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The Chee Kung Tong Chinese Freemasons (Wellington Chinese Masonic Society Inc) was established in 1907 as the New Zealand branch of the Hung League (itself an offshoot of the Yee Hing Secret Society), an international Chinese movement founded in the 17th century to overthrow the Manchurian Qing Dynasty[1]. Chee Kung Tong located in 81 Vivian Street[2], and was later located at 23 Frederick Street, this is one of only three remaining buildings from the original Chinatown which remains standing today.[3]

Flag of Wellington Branch, Hung Shun Tong 2nd Lodge of the Hung League. [ca 1925-1946]. Chung, Doris 1918- :[Eight silk triangular Hung League - Chinese Masonic Society regimental / ritual flags with Chinese charaters painted on the front. 1925-1946]. Ref: D-014-027. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22765261

The building was opened on 10 October 1925[1]. Following a procession (for which permission was sought) from 81 Vivian Street to the new hall[2], fireworks were set off[2], and the gala event was attended by "the Mayor and Archdeacon of Wellington, a cabinet minister and a ‘high office bearer of the Wellington Grand Lodge Masonic Order’" was held[1]. The building is considered by the Wellington City Council of having cultural significance to the Chinese community.[3]

Chee Kung Tong in Wellington was known for being philanthropic, and membership appealed mainly to "average Chinese", including miners, merchants and market gardeners.[1]

Senior office holders would often speak at events of significance to the Chinese community, including Double Tenth celebrations, such as that held in 1922.

Wellington City Libraries (18th Sep 2017). Wellington Chinese Masonic Society, 23 Frederick Street. In Website Wellington City Libraries. Retrieved 14th Sep 2020 07:44, from https://wellington.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/2599

New Zealand branches of Chee Kung Tong were formally disbanded in 1975.[1]

Chee Kung Tong Chinese Freemasons procession, Frederick Street, Wellington. Chung, Doris :Photograph of Chinese Freemasons in Frederick Street, Wellington, 1924 :Photograph showing a group outside the Embassy of the Republic of China, Wellington, 1920s. Ref: 1/2-169003-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22792532

Not specified. (1930). Wellington representatives of the Chee Kung Tong photographed, probably in the 1930s, by an unknown photographer. Retrieved 14 January 2018, from https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22712312

Wellington Chinese Masonic Society Incorporated building (July 2017)

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Wellington Chinese Masonic Society Incorporated building December 2021)

Wellington Chinese Masonic Society Incorporated building (2) December 2021.jpgWellington Chinese Masonic Society Incorporated building December 2021.jpg

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Australian & New Zealand Masonic Research Council. (2002). Chinese Masonic Society. Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/chinese-masonic-society.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wellington City Council Archive. (1925). Procession through streets - Wellington Chinese Masonic Society - Wellington City Council Archives, 00233-1925/2194. Retrieved 2 July 2019, from Archives Online website: https://archivesonline.wcc.govt.nz/nodes/view/101929
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wellington City Council. (2017 20–4). Wellington Chinese Masonic Society Building - 23 Frederick Street, Te Aro, Wellington. Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://www.wellingtoncityheritage.org.nz/buildings/1-150/123-wellington-chinese-masonic-society-building?q=

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