Provincial Almoners Weekly Letter

My wife, Pat, has been suffering from a bad back for a number of days but is slowly getting more mobile. She has been making Christmas decorations and has managed to get back to her knitting. Christmas is only four weeks away and many have lightened the burden of the “lockdown” by putting up their decorations early, ready for the Festive season.

One of the things that we have done for a number of years now, is to give a Christmas hamper to each of our children and grand-children. This usually consists of nibbles and goodies that they might not buy for themselves. Wine is also included. It gives us much pleasure in being able to do this. So yesterday we spent some time in getting these together, it seems strange to me to be doing this so early but it is a beneficial exercise. Yes, Christmas is going to be different for many of us this year, we will not be able to physically see all of the family members that we would like to but we are planning to do this by means of social media in order to be safe. As the PM has stated the virus does not know that there will be a holiday. Let us please remember those who will be facing Christmas alone, maybe for the first time in a number of years. The telephone will still be a very useful tool over the festive season. 

During the week my RAM Lodge, Wyndham, held a Virtual Business meeting, which was a good exercise and we were able to at least greet one another. Many Lodges are holding informal Zoom or other social media meetings which, from the reports that I have heard, are well received. Keep up this and any means of communication. Let me know how your Lodge is coping, do you have quizzes, just a general chat, discuss different aspects of our Order? It is good to swop good practices. We will be entering the tiered system of ‚Äúlockdown‚Äù this week and I am sure that our Brethren on the South Island are glad of their number 1 rating. Let us hope that the system works and better news is available on 16th December. 

Brethren, please look after yourselves, your loved ones and keep safe. Pick up the phone and have a chat with another brother, especially those who are alone or have family perhaps in hospital or suffering ill health. I spoke to a brother the other day and I could sense the joy that I had given him by just picking up the phone and have a chat to catch up. Very Best wishes to you all. 

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