Provincial Almoners Weekly Letter

I purchased a new toy a couple of days ago, I obtained a power hose, the concrete garden path now looks very clean and free of moss. I have started on the decking as well, which is coming along nicely. This morning the rain is doing it’s best to do the job for me.

The roadmap seems to be very fruitful so far and restrictions are being relaxed, as I mentioned last week, but we still await the guidance from Mark Masons’ Hall as to the immediate future. I can only surmise what might happen the same as you, the rule of six may apply for a few more months and dining may be restricted. One caterer that I was speaking to a few days ago tells me that all meals will be plated, no vegetable dishes on the table, buffets will not be available and there will be no cheese boards. We will have to wait and see. Also, we will have to be guided by the management of the different masonic centres as to when they will be opening, Covid compliant and economic to run. It is going to be very interesting.

Please continue to keep in touch and look after one another. We must be mindful that some have lost their jobs or businesses. Times may be very difficult but as we are not meeting face to face we cannot constructively assess the situations. If you know or suspect, that a brother may need assistance can you please try and make contact with them and share their dilemma, encourage them to request help if needed, I am only too willing to help if I can. A trouble shared is a trouble halved. Everything is carried out in confidence, but I am fully aware it is not easy to admit or ask for help for a number of reasons but there is the will and opportunity to help if necessary.

The influence of Capt. Sir Tom Moore continues to inspire people of all ages to go that extra mile in order to raise money and awareness for good, worthy causes. Last Saturday I was invited to attend a photo shoot at the Alms houses in Andover for the “Smile for Sir Tom” campaign. I have recently stood down from this charity after some 20 years but they asked if I would attend, it was a pleasure and joy to do so. Monuments, memorials or other features are being erected or arranged in his honour, what an influence this one man has made on many during his life. All the unselfishness shown by so many during the past year, now and I am sure in the future, is very much appreciated by us all. The Official Visits, by the Provincial Team, to Lodge’s Virtual Business Meetings continue, I feel, to be worthwhile in two ways, it increases the support for the Lodge and secondly it helps to keep in touch with one another and see our friends for a while. Hopefully though, in the not-too-distant future, Official Visits can be arranged for the actual attendance of the teams at Lodge Meetings. In what format I do not know, as we await further guidance from Government and MMH sources. In the meantime, look after yourselves and keep safe. Best wishes to you all.

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