Thousands of dollars worth of irreplaceable Masonic medals
have been stolen from the lodge's Dunedin centre in a
Christmas crime which has disgusted members.
About 100 medals, called Masonic jewels by Freemasons, were
ripped from display boards hung on walls of the Manor Pl
building between Monday night and Christmas morning.
At least three of the medals were pre-1900 and made from
Those would each be worth between $300 and $400, Dunedin
Masonic Hall Company Ltd board of directors chairman Brian
Others were made of brass, and all had the names of
recipients inscribed on them as well as the date they were
Mr Hastie said the ''newer'' medals each cost about $85, and
were bought by the lodge to give to members for various
positions and achievements.
''All the jewels that were stolen belonged to members who
have died and their families have given them back to the
lodge. They are irreplaceable - they meant a lot - and
they're quite sought-after,'' he said.
Mr Hastie said an initial break-in happened at the lodge
centre between late Monday and early Tuesday, which he
discovered about 3pm on Christmas Eve.
He said a second burglary occurred between late Christmas Eve
and Christmas morning, which he reported to police that
''How they [thieves] got in I don't know. They smashed the
glass covers of the medal boards and stripped the jewels off,
but they have left some behind.''
He did not know why some medals were taken and others not.
''A lot of them are over 100 years old. It's very
Mr Hastie said there were what appeared to be three bullet
holes in the exterior and interior glass doors of the
building's upper level.
He thought they were made by an air gun, but did not know if
entry was gained to the building through those doors or by
The complex had been locked as usual, he said. The lodge had
insurance for structural damage.
Dunedin police yesterday photographed the smashed medal
boards and spoke to lodge members.
They were also shown photographs of the medals, which were
taken a few years ago by the lodge.