The Hibernian Society (named after the ancient name for Ireland) is a Catholic benefit society which has existed in New Zealand since 1869. It raises, administers and distributes funds to support Catholic families suffering economic and social hardship, and provides support and companionship. The society arose first among Irish migrants in Australia and its full name, the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society, appears on this magnificent certificate, illustrated with symbols from Irish and Catholic traditions. This certificate was issued to the Dunedin branch of the Hibernians in 1873, and authorised them to form an official branch of the society.
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