A group of 40 people gathered at the Stratford and District Senior Citizens Hall recently to acknowledge the achievements of David Pretty.
David, who now lives in Woodville, was presented with a badge to mark 50 years involvement with Freemasonry.
Among those attending were members of David's family, old workmates and friends and members of various Freemason Lodges from around Taranaki.
The 50-year badge was presented by Bob Jagger, current Master of Lodge Whangamomona and pinned on by his daughter.
In his presentation Bob spoke of the many hours that David had put into Lodge-related activities and how that was appreciated by the people there to celebrate.
The main speaker was Tom Mason who gave a review of David's years of commitment to the ideals and beliefs of Freemasonry in New Zealand.
Tom highlighted the fundraising activities and the charitable works that had been a significant part of those years. He also spoke of David's leadership within the Freemason movement both at local Lodge level and at a regional level.
Others then spoke of the camaraderie that developed by working together for the benefit of the communities in which they lived and the enjoyment that came from visiting other Lodges around the country.
In his reply David thanked those who had supported him and his family with friendship through the years.
He said the friendship and the common ideals of Freemasonry were most important during times of difficulty and stress. He also encouraged young men to consider joining Freemasonry as a way of contributing to the health of of their communities.
Lodge Whangamomona started at Whangamomona then, as the rural population dropped, moved to Toko and now meets in Inglewood, at 17 Mahoe Street on the first Thursday of each month except January.
Men interested in finding out more about Freemasonry can ring Bob Jagger on 06 756 7862 or Colin Cowie (Lodge secretary) on 06 765 5882 in the evening.