Avant-Garde 503
April 2012 Newsletter
April is here already and followed on by May but just what has been achieved this year is well documented in the public arena but Freemasonry is languishing in the past for there is not very much communication from Divisional or National information being made available back at Lodge level except with the Freemason Magazine every quarter. Surely there is more going on than what one finds in their own newsletters. Even the G Secretary's newsletter through the internet does not give a great deal and as for our local District Magazine this leaves so much to be desired that I believe it should be put to bed and allowed to collect dust for it has now become so disjointed with Meeting dates not being correct and some Lodges being missed out altogether.

The promise of a new look has left one thinking that he has missed out on something for all we have is a jumble of meeting dates and Royal Arch gatherings ( these gatherings never featured in the magazine once, mainly because it was set up for the Craft only) that look as though some child has played around assembling them. Also our advertisers must feel let down by the extremely poor presentation of their business information and feel it a waste of money advertising in such poor quality. All advertisers pay the same amount but not all adverts are equally sized and some are not presented clear and concise enough to even read, so one could expect a discerning advertiser to soon withdraw from involvement in such poor quality print. Freemasonry must improve the professionalism of it's District Magazine so Lodges can be better portrayed and that information be more disseminated throughout the membership.

Upon reviewing some past publications for comparison, going back about seven to ten years, this Magazine was in a far better print then, than of this last month,March, so I suggest an improvement of the quality must be attained so that it is a publication that fairly represents the District Freemasons and if this is not possible then it should cease publication forthwith. It is of such poor quality that it is doing a disservice to our membership and not portraying us in the light we expect and pay for.

I also suggest that this Magazine should be brought into the new millennium and use the internet to communicate with the membership rather than use the old method of photocopying which is now an outdated system. I can hear the derision as I write but there are not that many members, who are not savvy with a computer and most Lodge secretaries could ensure that those not able to source an electronic copy, be mailed one. By this method it should be far cheaper and less work required to circulate information. Brethren ask yourselves this question; Why do not all the other Districts print their own Magazine? Some do of coarse but not all. Mainly the effort and cost required.

I can hear you ask, why don't Avant Garde contribute? And the answer is there are others who don't and that we are more involved performing and socialising and that we have too few willing numbers to do this type of work. Am I wrong? This monthly Avant Garde Newsletter has a wide coverage that is available to all who are interested to view it and is available in printed form for those who don't use computers so we are ahead of many others and they have to catch up. This Newsletter is available through our Web Site for all in sundry to read throughout the country and I'm sure there are many who do just that. So I guess we are contributing but through a more available source.

Those members who joined with the Coastal Young Farmers at their BBQ on the first Friday of March were given a surprise to say the least for the weather was so atrocious with rain and building wind which worsened as the night progressed but the hospitality was so warm and welcoming as we walked inside after having travelled into the unknown. The venue for this event was held on a private farm and one had to travel for at least a kilometer through paddocks past tall maize crops along raceways and down metalled drives towards the beach arriving at, hello, a bach complex to the side of an air strip with the surf about three to four hundred metres away. (One could have taken the private jet and landed on the airstrip). It was a shame the weather was so bad not to allowing for a walk to the beach or even to venture outside but it was still very well done under the conditions described and the forty odd people present had a very enjoyable time that night. Congratulations to those hardy young farmers for sticking to their guns and not taking the easy option of cancellation.

The storm that devastated the province over this weekend proved the weather forecasters correct but that still didn't help as it caused more damage than anyone expected with power lines and poles being snapped and sheds thrown around paddocks and roofs being lifted plus trees snapped in half and plantations being uprooted as well. The worst damage being caused south of the mountain with Patea and Waverley bearing the brunt of the wind.

Many days without electricity is a test for us all and it soon shows that we are just a small speck in the nature of the planet and there are many things beyond human control. Preparation for an emergency is now a must to expect to survive natures horrendous upheavals that it throws us when not expecting them.

Following on from this incident filled weekend, we held another BBQ on the Sunday when we welcomed Bro Tutt Gaudreau from South Carolina, who arrived in New Zealand from the USA on Saturday and travelled down to New Plymouth by rental car on Sunday, arriving at around 6.30pm for the BBQ held at Bev and Bernie's. On being introduced to our Master, Bro Tutt pulled out a gift and presented to our Wor Master informing, that it was a small gift from the Wor Master and brethren of Old Fort Lodge No 420 Summerville in South Carolina. W Bro Yateman in reply welcomed and thanked him for the kind gesture and in return presented Bro Tutt with an Avant Garde Keyring and again thanked him for coming along and hoped his stay is enjoyable.

Bro Tutt moved off shore on the Wednesday and returned onshore on Taranaki Anniversary Day in the late afternoon and Bev and I went around to his motel after dinner and presented him with a book of Taranaki for himself and a letter and Book of NZ Lakes & Rivers, to take back home and present to the Wor Master of his Lodge from the brethren of Avant Garde Lodge. We then took him for a drive around the town showing some of the sights and returned to the motel wishing him a safe return home and inviting him to keep in touch with the Lodge which he assured us he would do. He informed me he may need to return to ensure the work he did offshore was up and running okay in the next couple of months.

Our Web Site is beginning to attract a few inquiries from overseas with the last one being from China requesting accommodation as they think we are a Lodge that offers this, or was it just another scam to get into ones computer. Anyway there is action and it does attract, so just how many of you members use it to source meeting and practice dates etc? I would be very interested to hear from you on your thoughts regarding this site and the value you place on it. There are areas for you to utilise, such as the Calender, the Forum and the Newsletter Comment sections where you are able to discuss points of interest with all our members as well as find what's on. Brethren please read page 4 in the National Magazine arriving in your letter boxes as I write, titled I'm A Digital Freemason and let's hear your responses.

The new name badges are proving a hit and well worth the cost, for we are attracting very favourable comments from other sources to date. At the last Management Meeting it was decided that the Lodge would pay the cost and therefore members need not worry about reimbursement. Not many Lodges supply their membership with these items without expecting to receive payment from all whom use them. We have gone one further and supplied all the wives and or partners with their own name badges also featuring Avant Garde which is very generous, don't you think?

A huge welcome goes out to Clive and Denise, on their membership of Avant Garde Lodge and we trust that you will have many years of fun and enjoyment from this recent joining. We also look forward to your participation in both the Lodge activities as well as District and I'm sure you shall make many more new friendships than you first thought possible. Wishing you all the best on this new venture.

We also welcome Graham and Ikue who have been asked to join with us and accepted and we wish them both all the best and trust they shall become valuable members with in the Masonic community as they find their feet here in Taranaki. I'm sure they shall notice the quietness in comparison to Auckland or Tokyo.

The Senior Masons and Widows Luncheon went off very well with a good turnout of approximately eighty odd, counting the workers and caterers. Avant Garde members feature quite prominently in the organising committee for this day and we are proud of our involvement for the District membership.

The weather in the middle of the month did not prove any better than the beginning for the wind became extreme to the point of ripping off roofs, breaking trees and power wires and also windows here in NP and threw the debris all around. What is happening in Taranaki? for we shall become another disaster area if this keeps up plus there is all the flooding up in Northland. We should perhaps give thanks for being so lucky as no-one suffered any ill effects or injuries. This next month we should pray for better weather.

We have four members to date offering to assist with this years Alzheimer's Annual Appeal here in NP. This is being held on two separate occasions with the first being the “ Cuppa for a Cause Appeal” 23rd to 28th of July at the Countdown Supermarkets and there is to be a second appeal called “Awareness Appeal Week” that will coincide with World Alzheimer's Day on the 21st September 2012. This organisation is one that is very worthy of support and brethren are asked to select which week and or days they wish to assist with and contact the Lodge Secretary who will forward onto the Alzheimers Taranaki Branch. They will recontact you allocating the days you select so please give this your urgent consideration and show the community we care and assist.

We now have more of our fabulous Avant Garde Keyrings in stock at a cost of $12.50 each and they make perfect gifts for your friends or family. These Keyrings are spread all over the country and in some instances are to be found in other countries as well. They have been good advertising for us so help spread the word and catch the attention of prospective membership. Contact either the Secretary or Treasurer to obtain your next gift.

Next Management Meeting is on Tuesday the 10th April at Lewis Roach's 77 Pendarves Street NP.

Junior Practice Meeting:Thursday April 26th 7.30pm.

23rd April United Installation Formal.

24th Lodge Ikaroa GL visit Anzac Special.

5th May GM visit to Whanga and Musical 3rd Degree.
May Regular Meeting; Tuesday the 1st May 2012. Darnell St NP 6.30pm

May 19th Divisional Conference & Dinner. Bell Block. All attendees must Register Now.

B.A. B.
yesterday is a cancelled cheque;
tomorrow is a promissory note;
today is the only cash you have-
so spend it wisely. 29/03/2012