Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

Sorry the letter is later this weekend but it has been a hectic time. Pat and I left home at 7.30 a.m. on Saturday morning to go to Harrogate. There we joined the P.G.M. and other brethren from the Province at the West Yorkshire MBF Festival Dinner. The event was attended by some 500 Brethren and their partners. It was announced by the Grand Secretary that after seven years of hard work the Festival has raised £1,580,445, a very commendable amount of money. On the list of Stewardships it was good to note that 11 Brethren from this Province are listed as Stewards of this Festival. There may be others who do not wish their names to be published.

It just helps to remind us that this Province have a Festival in 2026, the P.G.M. and the organising festival committee look to you as individuals and Lodges to give as much support to this venture as possible. The preferred method is by regular giving and I understand that at present we have less than 30% of brethren making payments by this method. There is no compulsion to make such payments but I ask that you give this some consideration and we might achieve somewhere near a 50% membership taking up this opportunity. The necessary forms can be found in the web site. I am conscious that times are not easy in this present economical climate but if possible can you consider making contributions, any small amount is gratefully received. The P.G.M. has not made any target for our Festival but a goodly amount would be appreciated.

On the 21st June, many of us attended the Grand Master’s Lodge of Instruction meeting at the Sherwood Suite at Eastleigh Football Club. There, under the banner of Mercury Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No. 777, we witnessed Rt. W. Bro. John Edgcumbe, Elevated into the Royal Ark Mariner Degree. After a break and reorganisation of the room, V. W. Bro. David George Perkis, Dep. Prov. Grand Master in the Craft, was Advanced to the Degree of a Mark Master Mason. Both ceremonies were performed to a very high and excellent standard. Normally the Grand Master’s Lodge of Instruction carry out demonstration Ceremonies so it was good for them to have proper candidates. Rt. W. Bro. George John Deacon was the President of this meeting and was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge. Congratulations to all involved in the organisation of this event.

Pat has been busy picking, loganberries, red currants, raspberries, and rhubarb, so mixed variety jams on the way. The garden is looking very colourful and pleasing at this time. We are inundated though with bind weed, it is getting everywhere.

Bye for now, Best wishes,

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