Provincial Almoners letter from Andover

A couple of incidents or remarks recently have shown, unfortunately, my inadequacy, as a human being or Almoner. These thoughts have reminded me of the desperation that some are having to experience at the moment. I cannot make people get better and neither can I conjure up a much needed bed in a hospital, I wish that I could. At these testing times one wishes that one could do more to help. We can though keep in contact and pray for one another.

Next Monday the restrictions are expected to be lifted and I sense that this is being met with many mixed feelings. There ae some who prefer to continue with the measures we have become used to, washing hands regularly, not shaking hands, wearing face masks, social distancing. I am sure that there are brethren who wish to continue on this road for a little longer whilst others feel a great relief and want to get back to some normality. We must respect each other’s views and feelings and not be intimidated by others as to which course one wishes to take. This is very much a personal choice. The virus is still out there and I have mixed feelings, will I pick the correct course, only time will tell.

I managed to cook a selection of mixed vegetables from the garden the other lunchtime of, carrots, courgettes and French beans, it went down well. As one of my son in laws said the other day, “It is amazing what different recipes one can come up with these days when we do not want to waste vegetables and what mixtures we put on our plates.” To some of us this has been the norm for many years and I find it challenging. The garden still continues to share with us beautiful floral displays, when the dead heads of flowers have been removed, magnificent colours full of enjoyment. The sunflower is now about six feet high and has a large flower displayed. We will leave this so that the birds can enjoy the seeds when they ripen. I managed to cut the lawn the other morning and was left with a very wet shirt from sweat. I do not know if this was from the exertion of the task or the fear of doing some exercise. I know it is a happy lawn as it has plenty of fungi in it.

On Thursday evening I attended a rehearsal for my Mark Lodge meeting, an Installation, ready for next Wednesday when we intend to hold a face to face meeting. The DC, W. Bro Tony Green, APGM, has challenges as one brother was unable to attend due to having proved positive for covid. It will, hopefully, be a good meeting because, in common with all Masonry, there is the will to pull together. Having spoken to some of you, meetings are being held face to face and much benefit has been gained. Keep up the good work and keep safe, looking after yourselves and you loved ones. Watch out for up to date news on the Charity front.

Best wishes to you all.

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