In 1968 Members of the Lodge Executive Committee, meeting prior to our spring lodge meeting, approved plans for the construction of the Wipala Wiki Kiva to be built at the Pueblo. Shown above is the Original Artist’s Conception of the way it will appear. During preliminary discussions, it was pointed out, that to conform to the city building code, the Kiva must have two exits. Due to this requirement, a small door was placed on the South side of the Kiva. The shape of the Kiva was also changed to an Octagonal Shape rather than the Original Round Design.
A tentative construction budget of $600 was approved and during the discussion which followed, it was also, noted that many of the materials had already been donated. Arrowmen and Advisers are asked to look for and keep as many Dead Saguaro ribs as possible to use for the roofing material. No date was set for construction, but it was hoped to begin soon. When completed, the Kiva will have white plaster walls and a 8’ X12’ Altar which will have a marble Antelope Mosaic for decorative purposes. There will also be spotlights and room lights which will add a modern touch to the edifice. The Lodges’ 11 Kachinas, 1 Lodge Kachina and 10 Chapter Kachinas, will be painted on the inside walls of the Kiva.
In addition to the Kachina’s, 4 Pictographs will also be painted on the walls. Of the four Pictographs, two will deal with the Spruce Tree Legend and the others will deal with the Fox and Swallow Legends.
On June 8th 1968 the ground was broken for our Lodge Kiva. Wipala Wiki performed a prayer in Hopi to Dedicate the Kiva which started the work…Finally after two years of construction the Kiva was ready for its Official Opening. So on April 25th 1970, approximately 180 OA members watched as Wipala Wiki blessed the new building with a Hopi Prayer and then proceeded to cut the ribbon officially opening the Kiva. Lodge Chief Gene Wikle and Lodge Adviser Al Stambaugh spoke briefly all then toured our Home away from Home.
The Kiva lasted for many years but the Arizona Weather took its toll on the building which resorted in a leaky roof which led to major damage inside the Kiva. So a group of adults led by Larry Johnson, Randy Driscoll, Chuck Magley and Jim Pearce began to rebuild and repair all the damage done to the Kiva in 1991. The first job was to take down the Saguaro Roof and put a proper roof that would stand up against the Arizona Climate. The roof entrance was replace with the current north facing door. After two years of rebuilding the Kiva was completed in 1993.
A Final refreshing of the Kiva was led by Lodge Adviser Gary Hnydowitz in 2014, the 65th Anniversary year of the Lodge. It involved painting and cleaning the inside, cleaning the outside of the building and spreading a fresh load of rock around the outside of the Kiva. The Vigil Plaque Project was completed. A Showcase to display awards the lodge earned over the years was purchased and placed inside along with new tables and chairs. A beaded Antelope Kachina was made and donated by Lodge Member Ray Kay. Also a 4 foot stain glass Antelope Kachina was made and donated by Lodge Member William Popescue. Both were mounted inside the Kiva.
Then on December 6, 2014 the Kiva was Re-Dedicated. The festivities started with an Indian Dance by one of our youth members. It was followed by a Blessing Ceremony by Troop 526’s Ceremony Team, from the Tovakinpi Chapter, which was written by William Popescue and led by Ceremony Adviser Jeffrey McHenry. The Ribbon Cutting followed and was performed by Gene Wikle, Original Kiva Dedication Lodge Chief in 1970 and Current Lodge Chief Joe Garcia. Following the ribbon cutting 150 plus Lodge Members toured the refurnished Kiva and enjoyed a nice lunch provided by the Lodge. It was a GREAT DAY in the History of our LODGE!