July 2012

Avant Garde Lodge
July 2012 Newsletter
Well the first month of winter has almost gone and it has proved reasonably mild conditions although we have had some heavy rain and a few cold days with a sprinkle of snow on that hill out yonder, but overall, very acceptable I believe. We shall have to await the outcome of the next couple of months, won't we?

The Grand Lodge visit back on the 5th of June proved to be an interesting night with some very good discussion on subjects raised, especially the delivery of the Ancient Penalties to candidates during the ceremonies. For these are being left out in some lodges and therefore the candidates are never taught them and the standards of the craft are being lost. I have been reading some interesting articles when lodges were first formed here in Taranaki and it applied to the rest of the country also. This article featured the former Hawera Lodge, before it joined with the NZ Constitution in 1890, members had to saddle their horses and ride to Patea Kilwinning Lodge along the seashore to attend Patea, a forty mile round trip and be taught the lessons of the ritual for they didn't have a written ritual. Certainly nothing like we have today. But the tenacity of these brethren must be admired for this was a very dangerous trip with cliffs being a couple of hundred feet high in places and the tide coming in to meet with the cliffs must have had many reconsidering their membership at times. But attend they did and both Lodges were fielding membership far in excess of our membership of today, featuring sixty to seventy with around thirty odd attending Regular Meetings. What do we contribute with our modern technology and better educational opportunities?

Talking of reading, I suggest that you all read the last NZ Freemason Magazine especially pages 10 & 11 by Dr Alan Fayter and you should be able to grasp a few benefits derived from being a member of Freemasonry which in turn can help explain when asked that pointed question of
“ Whats in it for me?”. This has been a difficult question to answer in the past and after reading this article one should be able to feel more confident with an explanation to our friends when ever asked. This article has potential to assist with recruitment for all Lodges and other organisations one may belong to. I have a friend who has done some study with Alzheimer's and he has suggested to myself that this disease is on the increase with our aging population and this in return is causing concern amongst the Health Services as there has been some research but no cure to date. Our assistance with Alzheimer's Taranaki must be of immense benefits both to the Lodge as well as to the organisation, one we may have to rely on in the future.

In last months Newsletter I mentioned the Church Service and how we should do it more regularly and during this discussion I asked how could we be of other assistance and our District GM suggested that we look into donating them a Defibrillator which I feel will be very acceptable to both the congregation and the Lodge. I'm sure you will agree, there could be the use for a Defibrillator in this environment for the Cathedral is regularly used and many aged people attend especially during funeral services. We have made inquiries through the District Benevolence Officer and have been assured the Defibs are still available and the cost to Lodges remains the same
although they have increased in price. All we now need do is ask the church if they would be receptive of such a donation.

For our Lodge to grow and progress, we must be attractive to those in the community and they must know of us, through our community involvement and able to make approaches to the membership for further information. I have been trying to instill in the membership, the need to be involved out there and I suggest we are beginning to achieve the traction required but I believe we need to be more thorough, for there needs to be candidates coming aboard regularly so we older members are able to step aside and allow the younger ones to take over and do things their way. It has been the controllers of Lodges whom have denied the newer members, this opportunity and consequently they have voted with their feet and resigned in large numbers, as the statistics well show. Let this not happen within our Lodge for we have worked hard these past nine years to gain the momentum but we still need more to have a future that ensures progress for future candidates and that they can see, there will be benefits to themselves as well.

You have learnt of the Charity Application we applied for and were granted, well it is slowly being completed for the tree specialist came and cut the tops out of the trees and I have waterblasted some of the house to clean it from the mould and moss growth and there is now the tidying up to do with the tops requiring cutting up and the branches taken away with the boundary fence being put back up. We would like two or three brethren to come and assist with the fence and putting the blocks and branches into heaps ready to access when the weather is more suitable. The security gate is still to be fitted and come summer we are to paint the house with paint being paid from the grant and we do the painting. This is proving a worthy project for not only are we being recognised for this work I have been invited to participate in a conference to assist the applicant from the Freemasons which I'm considering doing.

There are discussions taking place in regards to Research Lodges coming together under an umbrella of an Educational District, which makes a lot of sense for they should be the leading education source for the Craft. But this has not been so, within our District for many years if ever, for the Taranaki Research has been languishing on the sideline and treated really as just another Lodge of the District instead of as the Teaching Lodge which members should be proud to participate with. There are nationally eleven Research Lodges and these could be merged into a District and be a force for Education for it could reduce the duplication of activities and be assisted by communication technology to contact all around the country. This topic is open to discussion at this stage and I suggest that you all give it some thought and don't be afraid to express your ideas and conclusions to help develop this new concept if you are in agreement. It is not a foregone conclusion that it will happen and there is no involvement from Wellington to force it into such an idea, for it comes from a few with interest in development of Masonic Education.

Well here it is the end of June 29th and there is no sign of the District Freemason Magazine so perhaps it has past away which is a terrible shame for it once was a rather enjoyable magazine and one looked forward to receiving it but now it doesn't feature much at all, does it?.

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

Next Regular Meeting: 7th August Darnell Street 6.30pm.

Next Management Meeting is on Tuesday the 10th July at B Black's 9 Ashmore Drive NP.
Junior Practice Meeting: Tuesday the 26th July 7.30pm.

Installation Practices will commence on Tuesday the 24th of July at 7.30pm Darnell St.
B.A. B. 28/06/2012