February Newsletter

Avant-Garde 503
February 2012 Newsletter
The New Year has begun and this is the first Newsletter to our members. We trust each and everyone of you have had your fill of celebrations and good cheer and are now fully refreshed to face 2012 with tonnes of enthusiasm, full of ideas for activities and suggestions, to advance our Lodge. Failing this we may have to lengthen the holiday period.

Late last year, Roger and I went to the Coastal Young Farmers National Bank Contest down in Okato, on the most miserable of days for any public activity, it had rained extremely heavy during the night and into the early morning, with surface water being about 50 to 75 mm deep on the grounds but this did not deter the enthusiasm of the sixteen contestants. It did us though, for it was uncomfortable walking about viewing some of the contest activities with wet feet. It was pleasing to see our Lodge name, on the local clubs black tee shirts in white print amongst the other sponsors and also our emblem on the foot of their letters alongside their other sponsors also. This is some of the most positive advertising activities we have engaged in since we have been in operation and it should grow in the future.

Well the year has not begun as a real summer, for there is and has been considerable wet weather and strong winds that have been persistent almost every other day or so, but it surely does assist the farming community but the holiday makers are filled with dread and no suntans. The seas have been tremendously high and as the Rena disaster can well vouch for, as it broke in two discharging it's containers into the sea that should really have been salvaged, had we a normal summer conditions. One must surely believe that the climate is changing,( mainly for the better) Maybe next year will be different again, only time will tell.

Our Lodge is getting underway again after the break and our ritual needs are also closer, for March is our programmed Initiation of our latest candidate and perhaps there could be more if we put our heads together forming a list of details and also asking our friends or family members to join up with us. Think about it brethren for we must use the impetus, gaining traction to increase our youthful membership. It was very pleasing to meet with Bro Graham Mann and his partner, Ikue who has come over from Japan recently to stay and Graham is down from Auckland, at our BBQ last Saturday.

The BBQ turned out very successful, with just on twenty present having a good chat and a beaut meal provided with plenty to eat. A very “Special Thanks” must go to Bill and Lorraine for the their hospitality and use of their home and facilities. I'm sure Lorraine had been working hard leading up to the BBQ to ensure everything went off well and she can be reassured that the hospitality was magnificent and thanks again. With the evening cooling down outside, induced all to gather inside to chat away and watch the tennis broadcast from Aussie, ending a most enjoyable day around 10.30pm. Thanks to all who provided the scrumptious meal, well done everyone and especially for our visitors.

There are a number of events itemised over the next few months that require our participation one way or another; firstly the Initiation Ceremony on the 10th of March which most members will have jobs to do and the practice evenings require full turnouts to give continuity. ( see below ) Secondly there is a Lecture by R Wor Bro Greg Goding the author of Order in the House, who is again travelling around the country presenting and promoting his concept for improving Freemasonry. This is a very good presentation and we need ideas that can be used to build our Lodge so I suggest that there be a good representation from Avant Garde members attending this meeting in Wanganui on the 24th of April. Travel will be arranged closer to the time.

On Saturday March the 17th is the Senior Masons and Widows Luncheon at Midhurst which will entail some of us working on the day and providing entertainment for our elderly members and widows of Freemasonry. Saturday the 19th of May is the Central Division Conference being held here in Taranaki for the very first time at the Pacific International Hotel Management School, in Bell Block. This conference has more to offer than just hearing reports from the hierarchy of the Craft put also from some of the people who have received scholarships, Leaders of sections such as Communications, Publicity and Education as well as Freemasons Charity etc. As many members as possible are required to attend for this is an opportunity to associate with members from outside our District and show that we are good hosts on the day.

Freemasons Scholarships for academic excellence are also a method of publicity that should be pursued actively at a more local level and members are asked to keep an eye out for students who may qualify for this assistance and have them apply. There is also the opportunity to apply for assistance for students and others in need and all one need do, is complete an Application for Assistance Form, that are available from the District Charity Officer, Brian Chainey 51 Pembroke Road Stratford and he will advise and assist applicants with completion of the form.

The Junior Practice evenings are to begin again on Tuesday February the 28th at Darnell Street from 7.30pm due to the First Degree Practices being held, and from March and the following months they will be on the last Thursday of each month as the year progresses or altered as required to accommodate other events etc.

Degree Practices are on February 9th 16th 23rd these practices require your attendance so please make every effort to be present.

The Firewood Project is now underway and we require members to assist with both the splitting as well as the delivery to customers. If you know of anyone requiring firewood then please advise either the Master, Secretary or Roger Bryant and they shall arrange for the wood to be delivered on time. There are a lot of Suppliers of firewood around the area and we are not the only supply, so if you have difficulty convincing the customer of value, add that our funds go to Charity and people I've spoken to suggest that this is a worthy and competitive idea so give it a try and see if it helps.

Members of Management have agreed that our Lodge shall hold a Ten Year Celebration of our Constitution and Dedication in 2013 and we need ideas to come forward to mark this milestone of the Lodge for we began with only a few dedicated members and are now beginning to show some growth which speaks highly of our worthiness and the value we have contributed to the district. Your ideas will need to be brought to the Feb Management Meeting so we can begin the organising a weekend of celebrations and make bookings well in advance, for time soon runs down very fast and we have other events to plan through 2012 into 2013

Next Management Meeting is on the 14th February at R Bryant's 209 Smart Road, New Plymouth. 7.30pm.

Next Regular Meeting; Tuesday the 7th February 2012.

B.A. B. 30/01/2012

nothing great was ever achieved
without enthusiasm