Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

All of the damaged fence panels have now been deposited at the local recycling centre. It took Pat and I two days to do this but it was worthwhile. It seemed as though the bins were the death beds of fencing panels so we were not alone with this problem. Our next door neighbour tells us that two very large trees which are adjacent to our property are being felled tomorrow. It will mean, when we do start on the new fence, access will be easier and our vegetable plots will get more light and sun. There is a good show of flowers in evidence and colour is again transforming the boarders. We will soon have to think about allocation of the beds for the different vegetables and what we might attempt to grow. Pat has been potting up some tubers today so we look forward to the rewards.

As many of you have seen from the monthly Newsletter, distributed by Ian Vincent, the Provincial Team have been busy recently and some brethren have been rewarded in a number of ways. I have not always been present but the visits I have made have been very friendly and enjoyable, with Lodge Officers putting a good performance. Numbers are still down, which is understandable, but it is hoped that might improve as time goes on. We still need to be cautious and take steps to protect ourselves where possible. In the meantime please keep those lines of communication open.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention the 2026 Mark Festival, why you might ask, is the Provincial Almoner mentioning this when we have a very efficient Provincial Charity Steward. The answer is simple, if money is not raised for the benefit of others, not only masons, then the Almoners will not be able to make applications to spend the funds. A reminder, there is the facility to be a Regular Giver, and some have already decided to contribute in this manner. I am also very conscious that others have made payments by a lump sum contribution, all of which is much appreciated. We are all aware that these contributions must be freely given and affordable, all I can ask is that you might give this some consideration, i.e, to be a regular giver. We are not meeting so frequently so are not all aware of how this festival is progressing. 

Please keep safe and well, look after yourselves and your oved ones.

Best wishes to you all.

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