United Manawatu Lodge

186 Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North

  • United Manawatu Lodge.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7378 Date Entered 24th April 1997

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Palmerston North City

Region

Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

pt SEc 26, Township of Palmerston North

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Historical:

The United Manawatu Lodge, No. 1721, E.C. was founded in Palmerston North in 1877. The first in the Manawatu, is regarded as the 'mother' lodge for the region. The present Broadway building, with its Egyptian motifs, was completed in 1931 on a site obtained in 1891/92, The Lodge sold the building in 1988 and it is now a café.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Architectural:

The only substantial extant feature of this Masonic 'temple' is its front facade upon which striking elements of an Inter War Egyptian Masonic style can be seen.

Style indicators are:

- large, bell-cap engaged columns;

- hieroglyphics;

- plain parapet;

- twin globes.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Cultural:

The United Manawatu Lodge, No. 1721, E.C. provided a meeting place for Palmerston North freemasons for over 50 years.

Social:

An indication of the importance of Freemasonry to Palmerston North is provided by the fact that a lodge was opened in 1877, the year the population of 800 achieved borough status. Freemasonry dates back to the late 16th century and is believed to have developed from even earlier guild practices. In Palmerston North, as well as elsewhere in colonial New Zealand, Freemasonry played an important role in

developing social, business and political networks for European males. The lodge's role in caring for dependents of dead members was important in the pre Welfare State era.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:

The history of the United Manawatu Lodge, No, 1721, E.C. shows that it is of considerable regional significance. It was the first lodge founded in the Manawatu and even today is regarded as the 'mother' lodge. Its members included many civic and business leaders, reflecting the colonial trend for lodges and societies such as the Freemasons to provide European males with valuable business, social and political networks and their dependents with social support.

(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:

Events:

No events are known to be associated with the building apart from the expected ones of construction and change of ownership; between 1931 and 1988, however, it would have housed the Lodge and been the venue for Masonic events and practices.

Persons:

The Lodge membership included many prominent businessmen and local authority politicians.

Ideas:

Freemasonry is shrouded in myth and mystique. It is first recorded in the late 16th century and is believed to have developed from even earlier guild practices. In New Zealand it provided mutual support for members and a charitable role for sick members and dependents.

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.