In three years' time, Lodge Whangamomona will celebrate its centenary, despite several changes in location through the years.

Bernie Black, communications officer for the Lodge, says the Masonic Lodge was started back in 1921 by just six men.

Originally they met in various venues such as the Kohuratahi Hall and the Whangamomona Sunday School hall, while they planned for formally setting up the Lodge. The men were encouraged by fellow masons from Stratford Lodge No 75 and Lodge Hinemoa No 786 SC.

In 1922, the formal ceremonies marking the constitution, consecration and dedication of the lodge took place at the Stratford Town Hall.

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The ceremonies were performed by the New Zealand grand master of the time, Thomas Ross.

Lodge records show the first master of the lodge was Duncan Burgess Howard, who was formally installed in a ceremony with over 140 people in attendance.

Depopulation of the workforce in Whangamomona led to the lodge moving location to Toko in 1954, in specially-built rooms. There the lodge remained for 52 years.

"Rogernomics and the consolidation of the dairy industry started, meaning larger farms, with fewer employees, meaning a reduced rural population, leading to another location change," says Bernie.

This was to Inglewood where the lodge moved after Lodge Moa had decided to retire its operational charter and dispose of the lodge Moa building.

Lodge Whangamomona took over the building in 2006 and has been meeting there ever since.

Despite the location changes through the years, Bernie says some things stay constant.
"We have always, and will always be acting charitably within the communities which make up the Stratford District, dispensing financial aid and assistance to those in need."

Bernie says he is happy to talk to anyone who is interested in finding out more about the lodge.

Bernie can be contacted via email: bernieblack@xtra.co.nz