Dec Newsletter

Avant Garde Lodge
December 2012 Newsletter
I must apologies for not being able to complete last months , November Newsletter to members due to taking a well earn't break from duties and went down south.

While away, W Bro Charlie Fletcher passed to the Grand Lodge above so I'm told and Charlie was a very good member of Te Henui and Daylight Lodges and a very good Freemason he was. He never allowed age to hold him back and attended regularly, both District meetings as well as Lodge meetings. I'm sure he will be sadly
missed by those brethren who knew him and our Lodge also, for he was a good customer of our firewood until his illness and shifted into another home.

Earlier in Oct I attended the Sixty Year Jewel Presentation to W Bro Ron Bingham down in Opunake along with a good number of other brethren and family members with the presentation made by V W Bro Bruce Binnie our Dist GM. These two brethren are former members of Lodge Okato, now defunct, but are still actively continuing with freemasonry. Ron is our Auditor for Avant Garde and when I congratulated him on his achievement I also invited him to attend our Xmas Dinner on the 2nd of December. He thanked me very much for the invitation and responded that he doesn’t very often receive such a response for any contribution he makes to other Lodges and accepted gratefully.

While I was away I spoke to a couple of business people about our Lodge and that we are trying to improve it's awareness by using good quality clothing with our emblem attached. One offered to discount the retail value of product suggesting the Lodge could benefit by passing on the retail price to members and making a small profit on each garment. This is not a bad idea. Having given more thought to the idea I believe that members would be better off to receive a monogram of the emblem and sow this to an item of their own clothing they wear and consider is more comfortable and suitable. Do you have any thoughts of this idea being acceptable to yourselves and if so we could price up the emblem. It is more acceptable in large quantities to the embroiderers if we can place orders in numbers rather than a few at a time. Please think on this and we shall discuss it further at the next Management meeting.

At out November Management it was discussed to purchase a “Lodge Tie” with our emblem on and I made inquiries at Copernicus Installation for they have their own Tie but the ones who arranged them were not at the meeting and therefore I've drawn a blank to date but will make some inquiries from another source.

At the Copernicus Installation which was attended by the WM Bill, Bob, Roger and myself along with Pam and Lorraine and we had a very enjoyable evening with them. (Next year lets make it more of Avant Garde attend also ) I must say how enlightening it is to travel and meet up with brethren from other Districts and those whom have become friends.

It was made more interesting with members having formed the Waikato branch of the Northern Choir and participating in the ceremony.

Our Master also presented a half dozen Keyrings to Bro Graeme Houston who is a member of the Counties Manukau District, who came to our Installation, to take back and give to their District GM and the officers who officiated for us.

V W Bro David Robinson was not able to attend due to him recovering from surgery but he is up and hobbling about and is making a good recovery that will enable him to provide the ceremony for the Lion Lodge in April 2013.

A very special welcome to Bro Karl Bogha who is now a full member of Avant Garde and is finding that things are different from the Memphis Lodge in USA and I'm sure he will adapt to our methods of Freemasonry and that we have him as our member for a considerable amount of time.
Also, a very warm welcome to Mr Juan Parker who is our next candidate and we are planning on his initiation on the 2nd of March 2013. You should all have a chance to meet with Juan and Alysha along with daughter Chelsea at our Xmas Luncheon this Sunday.

I must congratulate all members for the Second Degree work in November for it was well presented and shows that one must be familiar with the Ritual and know the work. To be the best one must continually practice and you shall find it becomes easy in the end. This is how sportsmen are able to make it look easy to us.

Last Sunday I had an inquiry through our Web Site from a resident in Opunake wishing to learn more about Freemasonry and how to become a member. This proves to me that Lodges must become pro-active within their community so that future brethren are able to identify immediately with members. If they can't make that identity straight off then we are the ones who are missing the boat and therefore neglecting the craft.

For too long now, I've heard to many of the older members saying there is no-one out there wishing to join the Lodges, well I say B-----s--- t. There are citizens wishing to join with us but don't know who or how, to the make contact with. Publicity, by word of mouth is the most effective and will ensure there is growth and give Lodges a future.

I have for many years in different organisations I've belonged to, expounded the view, “without youth in our ranks, we have no future”.
I tried to encourage Lodges during my term in the “Hot Seat” to look at building their membership and was continually laughed at and told, “that we've heard it all before”. Yes you have, but what did you do about it? I ask. NOTHING!

This is one of the reasons Avant Garde Lodge was brought into life and is now becoming the Premier Lodge of the District, so I say keep up the good work and let's see a few more younger members in 2013.

The Planning Committee shall have a big job ahead of them with our Ten Year Celebrations this coming year, with the Grand Master being in attendance and also many other Lodges from outside of the District indicating they may also come along.

I believe we could expect to have the largest installation weekend this district has seen for a number of years and that we need to be on our toes with the provision of exceptional entertainment for all concerned. Lets think outside of the square for a good time event.

The Christmas Luncheon is coming together with around 50 people attending as I write, which will make for an exciting afternoon for all. We have a number of guests who have indicated they will participate with us from some of the Projects that the Lodge has contributed to in recent times and others who are friends of members. Please ensure these folk have a good time in our presence and make sure you wear your Lodge Name Tag so they can identify with you later on, if you may meet in the street sometime.

The year is finally drawing to a close with only four weeks to Christmas and another short break from the stress of work. I believe the shopping for all those prezzies will be a last minute rush this year with all the specials shops will offer due to business being rather quite to date.

On behalf of Bill and Lorraine, I extend a very Merry Christmas to you, and all your families and may you have health and prosperity for the coming year ahead.

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

Next Regular Meeting: Tuesday the 5th of February 2013 Darnell Street. 6.30pm.

Next Management Meeting is on Tuesday the 4th December Clive & Denise Walton's 101 A Mangati Road Bell Block. 7.30pm.

Junior Practice Meeting: NOTE: These will begin again in Feb 2013 on the last Thursday of
********************* each month for all new members.( Please advise if you are not able to attend).

District Events:
To date I have had no confirmation of the Taranaki Grand Lodge Officers performing an Installation Ceremony in Hastings on the 23rd Feb 2013 and it is now just around the corner and one could be excused if we make other arrangements.
B.A. B.