Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

I trust that you are as well as can be expected. I am aware that there are brethren not in such good health and others who have family and loved ones not so good, I wish you well and have you and them, in my thoughts and prayers.

Many congratulations to those brethren who have received First appointment or a promotion in Provincial Grand Lodge, as these have now been published. They are all well deserved and I hope that you will be able to get out on as many of the Official visits as possible during your year of office.

On the garden front, not too much has been happening as we have suffered so much rain, although last week we had a couple of severe frosts during the night. I did manage to cut the lawns a couple of days ago but the ground was very soft due to all of the rain. Pat has managed to carry out some pruning and tidying up of the shrubs and bushes. One brother told me recently that he has lost his broad beans due to them rotting where they have been subjected to so much rain. We do though have a wonderful display of daffodils just outside of the kitchen window. I was reminded that the original bulbs for these plants came from my mother, who died some 52 years ago. This obviously got me thinking of her and my family, this does though happen quite often.

It is Mothering Sunday on 10th March, I know that I have touched on this subject in the past but we are all conscious that families are so important to us. I do recognise that some families do suffer serious or minor differences at times and relationships become strained, and I hope that if you are in that situation an amicable solution can be found.  It is through close families, that the majority of us have come through the last few years getting over covid and lock downs.

Recently I attended W. Bro. John Marshall’s funeral and witnessed a very close family. Tributes were paid to John by his son, David and his grandson Matthew. They both recalled their father’s or grandfather’s input into their lives, which they and their siblings were very much appreciative of. We did not hear anything about John’s working life, I found this very touching and heartfelt. The curtains at the crematorium were not closed after the Comital and the family members collected around the coffin, chatting and obviously exchanging happy memories. Those outside of the family, having paid our respects, left them to their celebrations of John’s life. Julia, John’s eldest daughter, asked me to send on her thanks and best wishes to all masonic brethren who sent condolences and best wishes, she was very touched. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my message, best wishes to you all

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