Sep 10, 2008

Christchurch's First Masonic Lodge

Built in 1853 on the North side of Hereford Street West, between Colombo Street and Oxford Terrace, the design can be attributed to the Architect, Surveyor, Civil Engineer and Secretary of the Land Board, Charles Edward Fooks (1829–1907) on the site gifted by his Brother-in-law William Guise Brittan (1807–76), Commissioner of Crown Lands and Publisher of The Canterbury Standard.

Sworn to a sacred oath of secrecy, the brethren of the St Augustine Lodge, which included virtually every prominent male settler, were only absolved from that oath in matters of murder and treason.

Consequent to its location might be attributable, in what had initially been a residential district, the subsequent development of the area as a favoured locality for the city's Banks, Insurance Companies and the Legal and Accountancy professions.

The Lodge was demolished in 1870 to be replaced by the second premises of the Union Bank of Australasia. The site is occupied in 2008 by the Ibis Hotel.

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