The Theosophical Society in America

President's Diary

July - August 2005

Betty Bland

The new board began its mid-July meetings with a special budget orientation given by Nancy Secrest, national treasurer. The board quickly settled into the routine and grappled with budget and other issues harmoniously. The Society is blessed with members who are willing to give their time for this valuable function.

Our Summer National Gathering brought many members together to experience the camaraderie and to hear Joy Mills and Stephan Hoeller challenge us with their ideas about freedom, responsibility, and new frontiers. Despite technical difficulties in the first few days, web-casting of the event was again an exciting occurrence, with e-mailed questions to the speakers coming from many locations.

Shephan Hoellar

Joy Mills

The daily meditation classes proved popular, and the concerts, discussion groups, and trip to the planetarium rounded out a full schedule. In spite of the library’s broken air conditioner, which also serves to cool the lobby area, everyone enjoyed themselves and left, promising to return next year. The umpteenth meeting of the Hodge Podge Lodge materialized to gales of laughter from the audience. Joy Mills’s presence often makes this occur, since she is the “President for Life and Hereafter” of this combination spoof on lodge meetings and fun night.

A highlight of the convention for me was the news that our daughter presented David and me with a seven-pound, six-ounce baby girl. Since this was our first, it was an especially momentous occasion. So as soon as the convention was over, we joined the exodus from Olcott to visit the new family in New York City and to meet Ruby Mae Cowlishaw. As is the usual tradition, Olcott transformed from a bustling community to a quite monastic type of residence for the month of August. Activities slowed and many staff members went on vacation. However, in the background could be seen the steady bustle of preparations for the fall programs, which are right around the corner.

Summer National Gathering
(click to enlarge)