THE MAT STORY   ...cntd
Hello George,

Thank you for your contact re the Taringatura welcome mat.  I remember it well; it was the first thing one saw upon entering the Lodge foyer. It is quite old I believe, made by a Lodge member* or possibly a member’s wife.

I’m surprised GL could not give you a better history of Taringatura.  The Lodge was formed in 1886, Wor.Br. JW Bradmore was the first Master and I was the last Master, when it closed in 2004. In its heyday it had quite a big membership of 199 members. Situated in Lumsden, it drew members from a large surrounding area. Taringatura was a very social Lodge with an annual ball and various other events, which involved the ladies, who were always as keen to meet together as were the men. It was a very sad occasion when the Lodge closed. It still had about 40 members but many no longer lived in the area due to being posted out of the district by their work etc.

The Lodge building still stands and has become a residence. The owner has kept the Lodge room intact as it was when closed. The large refectory and kitchen etc is now the living area.

I was told the Lodge held back its application for charter so as to time it right to get the 100 lodge number. Some of the history tells us meetings were timed to be on full moon nights so the horse riders could see to go home in Winter months. I’ve also heard that visiting Lodges from Invercargill (50 miles South) would come by train, bringing their work clothes and going back on the 6 am train direct to work. Tough men in those days!!

I can’t help you as to how the mat got to Methven but one of our older members, Bro Murray Puddy, retired to Rakaia to be near family. I know he joined a Lodge somewhere in the District, and he could have taken it there. Murray is now deceased.

Hope this has been of some help to you.
Fraternal greetings,
Colin Davidson - Lodge Winton No. 108

The Brother who I met, (and I don’t recall his name) added to W Bro Colin Davidson’s information, with the following.

*The mat was tatted by VW Bro Stuart McKnight of Lodge Taringatura, P Prov G.M. of Southland who was a Low/High Country Farmer at Athol.  His son was also a PM of Lodge Taringatura No. 100 in Lumsden.

The lodge Room had a black and white marble tessellated pavement of 3 inch squares.  There was a stove which was made from a superb piece of cast iron with great embellishments on it - ex USA.

Lodge Taringatura No. 100 had been one of the larger Masonic Lodges in Southland with 180 members on its books in the mid 1960s.

What a great story! Thanks George.