Central Division
An impressive 125 years of history are reflected in the photos which line the walls of Dannevirke's Rawhiti Lodge No 66, the home to their local Freemasons.

Consecrated on November 20, 1890, the Rawhiti Lodge celebrated its 125th anniversary along with New Zealand's Grand Lodge, in spectacular style in 2015.

"Before 1890, all New Zealand lodges came under the United Kingdom constitution, but there was a real hue and cry, so the New Zealand Grand Lodge was formed in 1890, with our Rawhiti Lodge one of the founding lodges on the constitution," Paddy Driver, a spokesman for the Lodge said.

Since it began, the lodge has held its monthly meeting on the third Tuesday of each month; a time selected because of the phase of the moon.

But the choice wasn't because of any ritualistic reason, Mr Driver said.

"So many of the members rode their horses to lodge meetings, the moon allowed them to see their way home afterwards, especially if they'd had a whisky or two. In those days, there was some secrecy about what went on at the lodge, not even the wives knew what went on. But not today, because when you keep things quiet people get suspicious and they start making things up and we like to include our wives when we can."

"All our photos, which line the walls, are a history of Dannevirke," he said.

Today, Rawhiti Lodge has 21 members and membership is growing. In its heyday, 100 men belonged to the lodge, including at one stage Prime Minister Keith Holyoake.
Celebrating 125 Years of Freemasonry in Dannevirke (November, 2015). The event was attended by both the Grand Master, John Litton - and his Deputy, Mark Winger.
Gary Woodford
Worshipful Master