Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

 On this sunny morning I greet you all well. Last Saturday was an excellent Annual Provincial Meeting at the Guildhall, Portsmouth, which was well attended and it was an opportunity for me to meet up and speak to many of you.

I did mention in my last letter that the Grand Ranks were out but I was unaware of those Brethren who had been so honoured, the Provincial Grand Master announced them as follows,  reappointment, W. Bro. Adrian Cleightonhills, Deputy G.D.C. First Appointments, W. Bro. David Wood, Grand Steward, W. Bro. Simon Lancaster, G.S.D., W. Bro. David Ryan A.G.D.C., there had been a Field Promotion for W. Bro. Trevor Gulliver to P.G.St B. The following promotions will take place in September, 2023, W. Bro. John Burrell, P.G.J.O., W. Bro. Nigel Bell, P.G.J.O., W. Bro. Frank Cousins, P.G.J.O. and W. Bro. Ian McGrain P.G.J.D., I offer my sincerest congratulations to all of these brethren, they are all well deserved.

We were reminded of the Grand Masters Lodge of Instruction Meeting on the 21st June, 2023, and applications for attending are now available. This will be an excellent event and I urge you to make early application. Two of the group Representatives have stood down, V. W. Bro. David Ford and V. W. Bro. David Russell and the P.G.M. thanked them for their past services. On behalf of you all I pass on my congratulations to all those who received Active and Past Provincial Ranks at the meeting. A special mention must be made of the generous donation that the retiring Provincial Wardens made to the 2026 Festival. 

Many of you state that they know our garden as well as we do, which is nice of you to mention. The lawns have been scarified, reseeded and fertilised this week. There are some serious bare patches which I hope will reseed soon. Pat has been busy tidying up the shrubs and bushes, planted a couple of rose bushes as well as runner beans, which are in trays indoors to protect them at present. A few lettuces are coming on well. The birds have caught her attention and sometimes I see her looking intently out of the window watching them, yesterday there was a male and female robin feeding together, which is unusual, so they must be nesting nearby we feel. Starlings and blackbirds have been busy feeding on the grubs and insects in the lawn, nature can bring us much pleasure at times.

Can I please remind Lodge Almoners that I would like to be informed of any deaths of Brethren or their wives or partners. I like to at least send a card and where possible to show support by attending the funeral. Some families I know, wish to keep this private, I respect their thoughts. Keep those lines of communication open, it is imperative to keep in touch with those that we have not seen lately. 

Best wishes to you all.

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