Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

What a cold period we are experiencing, I hope that you have all been able to keep warm in your homes. It has been no good gardening as we have had a smattering of snow covered in frost for the last week. The lawns are frozen and everything looks drab. The next few days are predicted to become warmer, let us hope so.

This will be my last letter before Christmas and the last one of the year. May I take the opportunity in wishing you and your families a Very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. I am amazed as to how many of you tell me that you look forward to the letters from Andover. These are only ramblings of an old man but I am thankful that they give pleasure. I have no intention of publishing them, I will just keep them as a reminder of sharing thoughts with others.

Who would have thought that we would be in the grip of covid for this long, and it will be with us for some time to come. Some of you have found these times more difficult than others and we have not seen you in order to catch up with you. If you are in need of help please contact your Lodge Almoner and discuss matters with him. There are many organisations in the community that deal with bereavement, debt, mental welfare, good self being and many more. Almoners can contact me, I will not always know the answer but I can try and get you in touch with those who will be able to help. Everything is done in the strictest confidence. Perhaps in the New Year we may see a few more brethren confident enough to once again to join in our Regular meetings.

This has been a challenging year once more, and an historic one. His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed to the Grand Lodge Above. It was heart rendering to see Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, sitting alone at his funeral. She was obeying all of the rules imposed because of the pandemic. Then in September, Our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth II was taken from this life. The whole Nation and perhaps the World were shocked and saddened by this sudden demise. We witnessed, in my opinion, the Nation coming together in one cause, to show our respect for Her Majesty’s devotion and dedication to her duties throughout her 70 plus years Reign. It is strange to sing “God save the King” once again.

Best wishes to you all, have a peaceful, enjoyable, Festive season. Please keep those lines of communication open.

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