Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

Sorry that I am a little late today in compiling this letter but I was picked up at 8.30 a.m. today, to attend the Dorset, Royal Order of Scotland meeting as a visitor. It was as usual, a very enjoyable event, with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Province being well represented. It is good to see that we can support neighbouring Provinces in return for their support. This also happens in other Companion Orders and it is good for all concerned in my opinion.

In the garden produce is still being harvested, we are able to enjoy vegetables, such as courgettes, runner beans and potatoes with our meals, also to enjoy fresh lettuces. The soft fruits are still producing well and Pat has continued to produce blackberry and raspberry jam. Blackberry and apple crumbles, most of which are being frozen down. Another mixture for crumbles was blackberry and rhubarb, we have a very good crop of rhubarb this year We may even get some rhubarb and ginger jam, who knows!! The other morning we watched a beautiful goldfinch making use of the bird bath and eating some seeds. The sparrows still arrive in good numbers, along with blackbirds, even young fledglings. Pigeons together with some collared doves still grace us with their presence. The lawns are doing well and growing faster than I can keep them cut so that they are at their best.

Recently I attended a late brother’s funeral and got speaking to one of our brothers’ wife, she informed me that she, and other wives or widows of Brethen, unfortunately, do not hold masonry in high esteem, which was a pity to hear. Her main point was that when their husbands, through serious health problems, they may be in a care home, or death, are unable to attend meetings, there appears to be a lack of contact from members of Mark Lodges. In their opinion, it is, “Out of sight out of mind.” I know that I have mentioned this previously, but it is imperative that Almoners either try to make contact in order to see if all is well or do we need to assist in some way.  Having said that, we should all be Almoners and try to keep in touch with those brethren that we have not seen for a while. Please pick up that phone or just pop round to try and make contact, there are a number of reasons why members are unable to attend and we might be able to help, or just have a supportive chat with them. Another reason is just to make contact with these ladies, who we must all admit, without their support we would not be able to enjoy the brotherhood as we do. Please try to include all brethren in communications. 

Best wishes to you all, and I hope to see as many of you as I can in the near future. 

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