March 2011

Avant-Garde 503
March 2011 Newsletter
March is the month to catch up on all the things one wished to do over summer but for various reasons they were not achieved for autumn is just around the corner and I believe that we could be going into an early winter this year and if anything like the European one, it could be a cold one, Are you prepared with plenty of Firewood.

Bev and I took time out to attend M W Bro Laurie Inder's Fifty Year Jewel Presentation down in Ranfurly on the 7th of Feb and what a great event it was with a huge turnout of brethren from all over the country, from Auckland to Invercargill they came, to pay their respects to our former leader. The number of Past Grand Masters was a sight to see as there were as many as one would see at Communications with only MW Bros Dan and Mike Pope and Barry MaClagan sent their apologies. There was very little room in the Lodge for the number present but they made do and V Wor Bro John Steele gave an address covering the years of Laurie's involvement and the Inder family throughout the generations having been members of the Mt Ida Lodge and Laurie's son continuing the traditions of the Inder name. M W Bro Selwyn Cooper Grand Master then presented the Badge and pinned it on the lapel followed by Laurie's son speaking on behalf of his father and family.

As most of you will know, Laurie Inder was the GM at the time of the Avant-Garde Lodge formation and it was through him that we were able to make the progress that we did and to this day he even remembers the weekend that we had. I gave him some of the photographs of the occasion which he graciously accepted for he said he didn't have any of them. By and large it was a great event and I'm quite glad I made the effort to go south for I received a very warm welcome from members present.

We stayed with Anita and Terry who generously offered us accommodation and my only regret was, that we couldn't have stayed longer than the one evening, but we did cramp a lot into those few hours. For we had lunch and then hopped in the car and Terry showed us the sights of the district and the Manitoto Irrigation Scheme which Laurie was one of the driving force to have it completed and then we both went and delivered the milk around town, then back home to dinner and Terry was off to collect the bus and pickup all the visitors and Grand Masters and deliver them to the Lodge and then he picked them up and took them around to the refectory proceedings and then had to return them to their accommodation at the conclusion which made for a long evening as it was 1.00am when we arrived back home. We had a small drink and headed for bed about 2.00am. Thank you Terry and Anita for your hospitality.

It was pleasing to see Anita is getting over her illness and is making very good progress although she has lost some weight through it. She also showed me the Viewing Machine the Lodge was able to contribute to her and she spends a lot of time on it, reading the morning paper and viewing her mail and documents with ease. This Lodge's contribution is very much appreciated by them both and is well used and they wouldn't be without it, for it is a huge benefit with reading that she had struggled with for a long time before hand.

The most important item that we have at the moment is our 5 Year Plan to finalise and adopted by the Lodge as the document that guides us through the next developing period and to date there has been little comment and certainly no alterations to the context. Now I know there should be more comments as it has been put together by only one person and there has been no other sourced material from members and it is not possible that it could be all correct. Please take time to write down ideas you may have and forward them to myself and I'll ensure they are put into the plan. We must first understand our order and where it fits into our lives and manage it in a business like manner so that it becomes successful before we can promote it to the outside world. This planning will assist us to do this if it represents the members aspirations. We need identifiable objectives and this is where you can help. So please itemise your ideas on paper and see if they can fit within the plan.

The 12 th of March is to be the Lodges BBQ for our Firewood Customers and to date we have approximately 5-6 couples coming and members will be required to assist on the day with public address, arranging seating, cleaning up after, and of course cooking, and making a few salads and vegie dishes. If you are able to assist then let Pam and Roger know on 758 1307 and they can advise what needs doing.

While we were down in the South Island, Mrs Jan Cooper announced to the Ladies that she has begun a Project for Lodge Ladies to become involved by knitting garments for Premature Babies and presenting them to the hospitals throughout the country. She has also intimated that Grand Lodge may be trying to assist with bulk wool purchasing and or delivering finished items around the various hospitals. This is a very worthy project and women who are knitters within Freemasonry are encouraged to take part with the help from Lodges. Avant-Garde Ladies wishing to participate and would like patterns please contact either Margaret or Bev who will be able to advise you of requirements.

Brethren and Ladies, it is a very sad and emotional time for those folk of Christchurch who have just gone through the most horrendous and harrowing experience of losing family members, homes and livelihoods in the moment of a few seconds last Tuesday, when they were struck so devastatingly by the shallow earthquake of 6.3 magnitude. This magnitude quake, normally would not have caused so much destruction but following on from September the 4th and at such a shallow depth, buildings just gave way and there are continuing shocks daily. There are numerous homeless folk, unable to find any light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak and require our help to provide some sort of comfort over the next few weeks or months until they can be rehoused. They need MONEY and this is an item we can supply. It is now day four and things are more clearly seen and requirements are sorting themselves. Thousands of people from all over the world have thrown up their hands to help so let us not stand aside and let them do it all, lets now pitch in.

Freemasonry is being mobilised Nationally, to donate from each Lodge, so let us show the world that members of Avant-Garde Lodge No 503 are the quickest and most generous amongst the District and Central Division by the amount we contribute. I suggest we set the goal post at $1000.00 and that each of us contribute as much as affordable to get it off the ground as quickly as possible and not wait. Put yourself in their position and imagine what you would require if you where just devastated to the same degree. I personally will make the first donation of $100.00 and I expect those who can to match this and those who can't to at least give what they can.

The goal can be altered upwards if you all agree and the donations are as plentiful as required but as a kick off, lets achieve what we can and reassess the situation when we come to it. I'll collect the funds for the Lodge and forward them onto the appropriate Freemasonry organisation and or shall pass them onto the Mayoral Fund of Christchurch. Freemasonry usually moves so slow and takes a long time to achieve some goals, so lets motivate and get the donations in today rather than tomorrow and sent off to those “desperately in need”.

Please remember to read the booklet, “ Order in the House” and move it next on the list. Those members who have the booklet could you please move it A.S.A.P.

Next Management Meeting is on the 8th of March at Roger's home 209 Smart Road NP 7.30pm.

Our members will again be involved with the Senior Masons and Widows Function being held on the 19th of March 211, providing 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. Don't forget this day.

March Regular Meeting; Tuesday the 1st at Darnell Street NP from 6.30pm. ( Please note time of Tyling )

Installation Dates & Practice Meetings:
Mar 9th Patea Killwinning Lodge.
April 2nd Lodge Whangamomona.
April 9th Lion Lodge.
May 7th Third Degree.
July shall be an Emergency Meeting for an Initiation. To be arranged at this date of writing.
Practice evenings are every 3rd Tuesday and every Thursday in the months of our Regular Meetings and every 1st, 3rd and 4th Tue and all Thursdays in the months of no Regular Meetings at Darnell St Lodge. Please make every effort to attend to be worthy of our Lodge.