Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

A belated Happy and Healthy New Year to you all. The birthday party on 1st January went quite well without too much food left over. It is nice though to see a bit more daylight each day, but we have seen a lot of rain again. In the garden the daffodils are still doing well and in one park in Andover the daffodils are already in bloom, spring has come early. The lawns contain quite an amount of moss so yesterday, Friday, they received a treatment of moss killer so I expect to see some dark patches soon where the moss should be dying off.

Next Saturday will see many of us gathering at Botley for the Annual Provincial Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners and I hope that those receiving promotion to Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Rank will be well supported by members of their respective Lodges. This is also the time of year when many Lodges will be supplying a Burns Supper at the after proceedings, enjoy the feasts especially the gravy. Why can’t we have such celebrations for St. George in April!!

I feel that numbers attending regular meetings is beginning to increase slowly but there is still some way to go to get back to some form of normality. Covid is still with us and we should still act with some caution in an effort to protect ourselves and one another. From conversations that I have had recently another reason is that the weather has not been conducive to travelling and some are reluctant to venture out. Hopefully the weather will improve soon and bring about a better mind set.

Having said that please continue to think of those brethren that one has not seen at meetings recently and contact them to see how they are and if they could do with some assistance or just a chat to make them feel part of the world again, if it is needed. A little reminder that on 15thApril, the Annual Provincial Mark Meeting will take place at the Guildhall, Portsmouth, where a number of our Brethren will receive Provincial Appointments or Promotions, it would be good to show them our support at the meeting. I offer my congratulations to all who will be honoured that day, well done.

Please keep those lines of communication open with one another, it is important that we do not lose contact with Brethren who do not attend meetings. There will be many reasons for this but if we do not make those enquiries then we will not know if someone needs assistance. As I have said before there is help available if it is needed but this can only be achieved if we are aware of the situation.

Best wishes to you all and look after yourselves and your loved ones.   

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