January Newsletter

Avant Garde Lodge
January 2013 Newsletter
A very Happy, Wealthy and Prosperous New Year to you all and I do trust you have had a very enjoyable break from the normal riggers of the daily grind and that elusive dollar chase.

What a very pleasant surprise I had, when I connected to the Avant Garde Web Site the other day to find that the Daily Newspapers had added the photograph and story of our donation of the fridges and freezer units to the NP Food Bank with a very suitable heading. This is the kind of actions and PR we are beginning to gain from our community activities we have successfully pursued these past two or three years. I thank the Daily News for their input and suggest we should continue this involvement into the future.

I have been considering for sometime now that we should be more proactive with the local Midweek paper and advertise more of our monthly Lodge activities so the general public may become aware that Freemasonry does actually participate and that Avant Garde is the Lodge that does it within the community.

I suggest you all have a good look at the site by typing in Avant Garde 503 and Google it to find just how we feature for I do know that not many of you go into it and none have actually participated recently in the Forum section that only you members can open and use. I have been receiving a few crank messages from the site that give no name other than a few letters as names that mean nothing and they immediately receive the bin order. But this does prove that we are being seen around the world and there are a few who have been a bit more serious and left names and contact info. I also see another site that has used some of the photographs from our Photo Gallery and included them in their site but it is not really a Freemasonry site at all, and has no meaning to us except for the two photographs.

The Annual Christmas Luncheon proved a very good event with close to fifty odd plus having indicated their attending and due to the weather a few were not able to be present but I can assure you that you missed a very well organised and run event and I do believe it was one of the best meals I've seen provided for such an occasion.
A huge thank you to Pam, Roger, Margaret, Lorraine and Bev for their assistance and to you all for the generous food you supplied. It was a real shame the rain didn't let up for it would have been that much more comfortable to sit out in the sunshine and have the meal but it was not to be.

I have received a few “thank you's”, from the guests who represented some of the organisations we have supported throughout the year and I'm sure they will report on our hospitality to others.
This will be most gratifying receiving such positive PR so we must continue to provide the environment that allows the public to view our contributions amongst the community. We could not do the things we do without the generous support from the membership.

The Strategic Direction just released from Grand Lodge is to once again review our management of Freemasonry and ask you all to contribute suggestions and ideas for the next 5 year plan.
At the same time we should also review and formulate our own Lodges next 5 years for it is us that is to benefit the most and keep moving into the future with the required confidence and momentum that is building our Lodge. One must always remember that there is such a thing as natural attrition and members must move on, so we must always keep replacing as well. The Strategic Questionaire focuses more on the Grand Lodge structure and operations rather than on the individual Lodge structure and this alone gives a hint of them and us, so lets give serious thought to improving our own Lodge structure and management first. Always remember that Charity begins at Home.

It is expected that Lodge members are to meet sometime in the near future to discuss this Plan and to give answers to the questionaire, so a large turnout of members is required. Be advised that we shall be discussing the arrangements for the meeting at our next Management Meeting on Tuesday the 15th of January at 9 Ashmore Drive, New Plymouth.

The latest NZ Freemason Magazine has some very interesting items and special mention of the Neo-Natal Knitting Project must warrant comment for this project captured the imagination of a whole lot of people who knitted items that were so well received and followed up with a short article on TV featuring the Neo-Natal Unit in Taranaki Base Hospital. I know one lady who felt very proud to see the young infant dressed with items so proudly presented by herself.

It is easy to see that Lodges must involve themselves proactively within their own communities to be recognised for their efforts and involvements with various organisations. Although we are no longer recognised as charitable there is still much charity being dispensed from Lodges to the betterment of communities and so there should be.

The Annual Report of NZ Freemasons Board of General Purposes also makes for interesting reading and the Annual Financial Statements but the one item that caught my attention was the Membership Report. 315 deceased members 110 struck off but 735 resignations is almost beyond comprehension. National Resignations is far to high so please “Don't allow” this to happen in Avant Garde or we shall surely become history and all our work for nothing.

Another article that interested myself was the mention of Education with the suggestion of Masters allowing time to hold regular discussions of parts of the Ritual Ceremonies. I believe brethren should give this serious thought and bring along your ideas to the next Management Meeting of whether it would interest you or not along with suggestions of implementation.

The home of Ms V Holloway is almost ready to begin work on, for I have sprayed it with moss killer and water blasted half with the rest to be completed this weekend, prior to the New Year.
The first job is to erect the scaffolding and begin to scrape and clean down the old bare paint work ready to prime and fill up nail holes with rust killer and putty as well as fill any cracks and holes to keep the rain out. Once the priming has been completed etc we can expect to get stuck into the painting of top coats which should really only take a couple of days with a good turnout of helpers. I shall e-mail you to give a few days notice when we are ready for your assistance and hopefully we can alternate it into two shifts of one on Saturday and the other on a Sunday and of course it will always depend on the weather.

Have members ever considered purchasing Keyrings featuring the Lodge? For they are extremely attractive and are a great source of advertising. These Keyrings have been seen all around the world and the brethren whom have received them all expressed, a humble Thank You, for the generous gift of our appreciation. At $12.50 each to members, is at cost price to the Lodge and if you can move them to friends at
$15.50 this could provide a small profit. So lets see them start moving in the New Year.

The Secretary has a few copies of the Lodge By-Laws and are available to all members and those brethren who don't have a copy then please contact me or collect them at the coming Management Meeting and the next regular Meeting also. There are those new members who may not have them at present due to being out of print at the time of joining but are now available for them also.

We have some delay on the progress of the Special Lift Chair for the Rehab Ward at the Hospital due to there not being enough funds available in the kitty. So lets have some new ideas of raising our funding level so we are able to complete this worthy project before to long.
Avant Garde Keyrings for sale at $12.50 per each to members only and $15.50 to the Public. These will make a great Gift so please Contact either the Secretary or Treasurer.

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

Next Management Meeting is on Tuesday the 15th of January 2013. Bev and Bernie's. 9 Ashmore Drive NP. 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 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.
B.A. B.