, resulting in the calling of an Emergency meeting.

We found a dispensation to allow the wearing of Masonic Regalia at a forthcoming Masonic Ball.

Homes Temporary and Permanent

The Lodge was meeting in the protestant hall, but the brethren desired to have their own home. In1893 the Lodge took the first steps toward this happening.

On the 1st March of that year, 100 pounds was invested in the Public Hall Company on seconf mortgage in return for which was secured a twenty years lease. This was a considerable amount of money at that time. The first permanent meeting facility on the top floor of this building situated in the main street next to the Globe hotel.