The season of 1918 opened with a vengeance, and for the first time there was an offer of free admission and free hire of skates on opening night. All staff were known to be competent instructors to help those who needed it. W Taylor, the proprietor of the Dixon Street Rink at this time, also announced that the floor was in good condition, the skates were all up to date, and the band would be playing. A standard advertisement was taken out for the rest of the season, requesting people to come and “join the Whirling Merrymakers”. The people still came to skate, even during one of Masterton’s worst snowstorms. In July 1918, some parts of the town were under 30cms of snow, and Mount Bruce saw over 1.2m meters on some sections of road. Reviews were good, and skating was proving to be popular again. Fancy skating lessons were being held with regularity, which were becoming well-regarded. Come August, and a Grand Fancy Dress Carnival was announced. R W Gunn was listed as the floor manager. Costumes, fun, competitions, races, the band and musical chairs were all promised, and ticket sales were in great demand. While Mastertonians were caught up with the possibility that World War One may soon be coming to an end, and the fact that they had just weathered a record-breaking snowstorm, it would be forgivable for them to not be overly aware of the creeping tentacles of a newly virulent strain of influenza reaching across the globe. From late August, there were no advertisements for the skating rink. This could possibly be due to regulations regarding the incoming influenza epidemic. By the start of November, reports of increasing infections and deaths in Auckland were in the paper, alongside increasing advertisements for various elixirs. On 7th November, Wairarapa Daily Times announced that there were 900 cases of influenza in the Featherston Camp, and “instructions to affected households” were printed to explain hygienic steps for people to take when the disease enters their home. Days later, all of Masterton’s schools were closed for the remainder of the year. On 12 November news came that the war was to officially end, and great celebrations ensued. The following day, the first three people in Masterton were to die of influenza. An extra inhalation chamber was set up at Masterton Borough Council and people were requested to attend for daily treatments. The Wellington District Health Office announced that all places of amusement (including skating rinks) were to be closed for at least one week, with extensions and further restrictions coming later that week. The only businesses allowed to open were grocery suppliers, and even that was only for the mornings. People allowed to enter any other businesses were for the strict purpose of disinfecting the premises. The public were also requested to not congregate or to go about unnecessary business. It wasn’t until 12th December that the worst of the epidemic had seemed to have passed and the restrictions began to lift, but some new cases and deaths were to pop up throughout the month, with the last two deaths occurring on the 23rd. Although restrictions didn’t appear to lift until the 12th, there is mention of the skating rink on the 10th December, in which good attendance on the previous evening was noted mainly due to “the closing of the picture theatres causing a number of people to seek enjoyment on the whirling wheels.” The announcement reassured patrons that they will be open every night for the following few weeks. It is unknown as to whether they had found a loophole in the Public Order, or if they were operating illegally. Either way, there didn’t seem to be any outcry over the situation.