Provincial Almoners Weekly Letter

Surprisingly for many of us Christmas, although different, was a very enjoyable time. Some of this was thanks to social media where we could share time with our families and loved ones. Pat and I spent most of Christmas morning catching up with two of our daughters and son on ‚ÄúWhatsApp‚Äù It was great to share time with them and their families. We then spent the remainder of the day with our eldest daughter and her husband who looked after us very well. 

It is with some sadness that I report the passing of Rt. W. Bro. Brian Clifford Wareham, Past P.G.M. of the Mark Province of Sussex, and well known by many in this Province. He was a very active, dedicated mason who held a number of very senior offices. Some are, P.G.M. Royal Order of Scotland, Southern Counties, Past District G.M. Royal and Select Masters, Sussex, Past District G. P. Southern Counties, A.M.D. This follows the death of his son, Andrew, earlier in the year. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs. Tina Wareham and her family. It is with regret that I report the passing of Bro, Brian Dollings, a former member of Gosport Mark and RAM, who resigned in 2016 due to ill health, again our thoughts are with his wife, Christine and family. 

On a brighter note, I have received news that W. Bro. Larry Harding has been in Basingstoke Hospital suffering from COVID-19 and other health problems, but has now, thankfully recovered, albeit he is in isolation. He has been moved to a care home in Liss. I understand from W. Bro. Tom Gilvear, Oakley Craft Lodge Almoner, that plans are in hand for Larry to be admitted into a Masonic Care Home in Sindlesham. Our belated congratulations must go to V. W. Bro. David Smith on being promoted to P.G.M.O. and celebrating 50 years in Mark Masonry, well deserved David. 

Great news that the Oxford vaccine has received official approval and will be in use as from Monday next. This should make us a little more confident in facing the future. Especially as the majority of us are now in Tier 4 areas. Please continue to be cautious and vigilant and keep safe. It is still imperative to contact one another to give encouragement and moral support. 

Looking around the garden I see some of the bulbs pushing through the soil, although they had a covering of snow in the week. We are under very strict instructions from our caring family not to venture to the shops for at least a fortnight. 

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