Magazine Report

Another Eventful Weekend for Avant-Garde Lodge

A very large turn out of Masters and Grand Lodge Officers and Ladies from outside of the District made for a most enjoyable Installation Meeting and Banquet Dinner for Avant-Garde Lodge with Ladies also having a lovely afternoon at the Kairau Lodge and Vineyard off Mountain Road at Sentry Hill. The members of Avant-Garde Lodge wish to thank the Master and Brethren and Ladies of Lodge Copernicus in Cambridge, the Master and wife of Hill Crest Lodge of Hamilton and the Masters, Brethren and Ladies from the various Lodges of Hawkes Bay and those Master and ladies who helped make for a very eventful, worthwhile and enjoyable weekend.

A Kiwi Tours bus provided by Avant-Garde Lodge took thirty three ladies on this very exciting and enjoyable journey to the winery, stopping off firstly at New Zealand’s Number One Garden Centre. Big Jim’s Garden Centre have just been awarded the National Garden Centre for 2010. After a quick look around they were back to the bus and off up the road to the winery, where they saw the vines and the pruning technique used for various types of grapes was also described , shown and explained, followed by sampling a couple of wines and afternoon tea being served. Arriving back at the Plymouth International Hotel around 4.300pm to await the men who began arriving soon after.

The Installation Ceremony was performed by the District Grand Master of the Ruahine District, V Wor Bro John Peryer and his team of Officers who gave a full Board Ceremony to place Wor Bro Graham Thompson in the chair of Solomon for his second term with Avant-Garde Lodge. The Lodge Officers were then invested by a good turnout of Taranaki Grand Lodge members who in turn kept up the high standard of performance set by the Ruahine brethren. Although the ceremony was different in some respects it was most interesting and very impressive. We thank and appreciate our visiting Grand Lodge Officers and local Officers for their assistance.

There is no doubt that visiting activities by Districts is gratefully appreciated and informative with members able to meet and make new acquaintances and see for themselves what the other side of the world is doing and able to compare the performance standard requirements of other districts. These types of visits should be mandatory for all districts and that there should be two or three per year as of rule. I look forward to our return visit with the Ruahine District Brethren in the not to distant future.

The Happy Hour that followed the ceremony was also very enjoyable and the eighty odd Ladies and members who sat down for Dinner were treated with a most enjoyable and plentiful meal with a few returning for more. After a few speeches of welcome and thanks, a gift of appreciation and a Lodge Key-ring was presented to V Wor Bro John Peryer on behalf of the Lodge Brethren with the Master also presenting the two other attending District Grand Masters, V Wor Bros, Bernard Locke from Eastland and David Goodhue, with Avant-Garde key-rings as a token of respect, thanks and appreciation from our Lodge.

At 7.300pm the Lodge’s popular Guest Speaker was introduced, Dr Donald Milham with the aid of the Lodge’s audio visual equipment, delivered a very informed presentation of the effects of Alzheimer’s and statistics explaining the expected numbers and costs to the communities in the future. He also referred to research he carried out for his doctorate and the developing contacts he has had with Professor Faull and the funding he had received from Freemasons, for his research into Huntington’s disease. Dr Milham also outlined the research he is attempting to pursue in the near future and that he is also looking for funding to assist him. Perhaps Freemasonry, could be able to assist him.

There followed a number of questions and discussion for a further twenty minutes with the Master thanking Dr Don for his contribution towards a very successful and informative delivery. The Donation Bucket for Alzheimer’s Taranaki Branch returned a grateful $169.30 and the Lodge intends to make this up to Two Hundred Dollars and we thank you all for your generosity over these past few days. This will be presented to the Branch in the coming week.

After a tidy up of the venue and packing away the equipment it was time to head for a
few hours of shut eye for which one was gratefully appreciative as there had been a few moments of anxiety leading into the day and there was still one more day to go.

Up early again on the Sunday for a few of our members and head out to Smart Road to begin preparations for the expected influx of hungry visitors and find that a lot of the work had already been done by helpers who had come to assist. A special Thanks to Andrea, Sonia, Raema and Toni for the great work assisting with the cleaning up and washing of dishes etc we greatly appreciate your help. Nine o’clock saw members starting to arrive looking for that “ wake me up” drink of coffee or plate of cereal that starts the day followed by a huge cooked breakfast that would satisfy an elephant or perhaps a small horse. After everyone had consumed sufficient and were beginning to head off, the Master thanked the visiting members for their participation over the weekend and wished them all a safe return home and asked everyone present to spare a thought for the Communities of Christchurch in their hour of need.

The master extends his appreciative thanks to all who participated and helped make the weekend such an eventful and satisfying time also to those members who had assisted with donations of goods for the breakfast feast. Thank you all.