Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

I remember the day well, as I was attending a Secondary Modern School in Bournemouth, all the pupils were assembled in the hall. The Headmaster, Mr. Poole, stood on the stage and addressed us as follows, “The King is dead, you may all go home for the rest of the day.” The next day we assembled as usual for morning service and instead of singing “God Save the King,” we naturally sang, “God Save the Queen.” It was though a very sombre time. We can, perhaps, look forward to June when we can a have a weekend of celebrations, I think my family are already coming up with some ideas.

Pat did take part in the RSPB bird watch last weekend and was rewarded with one or two unusual feathered friends. It is surprising to learn however, that bird numbers have fallen over the years. It is still fascinating to watch these creatures bless us with their presence in the garden. The other morning I was pottering in the garden and could hear many birds calling but could not see one of them at all in the bushes. Pat has also been knitting some clothes for premature twin girls at the request of our eldest daughter, as they are so small a doll’s size is being produced. These clothes look so small it is a wonder the children are surviving.

On Thursday the Oakley RAM Lodge received a visit from the Provincial Grand Master and his team as the Lodge was lucky enough to win the draw for a demonstration by the Provincial Team. I understand that two Brethren were Elevated into the Royal Ark Mariner Degree in an excellent manner and lectures were delivered to a very high standard. I was unable to be present due to other masonic duties, but, many congratulations to all concerned and I look forward to a similar visit to Winchester Mark Lodge. We are beginning to get out a little more now and it is good to be meeting up with brethren that we have not seen for a while. Each individual has to decide when he might be comfortable to attend without feeling any pressure to be in attendance.

We still have brethren who are unwell either in mind or body. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, pick up the phone and speak to them if you can, I appreciate that this sounds like the same record but it is important to maintain the personal contact

Best wishes to you and your family.

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