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The History of Lodge St. Patrick - 1881 to 1992

At 7:15pm on 3 November 1881, within the portals of the original Masonic Hall, Moray Place, Dunedin, and presided over by V.W.Bro. Julius Hayman PPGW, the assembled Brethren opened the Lodge in the First Degree. Sprinkling corn and oil, Bro. Harvey DGMSC consecrated the new Lodge, while W.Bro. Nathan PDSW E.C. poured wine and W.Bro. Caldwell GS of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, scattered salt.

The Brethren then saluted the Lodge, after which Bro. Thomas Sherlock Graham was installed as the first Master. The officers were then invested: SW; Bro. Samuel Thompson Kerr PM S.C., JW; W.Bro. David Alexander McNicoll PM I.C. and 17 other members of the Lodge.

The Lodge was originally named “St. Patrick’s Lodge”, however, from 1884 the Minutes refer to “The Lodge of St. Patrick.” A change of secretary in 1885 saw the Minutes reading “Lodge St. Patrick.” There is no record to show that the name was officially altered, this simply appears to be the choice of that current secretary. In May 1891, an attempt was made to change the name to “Abercorn”, after the title of the then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, however, following lengthy discussion it was decided to retain the name St. Patrick. (See Famous Freemasons A-L: James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn elsewhere on this site.)

After only three months in the chair, Bro. Graham resigned to become District Grand Master (DGM) English Constitution (E.C.)

The first mention of finance appears in the Minutes of June 1884 when it was decided to resort to extreme measures to collect arrears of dues, thus saving the Lodge from financial crisis. In 1885 an appeal to the Brethren to reduce the mortgage of the Hall resulted in £32 (pounds sterling) being promised, to be paid at not less than sixpence a month.

For the purpose of explaining the financial position of the Lodge, a meeting was held at the Courts Hotel, on the 23 August 1886 with the Director of the Hall Company. The WM, Bro. Thompson, supported by PM Bro. McNicoll, Bro. Sharpe & Bro. Wishart (grandfather of current member V.Wor.Bro. Norman Wishart), requested that the Directors permit the Lodge to pay one pound per night, each month, for the use of the Upper Hall, i.e. for twelve meetings a year, until the Lodge’s finances were in a better position. The offer was turned down by the Board. Undaunted, Lodge St. Patrick moved to the Oddfellows Hall in Rattray Street, Dunedin. All went well for a few years until difficulties were encountered due to a dance band playing loudly on the ground floor! Thus, in 1889, the Lodge returned to Moray Place at a rental of £12 per annum - exactly the same amount that the Lodge had offered three years before.

The passing years took their toll of the Hall at Moray Place - it had structurally deteriorated. Several attempts were made to foster interest amongst tenant lodges on the question of a replacement, but Lodge St. Patrick was always against this, at one stage trying to stop the payment of 15 shillings which was the Lodge’s share of expenses incurred by a committee set up to bring forward proposals regarding the Hall!

Matters came to a head when the building was put up for sale for £2,000 pounds. A special meeting of the Lodge members was called to consider proposals put forward, viz that the building be purchased for a sum of not more than £2,000 pounds, and a further sum of £2,200 pounds be spent on the renovations. On this occasion the members of Lodge St. Patrick were fully in agreement of the proposal and decided to purchase shares to the value of £400 pounds.

The money was raised in the following manner.


Donations from members:



Subsidy from Ara Lodge No.348 (PGL, Auckland):


Benevolent Fund Loan:


Interest on Lodge Fund:


Dunedin Savings Bank collection:




(Note: The amounts listed above are recorded in the British currency in use in NZ at the time, that is pounds (£); shillings (s) and pence (p) usually depicted as £/s/d).

On November 2nd and 3rd two meetings in the restored hall were held, the first being a gift evening when lodge representatives formally presented furniture and items necessary in a Masonic Lodge. Each gift had been suitably engraved so that Brethren would know whether they were from Lodges or individuals; Lodge St. Patrick presented the clock. Along with the other lodges, Lodge St. Patrick continued to meet at the Masonic Hall in Moray Place until it was agreed the time had come to buy a new building.

During the 111 years that Lodge St. Patrick had met in the hall it had put through approximately 342 new members. The first Initiation took place on November 1881 and later Minutes show it was a common practice to work two different Masonic degrees at the same meeting. This modus operandi continued on into the 1950s and 60s when there was a major influx of members – eight candidates per year in the years 1952, 54, 55, 58 and 59.

Prominent past Lodge officers

For some reason or another we find, in all walks of life, that some people stand out from the rest and Lodge St. Patrick is no exception.

As aforementioned, the first Master, Thomas Sherlock Graham, was only in office for three months when he resigned to become the district GM of the English Constitution, but the success of the appointment can be attested by the fact that he remained in office for 36 years, from 1882 to 1918. (It is interesting to note that Bro. Graham was installed as District Grand Master E.C. by Rt.W.Bro. G. Pierce, Provincial Grand Master of New Zealand, Irish Constitution, proving that even in these early times there was little preciousness over the interrelationships of the different constitutions.)

David Alexander McNicoll, a P.M. of the Scottish Constitution, was the first J.W. in Lodge St. Patrick. He also served in the office of Master on four occasions; 1883-4, 1887-8, 1900-01 and 1906-7. In addition, he was appointed to the office of District Grand Inspector (1889-95) and promoted to Dep. Prov. G.M. from 1895-1909. When moves were made on the formation of a Past Masters’ Lodge Number 161 (now known as ‘The Research Lodge of Otago No.161’), Bro. McNicoll was one of the 40 Brethren who signed in favour of the proposal and, when the Masters’ Lodge was constituted in 1909, he became its first Master, serving a second term in the following year. One of the founding Brethren of Lodge St. Patrick, Bro. McNicoll, a schoolmaster, died in 1938 having served from 1881 to 1938 – a Lodge member for 57 years.

Thomas William Dobbie joined the Lodge in 1907, swiftly took office and was Master from 1910 to 1911, and then again 1918-19 and 1919-20. He was appointed Provincial Grand Inspector in 1927 and held that office until 1935 when he was made Deputy Prov. G. Master. When it was proposed to form the Hall Company and to alter the building, he was strongly in favour of this and had a great influence on the discussion for St. Patrick to join and take out shares. He was the Lodge’s first representative on the Board.

Born in 1862, Alexander Winslow Norton Clarke joined the Lodge in 1921, fairly late in life. Not long after joining he accepted office as Chaplain and stayed in this office for more than ten years. During the Second World War the Lodge was desperate for officers and ‘Alick’ was prevailed upon to become Junior Warden. He went on to become S.W. and, in 1943, was installed Master at the age of 81. He remained a Past Master until his death in 1951.

Joseph Charles Bates joined the Lodge in 1928. Although Joe was not an Irishman by birth, the members always thought he should have been as he was, as they imagined a leprechaun would look - very much as he did - a small man with a bald head, a squeaky voice and a broad permanent, cheeky smile. Joe could say and do anything and get away with it. During the war when food was short in England, he organised food parcels, and these were sent regularly. The chalice (or “Loving Cup” as the Lodge has nicknamed it) displayed at our Installations, is the tangible recognition from the Brethren in England of the help that they received when they needed it most. Joe passed to the Grand Lodge above in 1967.

Drummond ‘Drum’ Anderson, a M.M. of Lodge St. Davide No.78 in Dundee, affiliated with Lodge St. Patrick in 1930. The reason this young Scottish Mason came to us can easily be explained. When Drum arrived in Dunedin he stayed at the YMCA and the manager of that institution just happened to be a Past Master of St. Patrick, and he always had an eye open for a likely lad. Drum became Master in 1937 and, in 1940, was elected to the office of D.C., a post he held until 1960. In 1967 he became Secretary and carried this office until 1982. At the time of his death, Drum was the Lodge’s representative on the Hall Committee. He was invested with a number of Prov. G. L. honours until, in 1945, he was made Prov. G.S.W. He was elected an honorary member of Ara Lodge No.348 and, in 1974, Grand Lodge conferred on him the title of Hon. Grand Deacon. Drum Anderson was a member of Lodge St. Patrick from 1930 to 1990 - 60 years of service! A record which will be very difficult to better.

One notable member who should not be overlooked is William ‘Bill’ Wall. A plumber by trade, Bill came to Dunedin from Oamaru in 1930 and joined the Lodge in 1931. He was installed Master in 1954 and was probably one of the hardest working Masters that we have ever had. He would open the lodge at 6.30pm, work a 1st Degree, then raise the lodge and work a 3rd. Practice nights were usually degree workings as well. Bill’s ‘day job’ was as a ship’s fireman on board a harbour tugboat. (A ship’s fireman is a stoker who fired up the vessel’s steam engine and monitored its performance.) In those days Dunedin Harbour was a very busy place and Bill would never know exactly when or where he would finish his working day. As a result he took all of his Masonic regalia to work, where he would shower, dress and go straight to a meeting. He recalled one occasion were the tug had arrived at Port Chalmers and was tying up a ship, a strong wind caused the operation to take much longer than usual. As time was getting on Bill became worried about being late for the Lodge meeting. So he went to the engineer and told him he was in a hurry to get away. The old Chief said, “Well you’re the fireman, give me the steam and I’ll get you home.” 35 minutes later the tug was tied up at the Cross Wharf in Dunedin. Not only did they break any known record but Bill had had a shower, got dressed, and put on a clean pair of overalls by the time they arrived and, when the order “finished with engines” came, he banked the fire too; all in full Lodge regalia – the best-dressed ships’ fireman in the world! William Wall was Secretary of the Lodge from 1957 until 1962 and, in 1966, he was installed as Prov. Grand Inspector. This office became Assistant Provincial G.M. in 1968, and he held it until 1976 when W.Bro. F. Fuller took over the helm.

These are just a few of the prominent men who were members of (and characters within) the Lodge - doubtless, memories lost over time, there were many others.

Notable Events

of Ireland. This changed on the 21 February 1970, however, when the Grand Master, The Rt. Hon. John M. H. Hely-Hutchinson, 7th Earl of Donoughmore of Knocklofty (1902-1981), was received. The Lodge Room was packed. 156 masons from all constitutions attended for the occasion. The four District and Provincial Grand Lodges, and 24 sitting masters - a great spectacle indeed - and one that surely must have impressed our Grand Master. The star of the show was without doubt the Master of St. Kilda Lodge, Lou Vorgers. What a sight was he as he hobbled in on crutches, his neck in a brace, one trouser leg cut up to the knee revealing a plaster cast from the foot up. He had been involved in a car accident and had only just been released from hospital that morning!

(NOTE: It might be remembered that the Grand Master himself became an unwilling international celebrity when, in June 1974, he was kidnapped along with his wife, from Knocklofty House, Clonmel by the I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army), and taken as a political hostage. He was lucky to be released unharmed after only one week!)

St. Patrick’s centennial year was reached in 1981 and proved to be another notable occasion when the Lodge received the DGM, Rt.W.Bro. George Mears Malone. Held over a weekend the event was impressive, being attended by 156 Masons with 260 brethren and their wives at the Centennial Banquet at the Rugby Union Club Rooms and well over 100 brethren at the Church Service on the Sunday. W.Bro. A. J. Burnard was in the Chair of King Solomon for this milestone event.

The first attempt to standardise Masonic ritual, and thereby make ritual readily accessible to new and old members alike, was tackled in England in 1837 when a standard 'Book of Ritual' was published by Emulation Lodge of Instruction members, Peter Gilkes and George Claret.

As any Mason knows, it is awkward for a Lodge to function as a cohesive unit without a 'universal' Book of Ritual so, during the early-1980's a notable task was undertaken at Lodge St. Patrick when the committee decided that it was high time that St. Patrick had its ritual working properly recorded. The mission fell to W.Bro. H. Dickson - quite an undertaking in a time when typewriters were virtually the only form of word processing. He completed his labour-of-love in 1985 and, with a few updates; 'his' book is still in regular use today, with several very battered and notated tomes still in evidence around the Lodge Room on practice nights!

A visit from the Deputy Grand Master, accompanied by the Grand Sec. Rt.W.Bro. Michael Walker occurred on the 26 January 1988 when, once again, the distinguished bre. were received into a packed lodge room, with all constitutions being represented.

On 22 March 1989 the Grand Master, the Most Hon. The Marquis of Donegal and the Grand Secretary visited New Zealand. The brethren of the South Island again responded. The lodge was packed with all four NZ constitutions again represented.

The final lodge meeting in the Masonic Lodge, Moray Place, Dunedin

After 111 years, Lodge St. Patrick had the honour and privilege of holding the last meeting in the Masonic Hall, Moray Place, Dunedin. On 4th September 1992, the Deputy Grand Master, Darwin H. Templeton, along with the Rt. Wor. Assistant Grand Master visited Lodge St. Patrick. This meeting went down as the ‘Great Last’. Not only was it to be the last Lodge meeting in the Masonic Hall, but the Deputy. G. Master was on his last tour in that capacity as he was installed as Grand Master in November that year, while Rt.W.Bro. I. R. Shepherd PGM, who was accompanying them, was replaced by Rt.W.Bro. Dan Virtue on the 12th September, 1992.

St. Patrick worked its final 2nd Degree in the Masonic Hall. Representatives from the N.Z. Grand Lodge were present and, for the last time, St. Patrick was able to receive into the lodge room our Brethren from the English and Scottish Constitutions, and representatives of the same District G. Lodges who had spent their time and energy 111 years previously to set Lodge St. Patrick No. 468 I.C. on the right path.

When, in the wee small hours, on the 5th September 1992, the Brethren of this Irish Lodge for the last time left the beautiful old Masonic Temple which has been their home for more than a century, they did so with a tinge of sadness for the many happy memories they had shared, but with hope in their hearts for a successful future in their new location, which was to be the Dunedin Masonic Centre, Manor Place, Dunedin.

(NOTE: This version of ‘The History of Lodge St. Patrick No.468 I.C.’ was written in 1992 by Rt.W.Bro. A. M. G. ‘Johnny’ Johnston and has been adapted for inclusion within this web site by W.Bro. John Wren-Potter.)

The History of Lodge St. Patrick - 1992 to 2006

[This section of Lodge St. Patrick’s web site is being updated from Lodge archives.]

The History of Lodge St. Patrick - 2006 to the present

[This section of Lodge St. Patrick’s web site is under construction.]

Roll of Honour, Past Masters of Lodge St. Patrick - 1881 to 2019

Key: † = Deceased R = Resigned

1881-82 Rt.Wor.Bro. T.S. Graham
1882-83 Wor.Bro. S. T. Kerr
1883-84 Wor.Bro. D. A. McNicholl
1884-85 Wor.Bro. J. J. Blanchard
1885-86 Wor.Bro. A. Barratt
1886-87 Wor.Bro. C. E. Thomson
1887-88 V.Wor.Bro. D. A. McNicholl
1888-89 Wor.Bro. T. H. Shadwell
1889-90 Wor.Bro. D. Wishart
1890-91 V.Wor.Bro. D. Sharpe
1891-92 Wor.Bro. P. Stewart
1892-93 Wor.Bro. A. J. Fowler
1893-94 Wor.Bro. D. G. Shepherd
1894-95 Wor.Bro. D. G. Shepherd
1895-96 Wor.Bro. J. North
1896-97 Wor.Bro. A. Garrick
1897-98 Wor.Bro. A. Garrick
1898-99 Wor.Bro. J. J. Minn
1899-00 Wor.Bro. C. Dickson
1900-01 V.Wor.Bro. D. A. McNicholl
1901-02 Wor.Bro. A. Minn
1902-03 Wor.Bro. G. Grace
1903-04 Wor.Bro. J. J. Leigh
1904-05 Wor.Bro. H. W. L. Pascoe
1905-06 Wor.Bro. H. W. L. Pascoe
1906-07 V.Wor.Bro. D. A. McNicholl
1907-08 Wor.Bro. C. B. Thomson
1908-09 V.Wor.Bro. J. A. Davie
1909-10 Wor.Bro. G. Scott
1910-11 Rt.Wor.Bro. T. W. Dobbie
1911-12 Wor.Bro. C. N. Scurr
1912-13 V.Wor.Bro.J. A. Davie
1913-14 V.Wor.Bro. H. Rideout
1914-15 Wor.Bro. W. F. Sutton
1915-16 Rt.Wor.Bro. G. Scott
1916-17 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. W. Scurr
1917-18 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. W. Scurr
1918-19 Rt.Wor.Bro. T. W. Dobbie
1919-20 Rt.Wor.Bro. T. W. Dobbie
1920-21 V.Wor.Bro. L. G. Anderson
1921-22 Wor.Bro. G. R. Rawnsley
1922-23 Wor.Bro. B. J. McArthur
1923-24 Wor.Bro. F. I. Powell
1924-25 Rt.Wor.Bro. D. Terry
1925-26 Rt.Wor.Bro. L. J. T. Ireland
1926-27 Wor.Bro. D. B. Waddell
1927-28 Wor.Bro. J. T. Hammond
1928-29 Wor.Bro. T. J. Glen
1929-30 Wor.Bro. C. E. Morris
1930-31 V.Wor.Bro. G. Cooper
1931-32 Wor.Bro. F. E. Frame
1932-33 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. W. Aitken
1933-34 Wor.Bro. L. L. Little
1934-35 Rt.Wor.Bro. R. C. McPherson
1935-36 Wor.Bro. E. M. McBride
1936-37 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. C. Bates
1937-38 V.Wor.Bro. D. Anderson
1938-39 Wor.Bro. G. M. Kinmont
1939-40 Wor.Bro. N. H. McMullan
1940-41 Wor.Bro. V. H. Goddard
1941-42 Wor.Bro. E. H. Ewing
1942-43 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. C. Bates
1943-44 Wor.Bro. A. W. N. Clarke
1944-45 Rt.Wor.Bro. R. C. McPherson
1945-46 Wor.Bro. S. S. Hall
1946-47 Rt.Wor.Bro. R. C. McPherson
1947-48 Wor.Bro. W. F. Sutton
1948-49 Wor.Bro. L. C. Scrivener
1949-50 Wor.Bro. D. H. Feathers
1950-51 Wor.Bro. N. H. Ellis
1951-52 Rt.Wor.Bro. W. H. Armstrong
1952-53 Wor.Bro. E. G. Paterson
1953-54 Wor.Bro. E. H. Andrew
1954-55 Rt.Wor.Bro. W. G. Wall
1955-56 Wor.Bro. P. C. Barker
1956-57 Wor.Bro. W. J. Douglas
1957-58 Wor.Bro. B. McPherson
1958-59 V.Wor.Bro. E. B. Williamson
R 1959-60 V.Wor.Bro. J. H. Totton
1960-61 Wor.Bro. N. D. Scurr
1961-62 Rt.Wor.Bro. F. G. Fuller
1962-63 Wor.Bro. W. C. Edgar
R 1963-64 Wor.Bro. W. H. Jackson
R 1964-65 Wor.Bro. D. J. Aston
1965-66 V.Wor.Bro. A. C. McConnell
1966-67 Wor.Bro. J. W. Kerr
1967-68 Wor.Bro. H. Scott
1968-69 Wor.Bro. S. Abbott
1969-70 Rt.Wor.Bro. A. M. G. Johnston
1970-71 Rt.Wor.Bro. A. F. McGregor
1971-72 Rt.Wor.Bro. D. Kirkwood
1972-73 V.Wor.Bro. T. W. Burnard
1973-74 V.Wor.Bro. R. Abbott
1974-75 Wor.Bro. E. H. Warren
1975-76 V.Wor.Bro. J. Burgess
R 1976-77 Wor.Bro. L. Moore
1977-78 V.Wor.Bro. A. J. Weir
1978-79 V.Wor.Bro. F. B. Millar
R 1979-80 Wor.Bro. W. J. McMullin
1980-81 Wor.Bro. J. G. Smaill
1981-82 Wor.Bro. A. J. Burnard
1982-83 Wor.Bro. H. Dickson
1983-84 V.Wor.Bro. N. J. Wishart
R 1984-85 Wor.Bro. P. Winter
1985-86 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. F. T. Griffin
1986-87 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. F. T. Griffin
1987-88 Wor.Bro. L. W. McCormick
1988-89 Wor.Bro. R. T. Burnard
1989-90 V.Wor.Bro. R. Beattie
1990-91 V.Wor.Bro. R. Beattie
1991-92 Wor.Bro. W. S. Stott
1992-93 Wor.Bro. S. E. Walker
1993-94 Rt.Wor.Bro. A. M. G. Johnston
1994-95 Rt.Wor.Bro. D. Kirkwood
R 1995-96 V.Wor.Bro. J. H. Totton
R 1996-97 V.Wor.Bro. J. H. Totton
1997-98 Wor. Bro. T. E. Cotton
R 1998-99 V.Wor.Bro. J. H. Totton
1999-00 Wor.Bro. T. J. Matthews
2000-01 Wor.Bro. T. J. Matthews
2001-02 Wor.Bro. W. S. Stott
2002-03 Wor.Bro. K. D. Sharapoff
2003-04 Wor.Bro. J. D. Earle
2004-05 Wor.Bro. J. D. Earle
2005-06 Wor.Bro. M. N. Darling
2006-07 Wor.Bro. M. N. Darling
2007-08 Rt.Wor.Bro. J. G. Baines
2008-09 Wor.Bro. S. Warrington
2009-10 Wor.Bro. D. I. McBride
2010-11 Wor.Bro. J. L. Wren-Potter
2011-12 Wor.Bro. J. L. Wren-Potter
2012-13 Wor.Bro. S. Warrington
2013-14 Wor.Bro. S. Warrington
2014-15 Wor.Bro. J. W. Darling
2015-16 Wor.Bro. J. W. Darling
2016-17 Wor.Bro. J. Karaka-Hazeldine
2017-18 Wor.Bro. P. D. Hobson


For further information, please contact:
Mr M N Darling,
The Secretary, Lodge St. Patrick No.468 I.C.
141 Evans Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010, New Zealand
T: +64 (0)3 473 0359
F: +64 (0)3 454 5494
E: darlingclan@xtra.co.nz

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