Provincial Almoners’ letter from Andover

Information has also been received that W. Bro. Derek Radford has suffered with his health recently and is now being cared for in a nursing home. We wish Derek all our best wishes as we do all who are suffering at the moment. There are many in this situation, but it is not my intention to mention them all other that asking that those who can, keep in touch with these Brethren and their families offering encouragement and support.

The pandemic continues with its’ restrictions and uncertainty; therefore, we must be vigilant in looking after ourselves and loved ones and keeping safe. Many are itching to meet again, and I know that plans are in place to hold “Business” meetings and my RAM Lodge is one to take this step. There are mixed feelings and I trust that all such meetings go well and safe. It is some form of encouragement, but no one should feel under any pressure that they should attend if they have doubts or reservations.

On a different front Pat and I have been out to two birthday parties this week, both in very restricted circumstances. On Thursday we celebrated with our eldest daughter and then last evening we enjoyed a barbeque and a few drinks with our eldest granddaughter who was 30. I know I do not look old enough to have a granddaughter of that age, but it is a fact. Pat is still picking the last of the blackberries and raspberries, but they are coming towards the end of the season. The kale and sprouting broccoli that she has planted is coming on well.

I appreciate that this is a mixed letter and not as cheerful as normal, but I feel it necessary to express our thoughts as reflective as I can. Continue to keep in touch with one another and use the phone when you are able, it does help to hear a friendly voice at times. Although the future is uncertain there will be light at the end of the tunnel, and we will meet again. Our ceremonies will be different and unusual for a while but as long as we communicate to any candidate that adaptions have had to be made in these difficult times it should be very acceptable to us all. They of course will not know any different, but they will still be made as welcome as ever.

Congratulations to the England Cricket team in their win, by two runs, over Australia yesterday.

Looking forward to a better week, keep safe.

God Bless you all,

Malcolm Lloyd, G.S.D., Prov. Grand Almoner