March Newsletter

Avant-Garde 503
March 2012 Newsletter
http//www.avantgarde503.co.nz
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The beginning of this month is to be a real busy one for members with social, ceremonial and District Installation events beginning. Firstly, Coastal Young Farmers have invited their Sponsors along to a BBQ being held in Okato on Friday the 2nd at 6.30pm, secondly, there is a BBQ with BYO drinks at Bernie and Bev's on Sunday the 4th from 5.30pm which you are all invited to attend to meet with Bro Tutt Gaudreau from South Carolina who is over here to work offshore as from Wednesday. Please make every effort to come along to welcome our overseas Brother. Thirdly, we have our Initiation on Saturday the 10th followed by a BBQ once again which is being held at Rogers' following the ceremony. This is an event that friends and family would be very welcome to come along and a chance to mix and mingle with perhaps new friendships developing.

Patea Kilwinning Lodge No 18 Installation is to take place on the 14th and they are not handing in their Charter after all, as was mentioned in a previous Newsletter towards the end of last year. This is a turn around and they will have to put a lot of effort into trying to rebuild this once glorious Lodge which has seen the demise of it's surrounding District and population. I trust they are able to muster the courage to go out into their community with enthusiasm and commitment and recruit membership that can last. Of course this would need to be in the farming community were the population is more stable and are less likely to be so mobile and willing to move on as readily as the township community. Only time will tell of their success.

Congratulations are extended to Maxine and Wayne on the birth of their second child and daughter
named Tuesday, on the 15th of February 2012. The Ladies and members send their best wishes and support and trust that all goes well for the young one. It is not very often, almost a rarity, that a baby is born to Lodge members in this day and age and this one is someone special, make no mistake.

The Grand Secretary has sent out an e-mail warning members to be extremely careful in opening messages from “supposed brethren” from overseas, requesting assistance from members here in NZ to send them money that will help them to travel home after suffering some sort of mishap. These messages are plucking at your heart strings and sympathy and it so easy for one to want to help out, but DON”T. These messages are mainly coming out of Asia and are a scam that will take your money or allow them to access your computer. We happen to be an easy target for these unscrupulous scoundrels, for Freemasonry is known to be a charitable organisation dispensing aid to those in need so be very weary and don't rush into opening these types of messages. Be Warned.

There are many other similar requests being received daily for assistance from the same types of people and they come in the post or even phoned, asking you personal questions and or informing you that you have won a huge Lottery and all you must do is send an amount of money to be eligible to receive the winnings but one does not receive and your money has gone for ever and there is no traceability.

Congratulations must go to Bro Barry Severensen, in accepting the Leadership roll of the Lion Lodge in Ormandville, for it is believed they were starting to look at the wall, which is a shame, for these country type Lodges are some of the most interesting and hospitable around. I have found them to be an enjoyable and delightful bunch of guys but like all, the members are growing old and there is a lot of work required to be done to keep a Lodge successful and growing. But without youthful members to take on some of these jobs ,the future becomes a little darker and the repeating of officers makes for a darkness that is difficult to come out of. One needs to release the reins of control and accept younger members input in the interests of the Lodge and it's members.
I'm sure that Barry and Anne will make for an interesting time of office and we wish them all the best during their term in the chair.

The annual Bowling Tournament is on again at the Tariki Bowling Club, Sunday the 18th of March and teams must be entered by the 14th of March. Do we have enough interest of members to enter a team for some of us will be working on Saturday at the Senior Masons and Widows Luncheon in Midhurst. Anyone interested please contact Rod 756 8900, Bob 756 7862 or Henni 753 8476 or Roger 753 8309 before the 14th.

In the last National Freemason Magazine there is the Report from the President of the Board of General Purposes with a hi-lighted snippet titled “The Membership Challenge” which shows some drastic statistics over the 2010 - 2011 year to which I quote:
There were 344 initiations: There were 353 deaths: There were 700 resignations & strike offs: 250 of the initiates were in the 20 – 50 age group: 130 in this age group resigned. There in lies the challenge. This is a huge challenge to secure membership and one must look outside of the square to ensure we can and do retain our valuable members for the success of the future, be it for lodge or any other type organisation. A future is only assured with youth wishing to join, just keep this in the back of your mind at all times.

If you have a particular interest and or idea you wish to put forward that could possibly improve our Lodge activities or events then please don't hesitate to contact the secretary either by phone or e-mail and you can be assured that this information will be forwarded onto management of the lodge for discussion and action. It is ideas to improve our social activities and public awareness that we so desperately require and it is the membership who in the end benefits.

Any member who has friends or knows someone that may show an interest in Freemasonry then we should be informed and perhaps a special activity can be arranged to give them an insight into the organisation and meet with other members so that they can be informed of expectations and requirements before finding out the hard way and they then change their mind and withdraw. It is entirely up to you members, for suggestions.

The last three initiation practices for Saturday the 10th are on the1st, 6th & 8th of March and we require a full rehearsal for these from our local members so that it may all fall into place when the Bay members arrive for Saturday.

Next Management Meeting is on the 13th March at Brian's. 51 Pembroke Road Stratford 7.30pm.

May Regular Meeting; Tuesday the 1st May 2012.

B.A.B

God will not look you over for Medals, Degrees or Diplomas, but for scars.

Elbert Hubbard

25/02/2012