Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All,

We had been subjected to a shortage of water due to the very low rainfall but now it has started raining it does not seem to know when to stop. I hope that you did not experience too much damage during the tornado that “visited” the area recently.  We could not see across the road during the height of the downpour, although we do though need this commodity so will not complain too much. The lawns have benefitted from this and are recovering slowly, they do need cutting at the moment but they are not dry enough to give them a haircut. Trust that I will be able to remedy this during the week. This time of the year the garden looks drab normally but we still have plenty of colour to enjoy from some of the flowers.

There is still an abundance of birds to enjoy each day, we can watch them at the feeders from the kitchen window which is enjoyable. Sparrows collect nearly every morning and busy themselves from the seed or fat balls provided by Pat. Another fascinating thing to watch is the antics of some birds giving themselves a good clean in the bird bath, they seem to enjoy it so much, especially the starlings. Talking of birds, I listened to a small article on the television in the week pointing out how good it is for our mental health and wellbeing to watch the wild birds and listen to their songs. Something that is free in life.

Thank you to all of you who have enquired after my health, I am feeling a lot better but have an annoying, slight cough which lingers on. Pat caught a cold as well so we have kept warm and rested where we are able. 

I hope that some of you were able to attend the seminar arranged by the Craft Almoner on the Isle of Wight and found some benefit from the experience. 

Concern is still being expressed over the attendance at some of our meetings, this is in all orders. The effect of the pandemic is still being felt by some, and we have to be patient as to the future. I do not know what the solution or answer is to this but I do know that the matter of communication is very important. As I have stated before, I make no excuses for repeating it. Please keep in touch with those brethren that you have not seen recently. A chat on the telephone is so important or meet up, if possible for a drink and catch up. Out of sight out of mind should not be the case. We are all Almoners so I ask for your support in this endeavour. If any of you are feeling alone or would just like to chat please contact me, my details are included in this letter. Having said all of that, I am encouraged on official visits by the brethren who make up the “official” party, I know that this is appreciated by the Provincial Grand Master, Rt. W. Bro. George Deacon and his officers. During the visits that I have made we have been warmly received and well looked after. It is a privilege and honour to be there.

Must away now and get on with another day. Please keep in touch with one another and look after yourselves and your loved ones.

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