Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Dear Brethren All, 

A very warm welcome to you all on this sunny Saturday morning. There are signs on the lawn though, that there has been a frost overnight, at least it is not raining. Pat has been out tidying up the garden this week, she has two “enemies” growing, which annoy her, bindweed and ivy. These seem to be abundant at present and need controlling. We will be out today and no doubt we will be looking for seeds to start planting for the vegetable patches.

I look forward to see many of you tomorrow at the Ins and Outs luncheon, this is an enjoyable time. Thank you to the Provincial Wardens for organising the event.

Sadly, during the week, we have lost two very dedicated masons, W. Bro. Mike Kerley, who has been unwell for a while, and Bro. Brian Rowe, who collapsed and died at a masonic meeting. Both were good servants to masonry over many years, they will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their respective families. Please also spare a thought for brethren who have lost their wives or children over the past couple of weeks. My thoughts and prayers are with them also.

Brethren, we seem to still be in difficult times with lower attendances at meetings. Please, please, keep those lines of communication open, don’t leave it all to the Lodge Almoners, I feel we all have a part to play in this matter. As I have said before, those who we have not seen recently may just need someone to speak to now and again. Maybe they might need a lift to get to a meeting, there are a number of ways that we can help those in need. A phone call may help in many ways, just a thought of mine.

Can I please make a plea on the Charity front. I am not the Provincial Charity Steward I appreciate, but when I attended a seminar of Provincial Almoners at Mark Masons Hall some time ago, the comment was made, “If we do not get funds in then we, as Almoners, would not have the money to disperse.” The 2026 Mark Festival is drawing closer and can I please ask that, where possible, you might consider regular giving or a one off donation, every little helps. Having said that I am well aware that the Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Charity Steward are more than grateful for all of the monies received so far. We all are mindful that times are not easy at present and families must come first, I just make the request for some consideration in this matter.

Best wishes to you all until the next letter

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