June newsletter

Avant Garde Lodge
June 2012 Newsletter
Our trip to Dannevirke for the Second Degree proved very beneficial and enjoyable for both the candidate as well as the other 6 brethren and partners, for the ceremony was very well done and the hospitality and friendship inspiring for Wayne. I'm sure he has learnt that there is a whole lot to learn in Freemasonry. His test questions were answered very concisely and clearly with understanding and the use of the Working Tools and Tracing Board were well explained by the various presenters. The Ancient Penalties though, need to be fully delivered and explained for they are becoming left out and future members will never know them if we continue along the current lines of presentation.

This is something that will be used at Junior Practices so the younger members have a full understanding even if they are never presented fully in the ceremony throughout all the degrees. I know there is some who argue that they are not in the Ritual and so and so Lodges don't do them, but we are not these Lodges and we do things better than most. So lets be to the fore and show the brethren the quality of our Lodge. Teach them as we were taught. I did discuss this with the Grand Master the other evening and I think you will find we are on the right course.

The Grand Master and Mrs Jan Cooper have concluded their visit to Whangamomona Lodge for the musical Third Degree and the weekend proved most enjoyable, beginning with some of our Ladies, Sara and Bev, being present for the presentation of the Knitting Project to the Neo-Natal Unit at
Sara Binnie & Jane Bocock Clinical Nurse Manager Neo-Natal Unit Bev Agnew & Jane Bocock Nurse Manager

Base Hospital by Mrs Cooper which were gratefully received. There was no fanfare of any description and almost a non event as far as the Lodges having involvement or receiving any publicity, but it was done. This was a Lodge Ladies Project nation wide, that began at the beginning of last year and I hope other District Lodges are able to gain some recognition for the effort their ladies have contributed to it's success. A huge Thank You, to those ladies of Avant Garde who contributed and we trust there is some satisfaction of a job well done. Maybe there will be more support in future also.

The Master of Whanga and brethren along with United brethren must also be congratulated for the Degree presentation to the candidate and the Members of the Northern Choir under the Leadership of V Wor Bro James Morton who travelled down to make this very interesting and a pleasure to listen too. The standard was of a high quality which every lodge should try to emulate for their own candidates.

The Divisional Conference has gone off extremely well and full marks to those who arranged the venue and meal following, for it was one of the better conferences I've attended although I'm not sure that all information was correct. The presentations by various speakers were very good with mention of Planning Lodge activities being emphasised regularly and clearly, which gives a strong hint that those Lodges who don't plan will find it difficult to function for very long into the future. By Planning, Lodges should be able to focus upon the areas that will assist them to grow and develop.

Another point was made of budgeting to allow Lodges to perform with surplus funding that can be re-invested and be used at sometime in the future when circumstances demand increased charges and there does not become a sudden crisis that comes out of the blue that could force a Lodge to the wall and hand in the Charter. A further interesting point was that the younger brethren prefer to pay dues on weekly or fortnightly automatic payments direct into Lodge accounts rather than one single payment.

Another interesting item was the Lodge Assessment and this is a worthwhile project for it reflects the lodges standing in comparison to the National Average and reflects where Lodges need to develop improvements or are leading the others. This Assessment Report is available to Lodges and it gives good comparisons over several areas of a lodge functionality. There are various National Teams available to assist with Districts and individual Lodges in preparing and actioning development programmes that lodges can put to work for themselves, for Lodges need only ask for help. Walk the Talk and not the reverse was strongly emphasised by several speakers and those Lodges who had developed an Action Plan were able to grow and those with High Dues also had more members attend regularly.

So brethren it was a day of interesting topics being discussed and it is difficult to hi-lite any particular topic but I would suggest that the result of the Assessment Reports impressed myself and I look forward to receiving Avant Garde's in the near future. Please, always keep in mind this saying; If you always Do as you have always Done you shall always receive the same result. This has been said many times in our District and some Lodge's have continued doing the same but they are now showing to it also.

There was one surprised Lady at the Conference Dinner and that Lady happens to be Lorraine, for she was invited to accompany two other ladies up to our District Grand Master and was then singled out to be presented with the “Freemason Appreciation Badge and Certificate”. On behalf of the Lodge membership and Ladies; “Congratulations Lorraine”, well done and we wish you all the best. There was also another lady who went on a trip of her own and ended up in a wheelchair but I had better not congratulate her, had I? For the price is to high. But it was a most enjoyable day otherwise.

On Sunday there was a good representation of Masons in Regalia, attending the Church Service at St Mary's Cathedral and I believe that we may build upon this for Avant Garde and Freemasonry for we were asked; why we don't do this annually? and there is no real reason why not, by joining in with congregation will further our PR amongst the community. Next year is our 10th anniversary and this would be a golden opportunity for us as a Lodge to impress the community and push our name further out there.

Brethren we are to hold the Longest Morning Tea again but I've just received notification it is to be on Saturday the 7th of July and not towards the end as previously envisaged so we need to get things mobile quickly if we are to advertise it. So be warned it is on and mark the calendar for we need bodies to assist for this occasion. I have already made the booking of Darnell Lodge Complex and now begin the Fliers to place in letterboxes which should be out by mid June at the latest. We shall require a few volunteers to help put these out in the community letterboxes and also on the day to cater for the morning tea. Lodge United have been asked to support us with this morning also.

The Research Lodge of Taranaki are inviting members to join the lodge and especially the newer members are being offered free membership for a period of two years so they are able to gather an insight into the lodge and find the benefits it can supply especially with education. This is not just another ordinary Lodge but should be viewed as one that can give expert advice to Freemasonry and enjoyment in the pursuits of learning. This Research Lodge has a long history and is on shaky ground if it can't develop and improve itself, so brethren give this some thought and assistance if possible.

The Firewood is still being delivered and there is a need for brethren to offer their services to keep the splitting going on a Saturday and it appears that this is the last year for this fruitful project that has given many dollars into the Lodge coffers thanks to the generosity of the Bryant Household for without Roger and Pam's help we could not have done all that we have.

We thought that March was a busy month well I think it has been surpassed by May for there has been a whole lot on during this time and we never seemed to be home and as winter is about to hit we should, perhaps be able to find a few days to relax and plan the arrival of summer.

Avant Garde Keyrings for sale at $12.50 per each. These will make a great gift so please Contact either the Secretary or Treasurer to obtain your next gift.

Next Regular Meeting: 5th June Darnell Street 6.30pm. Grand Lodge Visit.

Next Management Meeting is on Tuesday the 12th June at Colin Baker's 35 A Barrett Road NP.

Junior Practice Meeting: Tuesday the 26th June 7.30pm.

District General Meeting at Whanga 28th June 2012 7.30pm all welcome to attend.

B.A. B.