February 2011

Avant-Garde 503
February 2011 Newsletter

=======================================================================
WE are now into the new year and I trust you have all recharged the batteries and have had an enjoyable break over the Christmas New Year period catching up with family and friends you may not have seen for sometime and just lazing about. There is no doubt that Christmas is now a thing of the past and has been superseded by the commercial sector who see it only as the time to rob one of all the funds he may have in his pocket and to see that he has to run to the bank for an increase of overdraft in the new year to tide him over until the next time. The advertising of sale, sale, sale, is not in the interests of the Christmas spirit and has made a huge mockery of the meaning of the Christmas Celebration for the Christian Faith. The silliest thing I saw was the advertising on Xmas Day, for the cheap sale priced items the following day and the not surprising shock that retailers had, with low spending on Boxing Day. What do they expect? Perhaps most of this is just media hype, for they now prefer to create the news rather than just report the news.

Have you noticed that the sun is not getting up quite as early as it was just a few weeks ago even though the heat is still in it? It certainly doesn't take long for the time to move on these days.

These past few months of 2010 have been quite disastrous for some folk from all around the world with our earthquake in Christchurch, the Mine Explosion in Westport, the Flooding in Queensland, the Cold Weather Pattern of Europe and the United States and the odd Eruption of various mountains from Greenland to Asia and the wet weather pattern here of late spring that destroyed many lambs. These all take a toll of either life or property, so spare a thought for those who are worse off than ourselves and give thanks that we have been spared in the mean time for we may also have our turn, one day in the future. Never under estimate the “ Forces of Nature”.

I have interviewed a young man and his wife late last year and they are quite keen to become involved with the lodge and our social activities. It would appear that we could start the ball rolling for his admission early this year and possibly this month of Feb, which is good news. Members should begin swatting their rituals as it does appear promising that we could be quite busy in the next few months with a Third and possibly an Initiation to do early on. Remember the Boy Scout Motto, Be prepared.

Have you all had the opportunity to read the Booklet, “ Order in the House” for it was put into circulation back in November and should have been passed around all the local members by now. If you haven't read it then please contact the secretary to arrange a hurry up. This booklet contains some interesting reading that members should absorb, that could assist with recruitment especially the part of describing what Freemasonry means to one. Those members who have the booklet could you please move it on A.S.A.P.

Our next Management Meeting is being brought forward to the 25th of January 2011 as I 'm heading off down south for a few days and the normal time of the meeting is scheduled during my time away from the hurly burly of acting as your secretary. So please remember the meeting is to be at Graham & Margaret's 7.30pm on the 25th of Jan.

I have been working to put together a 5 Year Plan for the Lodge and it is now open for your evaluation and discussion and if any Associate Members require a copy then please don't hesitate to ask and I'll send one across.
This Plan is to ensure the Lodge is able to follow along a certain pathway of development and building of the Lodge so that it becomes valuable and members become proud of their membership and association that gives them so much enjoyment, pleasure and participation with their fellow men. It is open for alteration at this stage and if you don't agree with some of it then now is the time to put your assessments in to the frame and add other ways. Remember it is not set in concrete and your input is going to be appreciated and valued also. According to GL those Lodges with Plans are now moving along with growth and ensuring themselves of a future while those without are just boxing along marking time till they can no longer function effectively. So brethren, give it a good reading and come to understand it and then we will have a special meeting to finalise and adopt it as the direction for the Lodge to follow.

On Sunday the 27th of February 2011 there is the Annual Reunion of Freemasons being held at Bob & Jean Jagger's home with a BBQ Lunch and minimal cost. As you all know Bob has not had the best of health these past few months and it would be fitting if some of you were able to give a hand on the day to ensure that it goes off without a hitch. Most of the preparation is done and one would only need to help with the cooking and serving and we can give a hand to take down the sun shades and seating to be stored away at the conclusion. Any help will be appreciated.

Our members will again be involved with the Senior Masons and Widows Function being held on the 19th of March 211, providing the arrangements and using our Audio Equipment so that everything can be heard by those attending. This is a very worthwhile day and is enjoyed immensely.

Roger and I have been discussing the possibility of holding a BBQ Dinner on a day of the Taranaki Anniversary Weekend for all those people who have purchased our firewood, as a small expression of thanks and also to get to know the membership as well.( Lodge Awareness.) It is envisaged that it would start off about Three with a group of entertainers followed by a Happy Hour ( BYO) and then Dinner. Members would be required to do the setting up of tables, handing out nibbles and do the cooking, following with the cleaning up etc. We are in the process at the moment of finding entertainers and should know by the 25th of Jan and then we will followup by sending out invitations to our customers to find their reactions to the event and whether they are interested or not.

We have had some very good times with our Installations in the past, with different Districts being invited to perform the ceremonies and we have in turn been invited back to their Districts, but to date we have not followed up on them and I believe we are allowing a “Golden Opportunity”to fade away.
Perhaps we could make 2011 a year to ensure we are to travel up to the Bay of Plenty and let them return the hospitality that we showed them down here. This would of course mean that our District GL would put in an effort to come along to do an Installation for them, so we may have to encourage a few to go along. So Brethren give it some thought and we shall discuss it at our next Management Meeting and then act to followup with arrangements.

February Regular Meeting; Tuesday the 1st at Darnell Street NP from 6.15pm. ( Notice to follow)