Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

On a sadder note, since my last letter we have seen the passing to the Grand Lodge Above a number of Brethren, W. Bro. Tony Digweed, W. Bro. James Shaw MacIntosh, W. Bro. Frank Radcliffe and W. Bro. Derek Radford, all of whom will be very much missed, they were stalwart members in their time. It seemed for a while that every other message reported the deaths of brethren. Unfortunately, in some cases the funerals of these brethren clash but if you are able to attend and pay your last respects it will be nice to see you. If you intend to attend Derek Radford’s funeral please let me know. Please keep the families of these departed brethren in your thoughts and prayers. There are a number of brethren who are suffering ill health, I cannot visit them all but they are in my thoughts and prayers.

It was good to see some rain during the last few days and the gardens are beginning to benefit from this, although the lawns have a long way to go. One of our daughters has been away for three weeks so Pat and I have been watering and tending their garden, what happens, there is a hose pipe ban put in place so we have resorted to carrying watering cans backwards and forwards, they have about four dozen containers and pots throughout the garden so I got plenty of exercise. They do have a splendid array of flowers and the colours are stunning so it has been well worthwhile. It has been a pleasure to see so many sparrows in the garden, especially cooling themselves in the bird bath, it is a laugh when the pigeons try to do the same, they only just fit in the bath. We have also been blessed with starlings, finches and many crows and rooks.

I have noticed that numbers attending meetings appear to be increasing, this is encouraging but I am aware that some brethren are still not comfortable going out. If you see that certain brethren are notable by their absence please make an effort to contact them and have a friendly chat and catch up. Please keep those lines of communication open, a phone call means a lot. Look after yourselves and your loved ones, keep safe and happy. However, if you do need me please get in touch, I will not always have a solution or answer but I usually know where to go.

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