Our History

“The history of this lodge is the history of New Zealand”

Ara Lodge – also known as Ara 348 IC (Irish Constitution) – is New Zealand’s first Masonic Lodge, attracting members from all walks of life, since her inception in 1842.

The early members included many significant historical figures in New Zealand’s colonial history, including:

  • William Mason – New Zealand’s first architect, who oversaw the establishment of Auckland’s original civic buildings (including Government House and St Paul’s).
  • Charles Heaphy – prominent artist and the first New Zealander to win a Victoria Cross.
  • Sir Frederick Whitaker – prominent lawyer, land speculator and Premier of New Zealand.
  • William Wilson – founder of the New Zealand Herald.
  • Dr Robert Kidd – first Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School and Registrar of Auckland University College.