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Acting President’s Welcome and News for 2013.

posted 25 Feb 2013, 21:43 by Sunshine Coast Lodge Theosophical Society Australia   [ updated 6 May 2013, 04:58 ]

Farewell to Penny Houghton, outgoing President:

First of all, as many of you will know by now, Penny Houghton, has regretfully stepped down from her position as President for this year for family reasons and we will miss her dynamism and passion in all she has touched over the years.  Penny assures me however, that she will still be there in the background, doing what she can.  And of course we look forward to seeing you, Penny, too, as you fill the room always with jolliness and that warm, big smile of yours. 


On behalf of all of us and the committee, therefore, we do wish you, Penny, a more relaxed and a healthy, happy year with more time to do what you need to do at this point in your life.  Your hard work and dedication to our growing group has not gone unnoticed.  So a big heart-felt THANK YOU for all your care for our Lodge over the past year, and for the many years before as active committee member and secretary. 


Incoming Acting President:

On Wednesday, 13 February, in an Extraordinary Committee Meeting, and chaired by Geoffrey Harrod, the Queensland Representative for the TS, Esther Pockrandt, was therefore elected to take on the Acting President position till our AGM at the end of the year in November, when new nominations for President will again be called.  Of course, I, Esther, have big boots of all our former Presidents to fill, in my acting role, but I also have a dedicated and hard working team of committee members to bring you the best we can for this year.  I endeavour to fulfil my duties to the best of my abilities.


Who is Who and does What in your  Committee:

In addition there were a few reshuffles of responsibilities within the Committee in the last couple of weeks, particularly in regards to publicity, the web and updates, and we hope to have that running smoothly again within the next few weeks.  A few glitches have been fixed and we apologize for any confusion caused.  Janet Blake has stepped in to fill the gap (and we are filled with gratitude for your skills) while Linda Davies returns from her leave, generously having offered to train to take on that huge specialist skills gap left behind when Rachele Wilson vacated that position last year after many years of dedication.  We also want to thank you, Rachele, for having stepped back in there last week, just to trouble shoot in this time of transition and to get us going again. 


Your speaker and events sub-committee is Dan StGeorge, Janet Blake and myself and any speaker suggestions and offers from YOU too to speak on a topic that embraces and is inspired by the 3 Objects, are absolutely welcome and will be gratefully received.  Please see any of us.


Joyce Thompson continues in her role as Secretary and her dedication to being at the front desk as well as setting up the room and the kitchen for the past few years in tandem with Joyce Tozer.  However both Joyces have expressed that they would like someone else from our group to take over those roles.  As you know, Joyce Tozer is also setting up and looking after the TOS display (The Theosophical Order of Service which runs independently of the TS), at each meeting for the Sunshine Coast Lodge.  Any offers are therefore most welcome to fill those potential vacancies.


Carmen French continues her long drive up from Caboolture each week and we thank you, Carmen, for those unexpected treats of baked goodies and your invaluable help to look after the kitchen. 


You, our members’ special contributions:

A thank you to Sue Wason, for continuing in the role of Membership Secretary, even though you, Sue, stepped down from the committee last year.  Much appreciated.


Then too, our library deserves a mention and the ongoing dedication of Francois Billy and now Peter Urbahn to help set it up for you to borrow from our extensive collection of Theosophy inspired  books!  The library will be open at 6.30pm for you to browse and borrow from every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.  See the weekly updates for reminders.


Of course a BIG THANK YOU to ALL OF YOU!   We would not be there if it were not for all of you coming to our meetings and inspiring us in our work for you.   And we always welcome ideas and offers of help for speakers and the general ‘housekeeping’ that goes on behind the scene at every meeting. 


We  thank the anonymous team that ‘materialises’ at the end of each meeting and always washes up, stacks chairs, collapses tables, puts book boxes and other meeting ‘decor’ away so we can be out of the building by 9pm.  More hands are always welcome. 


One person commented at our last meeting, ‘why is it that our presidents always look so hot and flustered at the beginning of our meetings’.  Well, is there anyone that can be there by 6.30 to help transform the croquet club venue into a warm welcoming TS space?  There are lots of chairs and tables that need moving and placing among other things.  Many hands make light work, as they say, and it is true, they do.  Any volunteers are therefore most appreciated!



One thing that has inspired me over the years is the generosity of spirit, gratitude and ongoing show of good will of all who are drawn to our meetings.  Our group is entirely run by volunteers, as are all others throughout the country.  Our speakers too are a gift.  Most are not professional speakers.  Yet every speaker leaves us with ‘something’.  Everyone adds to the Jig Saw Puzzle of the Whole.  We fill with gratitude for everyone that takes the time and effort to prepare a speech and share of their inspiration.  Indeed if there is anyone out there who has read an inspiring book, to perhaps compose a book review, or synopsis, of what inspired you, from a book you borrowed from our library even?  Perhaps as part of a panel of 3 or 2 reviewers or as a stand-alone talk, that could be so interesting?  Many of us do not have the time to read...and that could be a great service you would be giving us. 



Our Springbrook TS Retreat Centre also is so generous in its costing.  Where could we be fed, lodged in our own room with basin! and inspired for a weekend retreat for $110, or treated to International Speakers, for example, for a week for only $230 and in such an extraordinarily tranquil, well maintained bush setting at that?!  A BIG thank you to Kay Schiffelbein and to Barry Hora for your ongoing, behind the scenes, loving care and maintenance of our special centre.


Thank you to all of you:

Finally a thank you to all of you for your ongoing passion for what the Society stands for.  Without ALL of you we would not be!  It is the Freedom of Thought and the Three Objects that has inspired most of us to become members and to keep coming weekly, steadily growing our inner beings to ‘do’ life with greater awareness of the interconnectedness of everything. 


Let us all continue to be inspired therefore by the words of Ghandi, as we embrace this year, to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’ and in terms of our Sunshine Group, to ‘be the change we want to see in our Lodge’!  or, to live by that other wonderful inspirational slogan of years ago, ‘think globally, act locally’.


With many good wishes for good health and happiness to all of YOU, and for the good of ALL. We are looking forward to seeing you all Thursdays!

Your Acting President, and on behalf of the Committee

Esther Pockrandt