DISTRICT PROFILE - CANTERBURY DISTRICT
The Pegasus District No. 25 takes its name from Pegasus Bay, situated on the east coast of the South Island. This bay has a sandy beach which runs from Banks Peninsula to the Waipara River mouth. A total of five Rivers flow into Pegasus Bay, from the Avon and Heathcote Rivers via the Avon Heathcote Estuary in the south, the Waimakariri River, Ashley River & Waipara River to the north. The city of Christchurch is situated at the southern end of Pegasus Bay.
The Pegasus, was the name of the sailing ship which resurveyed part of the South Island in 1809. The first mate of the brig Pegasus, William Stewart, gave Pegasus Bay its name. The captain of the ship, Captain Samuel Chase lays claim to the correction of Captain James Cook's original chart, by determining that "Banks Island" was in fact a peninsula, so that even as late as 1843, Pegasus Bay was still referred to as Cook's Mistake.
Christchurch as the second largest City in New Zealand is the urban heart of a greater rural Canterbury, with a traditional focus of sheep, wool, cattle and crop production now giving way to a more diverse rural scene, which now includes among others, the fast growing dairy and viticulture industries.
Southern Cross Lodge No. 6
The Ashley Lodge No. 28
The Masters & Past Masters No. 130
The Crown Lodge No. 138
The Avon Shirley Lodge No. 185
Lodge Tawera No. 188
Lodge Doric Brighton No. 236
Lodge Takahe No. 397
Lodge Idris No. 452
Seven (7) of these nine (9) lodges of the Pegasus District are now domiciled in the recently completed Shirley Freemasons Centre at 9 Shirley Road, which was the original site of the old Shirley Lodge rooms. The development of this magnificent flagship masonic building in Christchurch can be directly attributed to the untiring work of a number of dedicated masons and to the devastating Christchurch earthquake of 22nd February 2011 and the on-going aftershocks experienced in it's aftermath. This natural disaster contained a silver lining of opportunity for Canterbury Masons, by providing the motivation for various lodges to reconsider their accommodation, firstly from a safety point of view and secondly from a cost of maintenance, repair and insurance points of view.
The two (2) remaining North Canterbury Lodges, not currently housed at the Shirley Freemasons Centre, are in the planning stage of development of their future Masonic accommodation for their members. It is hoped that in time the two (2) North Canterbury lodges will be housed in modern, safe and attractive accommodation which will point out to the general public, that Masonry is a modern, current and relevant organisation in today's world.
The Shirley Freemasons Centre has its own website. It can be accessed by clicking here.