Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

Apologies, I did not write to you all last week, I got a bit busy and did not fit the” Letter from Andover,” in my schedule. Here I am again on a Saturday morning bringing you all best wishes and I hope that you are as well as can be expected. What some weather we have had and my hearts go out to those brethren and their families on the coast and on the Isle of Wight who have suffered from any form of flooding. I hope that you have been able, in those circumstances, to salvage what you can and any necessary drying out is taking place. Thankfully we missed any flooding in this area.

On the gardening front, although the ground is quite wet, Pat has been busy pruning plants and shrubs. As fast as the garden waste bin is emptied then Pat has the next lot ready to refill it again but she has stated that this will cease soon. The lawn needs cutting, a few years ago we would never have considered cutting the grass at this time of the year, yet it still keeps growing. This is a task for later today. Recently I had to replace the blade of my hedge trimmer and was grateful and pleasantly surprised at the efficient manner and friendliness of the company that I dealt with. Within 24 hours of making enquiries on the phone and placing an order the said blade was delivered to me. There is still plenty of colour in the garden, which is pleasing, and most welcome. We are still being blessed with many wild birds visiting the garden and making use of the various bird feeders that have been placed in the garden. Pat is, and has been for some time now, that when she starts to work in the garden a little robin appears ready to take advantage of any worms or grubs exposed for his consumption. 

There is still a mixed attendance at masonic meetings, some Lodges have found that there is a good number of brethren there enjoying the proceedings and company. On the other hand, some are finding that they are low on numbers and have to rely on visitors filling in on some of the offices. Once again, I ask that we all try and keep in touch with one another and contact those we have not seen recently. Please, we should all have this in mind and should act as Almoners. I am fully aware that some Lodges have set up schemes so that the membership is broken up in to small number and a nominee takes on the responsibility of contacting those brethren on his list. I appreciate the one Order has an “official” system where this should happen because it is a specific office. We can all learn from best practices, I am only trying to encourage and suggest we keep those lines of communication open.

We had a frost last night so winter rolls on. At the moment the sun is shining brightly giving me encouragement that I will be able to get the lawn mower out later this morning.

Best wishes to you all, you are in my thoughts and prayers. 

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